Know what makes you tick.

Topic – Mental Fitness

Best way to look after your mental fitness – know your real self and know what you need.

It makes sense really, doesn’t it?  Knowledge is power – so if we know what our preferences are – we can work towards using that knowledge to choose a marvellous life?

No one else will benefit from this.  Just you, which is 100% the goal here!

Here’s a few questions to start you thinking about your level of self-awareness:

When was the last time you engaged in an activity you walked away from taking you could take on the world?

When did you get so irritated by something that it made you ‘explode’ or ‘implode’ as the case may be?

Do you prefer your own time or to be surrounded by people and/or sounds?

What do you do to ‘recharge’?

How do you prefer to approach conflict?

How do you show people you appreciate them being in your life?

Once we are consciously aware of the way we prefer things to be, life is more likely to be marvellous!  Decisions just get easier.

It is also important to remember – we should never stop learning about ourselves!!

While our basic values don’t tend to change much, our experiences do!  And we know experiences can have profound effects on how we view the world.  That’s why we need to keep checking in with ourselves to make sure the action we are taking, does indeed, line up with the person we are at that time.

These are a few great resources I can recommend to ‘check in’ with yourself

  • Via Character – http://www.viacharacter.org – a free strength profiling website – you do a quick survey and in exchange for your email address, it gives you your results.
  • Personality Plus – there are lots of great personality sorters out there – this is one I have used and recommend – such an interesting exercise! There is also a ‘for Parents’ version of this one – personally, it answered lots of questions for me as a mother!
  • The Five Love Languages – a book, or I think there is an online version too, that profiles the way individuals prefer to give and receive ‘love’ – a must for anyone in a relationship!

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list – but these are ones I’ve used and encourage you to check out to move along on the ‘knowing yourself’ path. **  I receive no endorsements – I just genuinely liked them and feel they could help other people too.

In terms of knowing what you need – knowing yourself usually informs this – if I’m someone who avoids crowds – a music festival isn’t going to be relaxing for me, or if I like to be alone and i live in a shared house, these don’t match up, do they?!  You get the idea!

Please, be kind to yourself – be really conscious of knowing what makes you tick and take note of the positive effect on your mental fitness (and the moving closer to your marvellous life)!

 

Image Source – http://www.quotemaster.org

 

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What will you ‘do’?

I believe mental health week is an important time to raise awareness of important issues including depression and anxiety – but it also annoys me a little bit that we need a dedicate a week to a topic that should be part of what we do in our everyday existence.

The theme of next week’s mental health week celebrations is ‘Value Mental Health’ – I wholeheartedly agree that we not only need to value mental health but cultivate it.

Mental and physical health are so intimately related that it is impossible, and I’d say almost reckless, to imply that there is a clear line where one finishes and the other starts.

So, we know that to be physically fit, we need undertake certain activities, ie. eating good food, drinking (water), sleeping well and exercising regularly to name a few.  We could say we do these things, but ultimately, we actually need to ‘do’ them to stay physically healthy, we can’t just say we have!  Mental fitness is no different, we need to complete certain practices to cultivate being mentally well. Again, you can say you are grateful and kind to yourself – but unless you truly are, you aren’t helping yourself!!

I was reading an article this week about activities we can ‘do’ to improve our mental health (not just during Mental Health Week but all year around!) – you can read the whole article at http://theweek.com/articles/601157/neuroscience-reveals-4-rituals-that-make-happy , or I have summarised the dot points below – here they are:

  • Ask yourself ‘What am I grateful for? – turns out that even if you can’t think of anything, it is the searching that helps to have an antidepressant effect on the brain.
  • Label negative feelings – simply giving the feelings a name has been proven to decrease the impact that the emotions have on our state.
  • Make that decision – It’s no coincidence that you feel a sigh of relief once you have made a decision, no matter how small it may seem.
  • Touch people – not in a creepy way, but research has shown that physical touch increases happiness, eg. application of this tip needs permission, but might include such things as a hug or pat on back or holding hands.  See? Not too hard!

So while we need to ‘talk the talk’ and value mental health,  we actually have to practice ‘walking the walk’ too!!  So, this mental health week, how many of these four tips, or what else can you ‘do’ to improve your own state?

 

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