4 Mental Health Exercises That Helped Me
A lot of people could benefit from getting mental gains in place of or along side physical gains. There’s always something about yourself that be improved upon. I meet people that are far beyond where I am mentally everyday and that’s fine. However, I also meet people that are far beneath me and that’s scary considering how insane in the membrane I used to be…kinda still am. Here are four tips to get your mental game strong.
Studies say that being healthy overall with your diet and exercise are more likely to maintain a healthy mentality than those who don’t. This should be a no-brainer. How would you expect to have even a decently working mental guard if you’re not taking care of other aspects of your life? It’s not to say you have to be an Olympic athlete out in these streets to eat as healthy as possible or workout consistently. You just have to keep moving and trying to improve. Keep in mind that it’s totally possible to achieve success in your life without healthy eating and exercise, but imagine how much more rounded and satisfied you’d feel with those additions in your life.
Personally, I’ve been up and down for years in my health and fitness journey. And even when I was really hard on myself and not where I should’ve been mentally, I still felt like my day was complete when I made it a priority to work my body and attempt to nourish it.
Practice positive mantras
We are our own worst critics. Make no mistake that you will doubt yourself harder than anyone else will. Without body language, no one knows how much or little you believe in yourself unless you tell them. Once you start manifest positive thoughts and actions they’ll appear. The key is to be consistent. Do you think telling yourself that you can get through this rough patch every few months will be as effective as maybe even as often as once a week? It’s a difficult thing to not believe in yourself and then to all of a sudden want to believe in yourself. You have to work through years and years of constant doubt.
Prior to my big mindset shift, I never in a million years thought I’d be even a fraction as resilient as I am now. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m in no way self-assured a hundred percent of the time. I definitely falter. I definitely have dark thoughts creep back into my mind. Sometimes I even want to indulge them so I can feel sorry for myself. Here’s what I learned from those moments when I was battling the hating temptation; The time spent hating my life or body was time wasted on learning something new or having fun.
My life could’ve turned out tremendously different when I was younger if I knew what I knew now. Or if I had someone in my corner that just understood what it was like in our day in age. My grandmother or older sister of eight/nine years didn’t understand what it was like to grow up in the “everyone’s perfectly skinny, therefore they’re happy” era. It’s still around today but a lot of people are wising up to the realization that it’s bullshit. Again, I still struggle with this notion at times. But in the back of my head, I know that starving myself and drilling my body into the ground with exercise won’t make me happy overall. It damn sure wouldn’t make my mentally happy.
Set doable goals
I’ve had bouts of depression for what felt like my whole adolescent and young adulthood life. Anxiety reared up inside of me when I first moved out. I wasn’t sure if I was making the right choice, if I had enough money, or that I could do this. The one thought that kept me going was that ‘Everyone else can do this’. So I did it too. We’re not going to talk about how I don’t have my driver’s license at twenty-four. Don’t shade me in the comments. It’s still one of my goals to get my license. Lord knows I’ll need it when I move to Arizona.
My point is that when I told myself I could live “on my own” I made it a goal to feel comfortable within myself to do so. Setting goals seems like it’s either boring or undoable at first glance, but if you pick things that are interesting to you then they seem like fun and not like homework. For instance, one my goals over the past few months were that I decided to move to Arizona. As someone who’s only moved out of the nest a year ago it’s a pretty huge goal to move across the country. Especially when a bitch don’t know how to drive yet. I sent another goal recently to eventually join a hip-hop dance studio when I used to be super uncomfortable with my body. Another goal is to learn either guitar, piano, or the drums. And another one is to regularly go hiking when I move. Most of these are goals for when I get to Arizona. While I could start working on them now I figured it would make my transition more fun for me.
One of my more present goals is learning Hangul(Korean). It’s an incredibly frustrating process that makes me want to pull my hair out and cry most of the time. There’s nothing easy about learning another language, especially one that’s so different than yours. But it feels good to check off something that once defeated you so terribly. Frankly, I feel fly as hell when I tell people I’m learning Korean, like fuck with me if you want to.
If you’re tech savvy like most millennials, there are apps for to-do lists. The simple act of checking something off a list can make you feel like you accomplished something, and that always feels great.
Make an accomplishment list
This is something I started doing about two years ago. I would think of what I considered accomplishments for that year and then I’d write them all down. I suggest doing this when you think you haven’t done anything with your time. You might be surprised at how much you’ve done with your time. In the twelve months of this year I could look at and feel like I’ve been stagnant, which is a big downer for me, or I could see all the goals I’ve set. To prove my point, I’ll do a list.
Got credit card(December 2017, but still counting it)
Came out officially as Bisexual to homophobic family excluding my older sister
Removed toxic relationship with mother from my life
Decided to move to Arizona
Began to love myself
Reading self-love books
Exposed myself to another culture(Kpop, Kdramas, language, food and beverage, cutlery)
Realized how to handle rejection/not to obsess over when potentials don’t work out
Learned how to deal with conflict through my roommate
Decided to take up Dance
Decided I’d visit South Korea at some point
There are five days left to this year, there might be more to add before it’s all said and done. If you only take one thing away from this post I hope that it’s you have to be kind to yourself. Remember with training you can do anything.
Eat a donut and live your life, Sweets
Pro Tip: Rate 2018 on a scale of 1-10. If your score is low think about ways to make it higher in 2019. If your score was high think of ways to keep it consistent or make it go off the chart.