Maybe you’re tired of living with the same negative attitude and unproductive thought patterns. Maybe you’re ready to let go of toxicity in your life, whether it comes from family, friends, or even yourself. Perhaps you want to become more motivated and successful, or maybe you’re interested in shifting your mindset to be happier overall. All of these are great reasons to jump into the five steps listed below in order to take control of your mental health. (If you’d like the help of a professional for this process, MyTherapist and other online counseling platforms are an easy way to begin.)
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Step 1: Recognize your self-worth.
If you want to take control of your mental health, it’s essential to take some time to recognize your own self-worth. Maybe you’re used to telling yourself that you don’t deserve to be happy or to achieve your goals. But now is the time to realize that you are worthy and deserving of all you want and more. Although it’s much easier said than done, taking on the mindset of knowing that you are a good person who deserves happiness will go a long way in improving the state of your mental health.
Step 2: Change the ways you handle stress.
We’re all guilty of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to deal with stress: constantly snacking, mindlessly streaming episode after episode, turning to caffeine or alcohol, or even avoiding our problems altogether, as if that will make them disappear. Therefore, the next step in taking control of your mental health is to examine your coping mechanisms to determine whether or not they’re benefiting you. If they’re not, it’s time to replace them with healthier coping methods such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, engaging in physical activity, expressing yourself creatively through art or writing, or meditating and doing breathing exercises.
Step 3: Set goals and make plans to achieve them.
Everyone has hopes and dreams for their future, but not everyone actively identifies their goals and sets out to achieve them. The simple act of writing out your goals and actionable plans to achieve them puts you solidly on the path to success. Be sure to take the time to figure out exactly what your short-term and long-term goals are, and set up realistic, attainable steps that will bring you closer and closer to achieving them. Plus, the act of setting goals can help to give you more of a sense of purpose and power over your life, therefore helping to take control of your mental health!
Step 4: Take care of yourself.
It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Rather than engaging in negative self-talk, try to speak to yourself in the same way you would speak to a close friend that you care about. You wouldn’t berate and insult a friend; you would support them and be understanding of the struggles and challenges they encounter. Do the same for yourself! In addition, do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of good sleep each night. Integrate time for self-care into your schedule as well. This is a great way to relieve stress and improve your self-esteem!
Step 5: Surround yourself with positive people.
Even if you do everything you can to maintain a positive mindset, it can be extremely difficult to remain positive if you’re surrounded by negative or toxic people. Instead, try to form a social circle that includes people who inspire you with their upbeat attitudes and motivation to reach their goals. The people you choose to spend time with can have a huge influence on you, so choose those people wisely!
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the state of your mental health lies in your own hands. You have the power and the responsibility to take control of your mental health, and you can start by making small changes in your life. Realizing that you deserve to be happy and that you are worthy of success is the first step. Replacing your unhealthy coping mechanisms with positive ones, setting clear and attainable goals, and taking care of yourself all play a part as well. Finally, be sure to surround yourself with people who have also taken control of their mental health and are actively striving to improve themselves. Their influence will help you achieve even more than you would on your own!