Starting 2018 Off with Better Mental Health

Happy New Year! Now is the time of year for new years resolutions! How can 2018 be a better year than the last one? Many of us are making ambitious plans for weight loss or lofty career goals, but the key to success in meeting many of our resolutions is to have a positive outlook and great mental health!

Better mental health and a great mindset are key to meeting our other goals! Here are some strategies for better mental health in 2018!

1.Identify Triggers

What triggers in your life bring on negative feelings or increase the stress you feel? Identify these triggers and how you can possibly avoid or reduce them this year. A negative work environment or bad relationship are factors you can try to change but other triggers like a chronic health issue may require better coping strategies.

2.Forgive and Forget

Do you have relationship issues that are holding you back? Has someone hurt you or you have hurt someone? Now is the time to practice an attitude of forgiveness, which correlates with better physical health and well-being. Holding on to grudges from issues from the past are not helping you move forward.

3.Strengthen Your Support System

How do you handle the challenges in your life? If you have unhealthy habits for managing challenges in your life like excessive alcohol consumption or binge-watching television, it is time for a change! Surround yourself with positive family members, friends, or colleagues who build you up! If you do not know many people in your area, make it a resolution to join a group, take a class, or reconnect with someone you have lost touch with! Spending time with friends and family, along with healthy coping habits like exercise, reading a good book, or having a massage are some positive changes you can make with good mental health in mind.

4.Count Your Blessings

In the age of social media, it is easy to focus on the things you do not have in life, but having an attitude of gratitude is the key to positive mental health! It is easy to get caught up in the things you don’t have or the way your life is going differently than you hoped, but constantly focusing on the good and positive aspects of your life and force your brain to change, giving you greater joy in your life and your experiences.

5. Be Kinder to Yourself

We are our harshest critics, particularly true for people who struggle with depression or a negative outlook! Pay attention to your inner self-talk and the comments we say to ourselves. When self-compassion takes the place of negative inner self-talk, you become one step closer to bettering your health! Be kinder to yourself as well in understanding that you need time to recharge and rest! Eat healthy food, take vacations, schedule a massage, or spend an afternoon with a good book! You need to treat yourself kindly!

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