Disclaimer: This post is not about curing mental illness or minimizing the effects of mental illness. This post is my experience while reading The Happiness Project.
Continuing my review on The Happiness Project, the month of August was all about mental happiness. I found this month to be the most difficult thus far because it contained more mental exercises as opposed to physical tasks. For me, staying in the right frame of mind is tough. I always have a running to-do list going on in my head. On top of my own to-do list, everyone else in the family is always in need of something. Therefore, it is easy to become stressed and worn out. Today I am going to share with you my take on her suggestions for mental happiness.
READ MEMOIRS OF CATASTROPHE
Gretchen’s approach was to read about other’s misfortunes to keep her life in perspective. She gives snippets of some of the stories she read. I’ll be honest- I skimmed over this part entirely. I tend to internalize negative scenarios in a very visual way. Also, I play the “What if” game and that is when things get really out of hand. These horrible situations start running wild in my mind and I get really sad and scared. I did not need to read several stories of awful life situations but instead remind myself that someone has it worse.
When a situation comes about that got me upset I remind myself of the amazing things I do have. I follow a blog called Small Town Soul that recently did a post about how to “Find The Awesome”. I enjoyed this post and it was an encouragement during my month of exploring mental happiness. You should check it out!
KEEP A GRATITUDE NOTEBOOK
I liked this approach to mental happiness! For me, my blog is essentially my gratitude notebook. Write down one thing you are thankful for from your day or writing a few pages of how you were particularly blessed. It forces you to focus on the good in your life as opposed to the bad. It is easy to get caught up in the negative but when I take a step back and put things into perspective I really have been blessed with an amazing life.
IMITATE A SPIRITUAL LEADER
At first this seemed like an easy choice. I am a Christian so I try to emulate Jesus Christ. Also, I have always tried to imitate my mom, who is an amazing woman! However, I needed to go beyond that. I have several incredible women that I could go to if I ever need guidance. I am very thankful for that! My hope is to deepen those relationships in the years to come.
It is important to surround yourself with others that will help bring balance. A healthy and stable environment is a major component to mental happiness. Just to be clear, I am not a psychologist and most certainly to do not claim to be. If you struggle with mental illness please seek help. Do not wait! For those who do not struggle with mental illness, my recommendation is to incorporate things or people who encourage a stress-free lifestyle.
It is vital to take care of your mind because it affects everything else. What is one way that you like to relieve stress? Or how do you take care of your mind to improve your mental well-being? Leave a comment below!