The fight against mental health is difficult, laborious and seemingly unwinnable. Everyone fights their own battle against their own thoughts in this epidemic. Unfortunately, this means that everyone's battle is unique and therefore a wide variety of tactics are needed to counteract this. Finding what will work for you is difficult, attempting many different techniques only for them not to work can be tiring and demotivating. This was the case for myself, multiple trips to doctors and therapists did not do much to alleviate my struggles. I took it upon myself to figure out what I needed to do and change in order to help my mental health. So, for this article I have decided to share what helped me, in the hopes that it can inspire others for what they can do to combat their own struggles.
My journey started when I sat back and thought about why I was doing this to myself. It is a difficult concept to wrap your head around. American author Dan Millman said “You don’t have control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” This quote perfectly sums up the conclusion I came to. It is obviously not as easy as it sounds to understand, but once you are in a headspace where your thoughts are working for you not the other way around, getting control of your mental health becomes much easier.
My next bit of advice would be to change your outlook on things. I was a ‘glass half empty’ type of person also preparing for the negatives and not appreciating the positives. This in turn gives you a negative outlook on everything, promoting thinking of potential bad things that will never happen. Being in this mindset for too long makes it become second nature. To counteract this, I would correct myself. If you also have a negative mindset like I did you may have found a friend who would say something was not too bad in response to your negativity. I basically did this to myself. Continuously doing this you will find that your default response will start becoming positive.
Who is around you?
Another tip that worked for me was to surround myself with people who boost my confidence. This one can be quite tricky. You might think I am not a great friend if I just leave people. But if these people are damaging to your mental health and holding you back you have to weigh up your options. The way I saw it was I would not keep eating a sweet that tasted great but for everyone I ate I lost a year of my life. In terms of making new friends, that can be scary. My advice would be to reach out to old friends from school who you know to be good for your mental health.
Stepping out the door
If you do not have you could reach out to my next piece of advice may help more. This is probably the toughest one, but you have to force yourself out and get doing stuff. It is too easy to say no, sit in your room and hide away. Unfortunately, if you continue to do this you will find that you stop getting invited out, your friends will think well they are just going to say no anyway. Then you are watching your friends have fun without you thinking I should have gone by then it is too late. The more you force yourself out the easier it gets to do.
Communication is key
In my opinion, the most important aspect of fixing your mental health is to have communication with trusted people and a way to express yourself. Thinking through things in your head will only get you so far you have to express those thoughts and feelings. The obvious would be to talk to a friend or family member. If this is not comfortable for you a therapist is a great source. They are someone completely out of the situation who you can share your thoughts with. If talking is too difficult for you then there are other ways to express yourself. You can make vlogs or journals. The simple act of taking your thoughts out of your head and putting them out into the world is therapeutic.
You can do it!
If nothing here applies to you do not worry! Everyone has a battle which is unique, you will find what works for you.