Top 3 things anyone could do to improve their mental health
1. Improve your focus
Worrying is praying for what you don’t want, yet many people never stop to think about what they actually want. Do the two sides exercise. Use a piece of A4 paper. Fold it in half-length ways to you have two narrow but long sides. On the left side of the fold write down all your worries, one per line. On the right, write down the opposite of each item. Once you have finished ask yourself on which side do you want to live? Focus on those things.
Every time you doubt yourself or something negative happens, take 60 seconds, go back to your list, read the right-hand side and remind yourself which side you want to live on. It takes practice. Notice how many days in the week you were able to stay on the right-hand side. Even if it was only one day, try to do two days the following week. Remember to be kind to yourself because even one day is probably better than you are doing now.
Drink two litres of water a day. It is much easier than you think when you have a transparent two-litre water bottle. I asked one of my groups what the simplest and best productivity hack they could implement by themselves was completely free. Of course, the answer was water. Why? Because when your physiological state is better, you feel better. You will literally have more resources, and more energy to cope with things. The more hydrated your brain is, the better you will cope. Many of us today are dehydrated and over-caffeinated and that’s just not good for us.
Quick story: One of the ladies in my group gave feedback at the next month’s meeting. Everyone had told of their success and challenges trying to stick to the two litres. She didn’t mention that. She just announced, “I’ve completed the biggest deal I’ve ever done!” As the facilitator, I said “well done, and how did you get on with the water?” She said “no, you don’t understand. It was because of the water.” At this point, I must have looked slightly disbelieving! She continued “I did what we agreed, and stuck to two litres of water a day. After a couple of days, I felt so much better than normal. Feeling better boosted my confidence. This deal came along and normally I would have told myself that it was too big for me and I would have ignored it, but because I felt more confident I went for it and I got it!” OMG, you could have heard a pin drop.
Switch your tech to nightlight. You are at your worst when you are tired. All our tech gives out blue light which is more likely to keep us awake after exposure. Fortunately, many devices now let you switch on a nighttime setting which subtly alters the display colour so it has less impact on you. The best thing is to switch off screen tech an hour before your bedtime. There are plenty of things you can do in that hour. Before we get to that, go back to the last five minutes at your desk, at the end of your working day. Write down, by hand, everything you need to do tomorrow, in a diarised format – what and when in a spiral-bound notebook. Leave the notebook in the centre of your desk. That way you know you will always remember. Now, in your last hour, what would you like to do – read a book, listen to some music, talk with your partner or meditate? Pick something that doesn’t involve screen technology.
My personal favourite is PMGR – Progressive Muscle Group Relaxation. It gets rid of all your tensions from the day, and with that will go the symptoms associated with a number of different conditions. Once you get the hang of it you can do your whole body in just 10 minutes or so.
Rested and hydrated is the best way to start the day. Then look at the right-hand side of your paper. That’s your focus for the day.