Here is my third and final blog for alternative tips for mental health, wellbeing and balance which I have found useful. I’ve heard it said that experience can be one of the best teachers in life.
When I thought about doing these three blogs I did not realise that April is Stress Awareness Month. I guess this must have been my intuition kicking in again.
If you missed the first two blogs on this mini series please click below;
Part three tips;
Learn to Forgive Yourself and Others
This is one of the hardest things I found to do.
I’m sure that we have all done things in the past that we regret but the important thing is to accept them and move on. Now I see my mistakes as something to learn from. I feel that by experiencing so many hard and challenging situations helps me to empathise with and help others.
Forgiving those that have hurt me in the past is an extremely difficult task, but I am now able to do this. I look at others with compassion and try to understand why they did the things they did.
Do not label Yourself or Others
It feels awful to be labelled. I have always hated the “too shy” and “too sensitive” labels that I have been given in the past. Fortunately after all the research I have done I realise that being sensitive may be a challenge but it has many benefits too.
I give thanks to Elaine N Aron and her book “The Highly Sensitive Person -How to Survive when the World Overwhelms You” which was a real life changer for me.
Despite this I still find myself saying things like “I can’t do this” or “nothing will ever change”. I’m getting better at catching myself doing this but its still an easy trap to fall into.
I find that labelling myself this way just brings me down. Negative feelings spiral out of control and I start to think about all the other bad things that have happened in the past. This does not help and just ends up making me feel worse.
As a result of knowing how this feels I try to catch myself before labelling others. I don’t always manage to do so but I am getting better at achieving this. Saying things like “what an idiot” when someone cuts out in front of me while driving for example still happens. Now though I do think to myself what could be going on in that persons life to for them to have done that? Maybe they have something awful happening in their life which gave them a brief lapse of concentration.
Learn to Love Yourself
This is one that I find difficult but I am getting there.
I am registered with Hay House and receive regular helpful emails from them. Some of these include “mirror work” where I have to look into the mirror and say things like “I really love you” to my reflection. It may sound silly, and I felt silly trying it, but it does make me smile and feel better.
I find that yoga helps too with this one because often the practices ask you to give yourself a huge hug.
I try to spend as little time as possible with anyone who triggers a negative reaction each time that I see them. Obviously this can be very difficult if you have to work alongside them.
Trying to spend leisure time with like-minded individuals is the best course of action for me. To help with this I’ve started joining facebook groups with people who share the same interests because I can’t get out much. I’m getting a lot of pleasure from this. Other suggestions of places to go to find like-minded souls include;
- Adult education courses
- Art classes
- Spiritual retreats
If like me you struggle going out and socialising, make things easier for yourself. Ways I do this include;
- Planning well in advance enables me to function better.
- Explaining to others, especially friends and family, how much socialising I can deal with.
- Telling others how new, noisy and crowded situations overstimulate me helps to pave the way.
I have a vivid imagination and therefore this suggestion works quite well for me.
This is a way I use to “block out” others negative energy that may bring me down. I visualise a pink bubble before I go out into a crowded noisy place, and in my minds eye it has a large pink fist which I imagine punches away any unwanted energy.
Or another visualization I sometimes use is to imagine a whole in the middle of my stomach with a tornado passing through it. If anyone says anything hurtful I imagine the tornado sucking the words straight through me and out the other side. This way I feel they cannot stay around and hurt me.
Thanks to my Hay House meditations I also picked up another useful tip to use when I go to bed. I use this tip if I have had a particularly overwhelming day and I’ve experienced hurtful things that have been said to me. Before I fall asleep I ask that the bad interactions be taken away and thrown away like an old newspaper. I ask this so that I can start the next day afresh with a clean slate.
Try some of Hay House’s free meditations for yourself;
Being Held by Someone You Love
I’m lucky to have my husband for this one.
Sometimes all you need is to be held. When my husband holds me it does calm me but only if I am feeling receptive!
I have also read that it helps to smell the shirt of your loved one to calm you. Therefore I make sure I have a good sniff while I’m being held.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
When my dark side takes over I can say the cruelest things to those I love. This is not good for me or my loved ones. Particularly my husband who gets the brunt because I hardly ever see anyone else nowadays.
I try to remind myself to walk away rather than stand there continuing to say things that make the situation worse. More and more often I walk out of the room usually into the sanctuary I have created in our spare bedroom.
Just walking away from the situation is sometimes all I need to do to calm down.
Alone time is very important for me and therefore walking away helps with this. I’m highly sensitive and need alone time to stop me from becoming overwhelmed. Highly sensitive people naturally have a greater need for solitude than others.
If you would like to see if you are a highly sensitive person too have a look at my HSP post which shows my sensitive traits;
Embrace your Dark Side
We all have a dark side and I feel that its best to accept this fact and learn to deal with it. I have also heard it called our shadow side.
Two of my favourite quotes from Spirit and Destiny magazine on my “Positivity Board” are related to this. They are;
“Stars can’t shine without darkness” and “I embrace the light and shade of my life.”
I love these affirmations!
I freely admit that I have a bad temper. I’m pleased to say that I am coping with this better due to the many of the tips I’m sharing in my mental health, wellbeing and balance blogs. The more time that passes since I have been off the anti-depressants helps with this too.
However I also believe that this dark side / anger of mine helps pick me up. It gives me the strength I need to deal with bad situations and to carry on. I am a very strong willed and determined individual. Some would describe me as stubborn but considering I’m a Taurean that’s not surprising.
Jordan Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto says;
“You can’t respect yourself until you grow teeth” and “strength is the best guarantee of peace”.
Make an Effort
I notice that making an effort to dress smartly and put on my make up does improve my state of mind.
Even being in the house most of the time putting on something nice makes me look better and therefore feel better. I’m sure my husband must appreciate the effort too.
Although everyone loves a “dressing gown” day every now and then, I don’t feel that this should happen too frequently.
Stop and Take a Break
When I start something I find it very hard to stop and take a break. For example if I decide to paint a room I can’t stop until its completely finished. I also often forget to eat or drink in the process.
As a result I wear myself out and this is not good for my wellbeing.
I’m being more mindful now and reminding myself that I need to stop for that drink or bite to eat.
Its very important to take regular breaks whether its from work, decorating, creating, or in fact almost any kind of situation.
I’ve always found it hard to say no. I’m constantly trying to please other people to fit in, but in the end I do too much and tire myself out. Often as a result I end up ill because my weak immune system struggles even more when I’m worn out.
I feel that trying to do too much can be stressful both on my mind and body.
I try to remember to say things like “I will think about it” when someone asks me to do something. This allows me the time to decide if I really want to do it and if I can cope with doing it.
I’m sure you must of heard of the saying that “its not possible to please all of the people all of the time”. Besides I can’t be there for others unless I look after myself first.
Concentrate on One Project at a Time
With my restless mind and constant flow of creative ideas I have so many projects that I want to have a go at.
I try to concentrate on one idea, or maybe two, at a time and complete these before embarking on another. Otherwise I find myself getting stressed by the pressure that I put onto myself.
This is the end of my third and final post with regards to alternative tips for mental health, wellbeing and balance.
I have also learnt about herbs and essential oils that may help to support the mind with regards to this area. I will share these in future posts.
Please do not hesitate to comment on any experiences you have had, good or bad, from trying any of these tips yourself.
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