You will find the internet exploding with tips regarding self-development, why it is important, and so on. Same goes for mental health; there are a lot of drives going on to spread awareness regarding mental health and issues pertaining to it.
However, you may not know that both these subject matters are interrelated. Self-development not only protects you from poor mental health but also helps you to improve it.
Nevertheless, it by no means implies that someone with mental health issues does not care about self-development. Neither does it suggest that people grapple with mental health issues because they are not trying enough.
The point mainly is that you are likely to improve mental health in normal circumstances through personal development.
Maintaining Good Mental Health Via Self-Development
Having good mental health is more than just avoiding a mental illness. A person having a mental disorder will benefit from leading a balanced life.
Just like physical health, mental health lets you feel good about yourself. It allows you to devour the different colors of life, try new things, and to grow. Here is where self-development comes in, as it is also about enjoying life, self-growth, and self-satisfaction.
Factors Influencing Mental Health
We have compiled a list of factors that influence mental health. You will notice that many of these can be altered with self-development.
- Biological factors like heredity
- Personal factors like self-esteem, childhood experiences, and lifestyle. It is possible to change the way these factors influence you by knowing how to deal with the memories.
- A physical environment like home or the quality of the neighborhood.
- A social environment like friends, relationship with family, and the community.
- An economic environment like living conditions and employment status.
If you cannot change some of the factors affecting mental health, you definitely can change the way you look at them. And self-development focuses quite much on the prism through which you consider certain life aspects.
This is the reason the suggestions regarding taking care of your mental health are pretty much similar to those pertaining to self-development.
Having said that personal development can help you keep good mental health. How does it go about?
What is Self-Development?
In the simplest terms, self-development is a conscious effort of you evolving as a person. It involves improving yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. It brings room for self-actualization and self-sufficiency. Not only does it helps you excel in your academic, professional life but it also enables you to keep peace with your past, present, and the future.
Highly regarded in psychology, self-development gives you an opportunity to work on your mental health. It frames the tools required to deal with your emotions, perspective, and relationships.
As for how to pave the way to self-development and ultimately, good mental health, here are a few techniques.
There are complex strategies when it comes to personal development. It involves simple yet effective tasks that do not take much time. Here are a few of those techniques.
1. Try New Things
Many people have a fear of the unknown, which might be keeping them from doing wonders. However, those are not the only things you have to do in order to keep yourself happy. It can be anything from learning a new language to picking up a new hobby.
Learning new skills, especially language, is a mind-opening experience. Not only that it expands your horizons, but also it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you are done with it.
As for picking up a new hobby, it can be anything from rock climbing, to photography to fencing to ice-skating to canoeing. You can also pick up a recreational hobby like Italian cooking, pottery, web design, and so on.
You can also take up a new course. It may not necessarily be a long-term course. Even seminars or workshops will do. The new course will keep you occupied, and you would not have to dwell on memories you do not like. Also, it will make you believe that you are spending your time on something constructive.
Precisely, learning something new challenges you in different aspects, be it mentally, physically, or emotionally.
2. Read a Book
For the introverts, it goes without saying that books are the best among all friends. They are also an amalgamation of innumerable pearls of wisdom. The more you read, the more you surround yourself with the wisdom.
Read something that intrigues you, something that is thought-provoking. You must be thinking about your busy schedule and where to sneak in the book reading. If you have a jam-packed schedule, you can set a goal to finish a book every month.
When you read a book in routine, you are feeding your brain a lot of knowledge. Just as the case is with surrounding yourself with positive people, be around with the books that emit positivity and motivation.
3. Address your Fear
Everyone has a fear of something, be it a fear of public speaking, a fear of uncertainty, or a fear of spiders. These fears are stopping you from moving up the ladder of your personal growth.
Therefore, it is important to fight with your fear, even if it is easier said than done. The first step in overcoming your fear is to understand it. You have to know when it started. Learn how your fear came about. After knowing the reason, get ready to nip it in the bud.
4. Make a List of Your Achievements
First, make a list of why you are awesome. It will be a tremendous help with the fear of public speaking. Create a list of your achievements, resolve in adversity, success, and everything that can make you feel good about yourself.
You must know that this is going to be a tiresome task itself, but it will bring you a lot of positivity once completed. It will make you remember how much you have accomplished till date and how well you perform in calamities.
5. Identify your Emotions
Locate why you have a negative feeling about something. Know how irrational your fear is. Locate your feelings, what brings you negative energy and what brings you positivity. Draw arrows with certain thoughts. When you know that certain feelings are bringing you negativity, it will be easy to change them.
6. Admit that You Need to Change
Do not just accept that you have a problem. You have to believe that it is upon you to take charge and bring change within you. Believe that you have control over yourself. Change your conception of the culprit behind your fear.
If you fear public speaking but can easily speak on a conference call, consider your microphone a phone. If you feel low about yourself, get back to the ‘I am awesome’ list. It will help boost your self-confidence.
Moreover, make this list a daily reminder. Remind yourself you have coped with a lot, so there is no reason you cannot deal with your fear.
7. Take Support
Some things tend to have a more positive impact on your mood. It can be anything from a particular environment, music, or even certain smells. Get support from this stuff when you feel anxious about something. Aromatherapy is believed to treat bad mood and even anxiety. When you are anxious about facing a situation, listen to some music, go for a walk, or do something that placates you.
8. Be an Early Bird
Your grandmother was right when she nagged you to get up early. No matter how much this advice has been drummed about, it still has weight. Getting up early improves your productivity and the quality of life too.
When you wake up early, you have a lot of time to set your routine for the day. In this time, you can do exercise that will keep you active throughout your day. Moreover, sunshine soon after the sunrise is a beautiful treat for the eyes. You can savor it and stimulate your body to produce Vitamin D as well.
Above all, you get to set your priorities. With everything scheduled, you stay relaxed and clear about your tasks.
9. Make a Life Handbook
Set your priorities in life. Contemplate on what you want from life, your values, and how you should grow as a person. It will prove to be a manual for your life. You can list your desires, your obligations towards other, and ways you can enjoy the life to its fullest.
Once it gets written, you will be clear about your future goals. Whenever you are confused, you can open up this handbook and clear out the fog that is keeping you from seeing properly.
10. Get out of Your Comfort Zone
If you want to achieve anything in your life, your comfort zone is the first thing to sacrifice. Your comfort zone is making you stagnant. Replace what is convenient with what is fruitful. Take it as an adventure. Expose yourself to a new environment.
A new context will give you a new experience, allowing you to learn many things. It will teach you how to act or react in unique circumstances. It will protect you from getting anxious in new surroundings or new context.
11. Pinpoint your Blind Spots
In self-development terms, blind spots refer to stuff about yourself that you are not aware of. Exploring the blind spots will give you an opportunity to find areas of improvement.
The simple way to do that is to retrospect. Recall the things, situations, or people that made you feel annoyed, resentful, or triggered negative emotions in you. These are your blind spots.
It will help you know new things about you, even if you think that you already know your blind spots. Many new ones are bound to come when you contemplate and introspect.
However, do not berate yourself after finding out. It can lead you to anxiety and even result in self-esteem issues. Take these blind spots as something you need to work on. Do not fixate over why they exist in you or why you did not know about them before.
12. Take your To-Do-Lists Seriously
First, always make a list of tasks that you want to accomplish by the end of the day. It will help you to stay focused and increase your productivity.
Once you have made your to-do-list, stick to it. If you come across an unprecedented task, prioritize. If the task under question is not urgent or necessary, you can shift it to the other day.
You can use one of those to-do-list apps that keep reminding you about your upcoming task. They also help you prioritize your tasks. If your work keeps you on your computer all the time, you can either use the apps or use the sticky notes to manage your entire day’s tasks.
13. Learn from those who Inspire You
Even if you have no role model to follow, there must be someone who inspires you or someone you admire for certain qualities. You want these qualities to have in your personality. Listen to these people and discover how they developed those qualities.
14. Avoid Negativity
The first and utmost important thing to avoid negativity is avoiding negative people. Do not surround yourself with people who bring you down. Get rid of the toxic people in your life. They are consuming all your motivation and ultimately your positivity.
The second thing to do is filter your thoughts. Do not overthink. Take things as they are and believe that with time, everything will release itself.
Self-development helps you create a personal vision of your life. It helps you steer your life and enables you to tackle the unanticipated turn of events. Not only that the self-development helps you in your academic and professional life, but it also helps you maintain your physical and mental health. It enables you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, which ultimately help you evolve as a person.