Photo courtesy of A. Kasarjian
What are you being attentive to in your daily life? Part of what we focus on helps determine our mental health. If we focus on anxiety and worry, we will feel less healthy than if we focus on the good pieces of our day. This is easier said than done, of course, but here are a few tips:
- Reach out and say something supportive to someone else. This makes us feel good. It can be a text, an email, a Facebook post or a good old-fashioned phone call. Any time we connect, it makes us feel better.
- Pay attention to the moments in your day that make you smile. It might be something like seeing a dog with cute ears, or a friend reminding you of a good memory, or someone letting you go first at a four-way stop. When we smile, we feel better. It’s a scientific fact.
- Before bed, look back at your day and give thanks for five things that happened. If you pray, thank God in your prayers. If you meditate, meditate on these positive things. If you tend to just watch TV and go to sleep, take one minute to silence the TV and list off five things that you are thankful for in that day. Trust me. It works!
- Pet an animal or give someone a hug. Those of us who are animal lovers know how connecting with an animal makes us feel good. If you don’t have access to an animal or you are not an animal lover, hug another human being. The connection will make you both feel good.
- Lastly, tell yourself one thing you were proud of in your day. We are NOT good at this. We forget to tell ourselves what we’ve done well and instead beat ourselves up for doing things wrong. It’s OK to not be perfect! And it is certainly OK to praise yourself for doing something well.