Congratulations! You have reached the fourth (?) article in the series of “I Have No Idea What I’m Talking About, But I Don’t Care.” The year is 2019, and I figure it’s about time that we all collectively stop trying to “end the stigma” that surrounds mental health and start improving mental wellbeing for ourselves. The ideas in this article may seem a bit like tough love, but they are not meant to harm, offend, or hurt anyone’s feelings.
Here are some tips to improve your mental health in 2019:
Stop saying you want to die all the time
Seriously, though. I hear so many people talk about wanting to be dead, wanting to die, and just genuinely complaining about their lives. Cut it out. Sure it’s a fun joke and gimmick to have to complain about how awful everything is. But that can have pretty detrimental results on your mental wellbeing.
Why? The illusory truth effect. It is the idea of repeating something over and over again, and before you know it, you start to believe it. I learned about it in psychology when I was in high school. Repeating death jokes can sometimes trick the brain into not thinking it’s just a funny joke anymore. Of course, this is not everyone’s experience, and these jokes are funny in the right context. However, try to understand the potential gravity and toll these jokes are taking on your life.
Replace the “I want to die” phrases with a “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I grow from this?” types of questions when something difficult is remaining prevalent in your life.
Instead of telling death jokes, bite your tongue and count your blessings.
If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it
Yes, Marie is right on a lot of fronts. If it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. Get rid of those Instagram accounts that you follow because you tell yourself you want to “get cool ideas” or support a fellow friend or artist, but sometimes those things can have a weirdly negative toll on mental wellbeing. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to someone’s fictitious life on Instagram, get rid of it. If there is a toxic influence in your life, try to scale back that presence or power in a gentle way.
The same goes for things…. Just…. watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. You won’t regret it.
Stop listening to depressing music
This is a pretty easy step to take in improving your mental health. Here ya go, I made you a playlist. Please enjoy it. It’s called “Get Effing Happy” for… obvious reasons. It’s a good playlist of oldies and newbies that sound upbeat and cheery.
Focus on the positive
Every day, try to list 3 things you’re grateful for. If you can’t list any moments of gratitude, start listing things you learned. If you didn’t learn anything, well… figure something out. List three things that are positive.
Do that thing you’ve been wanting to do (within reason, of course)
If you wanted to start that new podcast, go for it. If you want to start writing a screenplay, why the hell haven’t you started yet? If you want to start a Nerf intramural sports league, you really should do that. It sounds really cool. Write those poems you’ve been too nervous to put on paper.
Consult a professional
Seriously, there is nothing better that you can do for yourself. Finding a therapist, either a professional psychologist or psychiatrist is well worth the money. There is nothing to be ashamed of in going to one. Everyone needs help sometimes. As a bonus, it’s a great way to talk about your life in a guided manner.
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