The NHS identifies the main ingredients of mental wellbeing as connection, staying active, always learning, giving to others, and being mindful.
How are you unknowingly sabotaging these steps?
[Worried your mental wellbeing is out of control? Need to talk? Book with one of our Skype therapists today, get help as soon as tomorrow.]
1. Being ‘friends’ with everybody.
We all know that unhealthy romantic relationships are not good for us. But what about friendships?
The key element of connection means we need to be able to be our real selves with those around us, and to feel we are accepted.
So we need to have proper friendships where we can actually relax and trust.
If you are not sure if you are or are not in good company, read our article on “Toxic Friendships”.
2. Spending all your time trying to impress others.
How can anyone connect to us properly if we are so busy trying to impress them, we are never our real selves?
Our mental wellbeing immediately improves when we learn to be authentic. We gain back all the energy we were wasting trying to be someone else.
3. Just going along with things.
It can feel easy to just go along with what those around you are doing. You convince yourself that actually, you love working at an insurance company despite your degree in museum studies, and yoga is important even if the classes feel endless to you.
And then you slowly start staying home more, and watching more TV. You feel numb, but tell yourself you are just tired from work.
We think we are just boring, or mildly depressed, or don’t like being active. But when we dare to figure out what we like, and do things despite what others around us think? Our energy returns. The mental wellbeing ingredient of ‘staying active‘ becomes easy.
4. Going against your values.
Not actually sure what brings you joy?
Too many of us lead our lives by the values of those around us – our family, our social groups.
Discovering your real personal values means you suddenly know exactly what you do and don’t like.
5. ‘Chillaxing’ a bit TOO much.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of television, or reading before bed.
But if you are using certain habits to escape facing up to yourself, others, and life? You are actually avoiding learning, a crucial part of mental wellbeing.
We need to face up to things to learn, including our uncomfortable feelings and thoughts.
Look out for habits like spending all your free time lost in romance and fantasy novels, watching hours of TV or films a day, and too many video games.
6. Being a ‘yes’ person.
Here’s the funny thing about never saying no and never setting healthy boundaries.
We think we are the ‘giving type‘. But actually, we aren’t giving at all, but manipulating. We are helping in order to receive – to get approval, self-esteem, a future payback.
The more we say no to things we don’t like, the more energy we have to take care of ourselves. The more we take care of ourselves, the better we feel.
And it’s when we feel good about who we are that we naturally start to help others, because we actually have the energy to spare. So the wellbeing ingredient of ‘giving to others‘ actually starts with giving to ourselves first.
7. Control freaking about your future.
Yes, goals and dreams are good for our mental health. They give us hope and keep us active.
But being so caught up in a future we actually can’t control means we miss what is right in front of us. And if we are not in the present moment we tend to not to see our true needs, or notice what others around us are thinking and feeling. Our relationships and self care suffer.
Find being present hard? Read our free ‘Guide to Mindfulness‘. It’s proven to reduce stress and increase general wellbeing.
What’s the easiest way back to mental wellbeing?
Yes, nowadays self-help books are plentiful, and there are many free tools for mental wellbeing that really work.
But they are all made easier if we have support.
The support of a coach, counsellor, or psychotherapist can mean serious mental health issues are avoided. You might even discover that you had underestimated the level of wellbeing you were capable of.
Harley therapy puts you in touch with some of London’s top counsellors and therapists. Not in London? Use our booking platform to find talk therapy near you, or try Online therapy no matter where you might live in the world.
Have a question about how to protect your mental wellbeing? Post in the comment box below.