How to Improve your mental Strength – don’t do these five thingsIdes Ofune 25th March 2019 0 COMMENTS
As we make our way through life’s journey, we encounter challenges that may knock us down and affect our mental health. Some habits will not help us be productive and could slow your progress down. Mental health has become a major focus especially for young people today. This may be induced by societal pressure, cultural challenges or our very own expectations. The first step to do is recognise these self limiting behaviours and learn stop them. Stop doing the following things:
Don’t Compare yourself with others: everyone has his/her own individual journey which is different and unique. Your life is yours alone and you must learn to focus on your own goals. In the world of social media today where it seems everyone is doing fine, there is the temptation to feel like you are not doing as well as others. That’s a very wrong way to judge your progress. Life is in seasons and that person may be in the harvesting season while you are in your planting where there is a lot of work to do, so stop comparing. If you compare, you will feel down and you may start over thinking issues. This will affect your mental health which in turn will make you unproductive thereby affecting your progress. You may get caught up in the vicious cycle of mental health challenges. Run your individual race and like we say in Nigeria, focus on your focus.
Don’t doubt yourself: there are many goals that you want to accomplish but you see yourself as not talented or educated enough to do them. That’s a very false way of looking at yourself. The key to overcoming self doubt is to do it afraid. Yes, you acknowledge your shortcomings but they shouldn’t stop you from taking that step. Yes, you are afraid you may fail, but still go ahead and do it. The more you do, the more the self doubts erode and the more you build your confidence. In the night when driving, the road ahead always seem very dark until you move your vehicle with the headlamp on. Continue moving your vehicle of life. Doubts should never stop you from proceeding with that goal. Do it afraid!
Don’t blame yourself for negative situations: in hindsight, every situation could have been done better. If you take stock of things after completion, you will realise that – you could have studied harder, networked better, made more friends, slept a little late, woke up a little earlier, never have given someone a chance etc. Yes it is true, but don’t blame yourself. If you do, you will be damaging your mental health. At that point in time, you did what you could do given the circumstances. Even if you had given your “best”, life could happen and the situation may still have turned out negative. Move on from them and don’t internalise the mistakes or soak up all negativity. Just learn from them and move on. Don’t play the blame game on yourself!
Don’t internalise other people’s negative situation: letting other people’s situation affect your life is one of life’s greatest mistakes. For example, a very smart person you know failed at a business venture or exam. Don’t let that affect you or make you start thinking you won’t succeed simply because he failed. Don’t own that situation because it’s not yours. You are different and you respond to situations differently. Go with the mentality that “your case is different”.
Don’t be perfect: this is a cliche but it works. The moment you start wanting to be perfect, that is when you start damaging your mental health. If you have it at the back of your mind that you are not perfect, you will forgive yourself easily when you make mistakes or do that thing you thought you could never do. You should strive towards perfection but always give yourself room for making mistakes. That way, you keep your mental health balanced and you have a healthy dose of recommended self esteem needed to live a positive prosperous life
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Ides Ofune is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on civil society and accountability in improving the quality of education. She is the founder of Desert Bloom Initiative and editor of Desert Bloom Advisory. Ides is very passionate about education and creating an inclusive society. She speaks French and English fluently. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org