Little Things You Can Do To Help Yourself

MentalHealthDay

I know how easy it is to get stuck in the negative circular thinking and self-talk. When I say I’m resting, I’m often not resting in the slightest bit. I may not be doing anything physically demanding, but my brain seems to be going a million miles per hour, which can be absolutely exhausting. So…for my post today, I’m just going to tap into some things that we can do to make ourselves a little less miserable and a little bit happier. After all, who actually enjoys the emotional roller coaster that negativity brings?!

» Make a list
Sometimes we’re stuck doing something that we just cant grasp or don’t enjoy at all. If you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t be doing it! So make a list of some things you want to do that will make you happy or put you in a more positive mindset!
For me, this would spending more time reading and/or studying for my passion: neuroscience & medicine

» Take a walk
I’m not talking about a mile or two, but around the block or so. Do you have extra time on your lunch break? You should at least walk around in the parking lot, or down the street and back. And don’t contemplate it. Don’t give yourself time to think, “Is this something I want to actually do?” Get up and start before giving yourself a moment for contemplation.

» Write down what you’re grateful for
Some people don’t believe this actually works, but I do. Humans are prone to negative thinking, giving us the opportunity to ready our defense mechanisms, and it is difficult to come out of once you’re in that mindset. A gratitude list can shift your focus to the things you currently have, enjoy, or are thankful for, giving you the opportunity to have a much more positive mindset for the time being. By building a gratitude list on a regular basis, you’re rewiring the connections in your brain and shifting your focus from negative outlooks (such as a negative comment) to more positive outlooks (such as the 3 compliments you received around the same time as the negative comment).
Watch this TEDx video on Rewiring Your Brain

» Visit a friend or family member
I don’t know about you, but when I am at my lowest points, I am often isolating myself from the outside world as well. Sometimes, we just need to get out of that isolation. The isolation gives us the opportunity for our minds to run rampant without any intervention. By visiting a friend or family member (or calling them), your focus is shifted away from your obsessive thoughts. You don’t even have to tell them how you’re feeling! All you have to do is be around them and communicate about things you both enjoy. Even just watching a movie is better than isolation!
I am guilty of isolating myself and I live at home. I love my bedroom and I love to not be around people, but I’ve found that sometimes, I just need to sit with my mom on the couch and watch Animal Planet. By that point, I usually feel much better. Who doesn’t feel better after watching kittens and puppies!!

» Be creative
Some individuals aren’t creatively inclined, and that’s absolutely okay; maybe creativity isn’t for you! People often use creativity as a form of self expression, putting their emotions into what they’re creating. From painting, drawing, and photography, to graphic design or baking, many things can be used as creative outlets!

» Go somewhere that you associate with positivity
My dad instilled this in me ever since I was diagnosed with major depression. If you’re inside your home or aren’t doing anything, but are just consumed with negativity; take a drive! For some people, the beach and sounds of the waves is calming. For others, the mall might be just as calming. I do have to warn you, though, excessive and impulsive spending can have the opposite effect; so my advice is to just window shop and look around. People watching can be fun as well!

» Allow yourself to grieve privately
Sometimes, you really need to just cry and not run away from your inevitable emotions that will not wither away if you ignore them. Personally, I can feel much better after a bout of tears, especially if it’s been a while since I’ve last been extremely upset (I tend to repress things). Also, movies or TV shows that evoke extreme emotions are just as powerful for me. For example, Grey’s Anatomy is an emotional roller coaster. As someone who is extremely empathetic, I can feel the emotions just as if it were my own while I watch this show. (Neurobiology can attest to this on a neuronal level) And sometimes, events in the show can give me a different perspective on an event in my own life that I’m coping with. Either way, allow yourself to cry! It does not mean that you are weak, even if you’re male. Humans are emotional creatures and we need to understand and accept that as a whole and stop judging others who show emotion.

» Journal

Even if it isn’t on a regular basis, a journal entry can be extremely beneficial. Sometimes, we can have difficulty understanding what we’re feeling or why we feel a certain way. Writing everything out can give you some answers and your emotions can be seen more clearly so that you are able to properly deal with them. Journaling can also give you perspective, whether it be connections that you were unaware of or even revealing something that you’re simply overthinking.
I can’t even begin to explain how many journals I’ve had throughout my life that document my struggles, but are half or more than half empty. I can have 2 weeks where I regularly journal and then I’ll stop for a long period of time. I usually only journal during my darkest moments, which explains the brief & common breaks in between.


I hope you’ve gotten something out of this blog post and I can only wish you positivity and happiness. As usual, I am always so grateful to those who read my posts!

xoxo
AllyNikk/Allison

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