Your mental health is very vital to your being and it shapes the course of your life. In fact you can keep falling sick if your mental health is poor, your immunity may likely be affected if your mental health is poor…. The bible even says it:
A merry, (cheerful, happy) heart (state of mind) does good, like medicine(it releases the happy hormones, refreshes you and strengthens your immunity), But a broken spirit(unhappiness, depression, worries and anxieties)dries the bones (makes you sick) Proverbs 17:22 (the parenthesis are my words).
The access to your mental health is your mind, access to your mind is your thoughts and of course you know what forms your thoughts. When your mind is filled with depressing and fearful stuff, you will over time start living in fear, and start having some funny thoughts of ending your life.
No wonder the bible says in Proverbs 4:23 Guard (Protect) your heart (mind) with diligence (consciously)for out of it is the issues of life. (the parenthesis are my words)
You need to intentionally protect your mind from certain things and certain information.
I tell people, when someone or people keep telling you stuff about how they had a dream and saw you dead, or saw you sick, or saw you in a horrible state…..every freaking time even after you have prayed, they keep coming with same information month to month…… When you realise its beginning to mess with your mind try to shut out those voices (you are guarding your mind and that is an instruction from the bible)
During the lekki toll gate shooting, I kept watching videos and going thru all the news and stuff until it started messing up my mind and I lost it. I had to talk to a therapist for the first time in my life. I had to stop watching the videos or following the news online, stayed over at the hospital (cos I stay alone in my house and that wasn’t a good idea for me).
Listen, when you are stable mentally, you will be highly productive. This is why I advocate for people to take out time and give themselves a treat as often as they can, release those Happy hormones…..
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY MENTAL HEALTH?
1. Take a walk, in the early hours of the morning or in the evening. This helps ease off stress. Sometimes, I take a walk around my neighborhood whenever I am so overwhelmed and it helps alot.
2. Take road trips either to parks or cinemas or your favourite places. From experience, this has helped me in the past. While I was still in school, I would walk into malls just to window shop. The first day I went to a park, I felt so light and stress relieved after all the fun activities of the day.
3. Take a drive. This I did when I was in Europe…. (I haven’t tried it in Lagos because the traffic can add to your wahala). So when I am a little stressed out mentally, I get into my car and drive around the town with no particular destination.
4. Eat healthy…. When you eat the right food no matter how little it is, there is this satisfaction you feel from inside. That is the feeling you get when the happy hormones are released.
5. Exercise: this keeps both your body and mind in shape
6. Ask for help: Yes, in our society today we hardly come across trusted help. Hence a lot of people prefer dying in silence for fear of being blackmailed or taken advantage of. Now permit me to let you in on something, asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness. You need to find professionals you can talk to, or anyone you can trust and tell them when you have these depressing thoughts so they walk you through it.
7. Have a good sleep.…. Stress most times can cause insomnia (loss of sleep). When you are stressed, you need to intentionally get a good sleep. Most times when I am stressed, I turn my phones off and sleep. (NOTE: I turn my phones off because I my self have ways of dealing with stress and I can’t hurt myself in anyway).
8. Be connected…. Have a group of friends or just someone who you can call up at anytime and they are available. If you have the tendency of hurting yourself when you are stressed, kindly call this individual and either you go stay with them or you have them over. DO NOT isolate yourself whenever you are stressed.
9. Avoid alcohol….. Alot of people see alcohol as a ‘stress get away mechanism’ and to achieve this, they consume a lot of alcohol at a time, way above the safe recommendation unit for a day (a bottle of beer or a glass of wine). This to them may get them tipsy and temporarily unaware of their worries for a while, but the health damages might be grievous at the same time. Using alcohol as a stress get away will only lead you further to a Substance Abuse Disorder.
10. Take a break from Technology.…. Stay away from social media, tv etc. Go swimming or Play games (card games, board games etc)….
11. Find out activities you love doing and do more of them whenever you are stressed. I love watching cartoons, writing, driving (to mention a few). Sometimes when I am stressed, I do more of these things and I feel relaxed in the process.
12. Meditation and breathing exercises... You can take a few moments to connect with yourself and address whatever you are facing, when you do the meditation and breathing exercises. Take deep breaths and meditate.
Thanks – Dr Kelechi Williams
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