Saturday was World Mental Health Day. Whole Person Associates would like to present the following in response to the reminder that we all need to care for our mental health.
Some people are more optimistic than others and see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. The half-full folks are optimists. Their ability to look at the world in an optimistic manner helps them maintain their mental health. As an optimist, regardless of transitions, setbacks, or disappointments, the person looks at the bright side and sees the possibilities life has to offer. Optimists expect good things to happen, expect to be able to solve problems efficiently, and plan to accomplish their life and work goals. They go through life with positive outlooks and are content most of the time.
What is your outlook on life? Answer these questions to find out.
- Do you believe yourself to be an optimist or pessimist? Why do you believe this?
- How long have you been an optimist or pessimist? What brought this worldview on?
- How did your childhood affect the way you view the world?
- How can you begin to view the world in an even more positive light?
- Think of a time when you viewed a situation as negative, and yet, something positive came out of it?
Click here for a link to a printable version of this exercise, Life Outlook.
Can you change your attitude on life? Try these suggestions or click here for a printable copy of Reconstructing My Attitude.
When you find yourself getting stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, what is one method you can try to restructure your thinking from pessimistic to optimistic?
Consider the situation, as an example, of going back to school.
- When you feel yourself becoming negative, identify your negative thoughts: “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” “Everyone will be much younger than me,” “I have not been to school in such a long time.”
- Think about the accuracy of your statements. What is the proof they are accurate? When you look at them objectively, what do you learn?
- Think of positive ways to restructure these thoughts. “If other people can go back to college so can I,” “I will be more experienced than many of the other students,” “It’s never too late to learn,” “I deserve the benefits of going back to school.”
- Take action: “I will go to the school on Friday and pick up an application. I will complete it over the weekend and search online for information about financial aid.”
The article and exercises above were excerpted from The Building Resiliency Workbook by Ester Leutenberg and John Liptak, EdD.
There are signs to look for if you or someone around you is showing evidence of early signs of a mental health problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
Retrieved from: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health on 10/10/20.
What should you do if you notice these signs in yourself or someone else? Click on the link above for some helpful information.