Updated: Jun 12, 2018
You spend time focusing on going to the doctor when there is a cough or a fever but what about your mental health. While more people are seeing therapy, more than 30 percent of people who suffer from depression, still do not receive treatment. By simply purging your past, you can reduce stress and anxiety which can also alleviate some of the physical issues you may be experiencing.
What I mean by purging your past is not simply to “move on”. That is what a lot of articles would tell you but you have to do the work.
1. Forgive your wrong doers (including yourself)
The first thing you must do is make a list of all the people you feel have wronged you and why. Then, it is important to forgive them. In my book, 28 Days to Happy, I recommend writing them a letter and then burning the letters. (send them if you dare) It is also important that you forgive yourself for anything and everything up to today. Start the next phase off with a clean slate and let your past experiences be the lessons that help you make different decisions going forward.
2. Set Realistic Goals
When setting goals, it is easy to focus on what you want to accomplish but the first step is actually to acknowledge where you currently are. REALLY ARE! Here is where the “H” in the H.A.P.P.Y. principle is useful. When you Hear Your Truth, you admit where you really are personally, professionally, financially, and spiritually and build a plan from your true reality. Goal setting on a false reality will only produce false results. Success will come when you plan based on a solid foundation.
3. Say No
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….No is a complete sentence. We get caught up in trying to spare someone’s feelings by explaining our decisions but no explanation is required. You do what you do for your reasons. However, to make things easier, if you use the ACT method, you may feel better about saying no. Acknowledge their request, Communicate your situation and what you need to do first, then Tell them when/if you can help them.
4. Avoid Self Medicating
It is easy to over eat, over drink, get every OTC medication on the market to quickly achieve whatever you are trying to achieve but stop it. The best medicine on the market today is sleep, exercise, and laughter.
You may think you don’t need eight hours of sleep per night and maybe you don’t but chances are you need more than you are getting. A great way to catch up is to have one day when you sleep until your eyes open. Exercise is another one that even I say Yuk Yuk Yuk! To this I say, just move around. Dance while you clean, walk further to the door, or simply walk a couple of miles a day and let that be the end of it. Lastly, laugh. Comedy shows, comedy television, YouTube, and really just laugh at all the silliness that happens out in the world. The next time you want to get mad at something stupid someone did, just laugh at it. It’s good for your health.
5. Ask What and Why?
Before committing to something or someone, ask yourself, what do I want to get out of it and why am I doing it. I recently signed up for an event and as the date approached, I asked myself, why am I going? What do I want to get out of the experience? Is it personal, professional, or simply fun and social? I couldn’t answer the question. I even researched the event to remind myself why I opted to go. Still no spark. I ultimately decided not to go and worked on some things that were on my mind. I felt great. I got to relax at home and I was productive in the process. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, especially if there is no financial investment.
In addition to these five habits, mentally well people also seek help when they need it. Confiding in a good friend or going all the way and getting a good therapist is extremely important. In today’s climate, it is mission critical that you incorporate good mental well being as much as you include balanced eating and exercise in your routine.
To learn other tools or discuss coaching, go to www.thehabitofhappy.com and see all the upcoming live events and other opportunities coming soon.