Seven Thinking Habits & Approaches for Mental Wellbeing

Socrates once said, “Care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.”

His wisdom holds significance in today’s era of heightened awareness surrounding self-care practices, amplified by social media platforms. I often refer to self-care as not just another means for distress alleviation but also to recognise it as a fundamental act of self-preservation for good health keeping in general, requiring effort making.

In that respect, at AltMindShift through our Employee Wellbeing Programs, we often help people to address self-care holistically within themselves.

What does that mean? In psychological studies, we recognise that caring for the Self will work in limited ways if it stays limited to physical care activities while we are ignoring other aspects of the Self like – investing in mental care and spiritual care (spiritually, one can have personalized religious or non-religious practices that serve meaning to an individual). So, taking nature walks, or exercising are great physical care habits, but in order to nurture wellbeing holistically, cultivating mental care practices alongside become essential.

For example, someone might be taking out alone time, watching a movie, planning a day out and so on, but is still struggling to address their workplace anxiety or a relationship pain-point because all those physical activities are not directly addressing dysfunctional thinking related to the problem area, but providing relief in other areas, helping one to feel better.

Here’s some mental-care reflections to include in one’s self-care routine:

  • What am I thinking?
  • What am I feeling?
  • Where am I stuck in my thoughts with my problem area?
  • Where am I being rigid in my attitude?
  • What will I need to start thinking differently in order to achieve my goals?

And here are 7 broader Wellbeing Approaches or Practices that can help to tie caring for oneself together:

  1. Going Deeper, Not Suppressing –  Cultivating the ability to press pause, go inward without blocking difficult emotions when they are experienced and prioritising self- awareness. Whether it comes through journal writing or recording voice notes of your thoughts – engaging in reflection can help a great deal.
  2. Recognising Functional Negative Emotions –  Making space for healthy negative emotions such as sadness, disappointment, or concern in handling day-to-day challenges, and refraining from the impulse to instantly remedy it with positive emotions. This teaches us to cultivate emotional intelligence.
  3. Choosing Approach Behaviors to Problem Solve –  If avoidance is  becoming goal-defeating, it is useful to challenge it. Persistent avoidance can reinforce anxious thinking or cognitive distortions like jumping to conclusions, black or white thinking about people or outcomes, or emotional reasoning leading to more distress among other distortions. It takes effort to catch oneself doing this.
    1. For example – someone is wanting to clear the air out with a person and express what they found upsetting but instead they end up choosing to keep shut on it consistently, out of the fear of conflict or things going ugly, making communication anxious and avoidant for them over time.
  4. Embracing Vulnerability in Outcomes –  Allowing oneself to fail or struggle, acknowledging mistakes, and embracing the learning process as integral to personal growth – relinquishing the absolute need for control. A lot of people struggle with acceptance of limitations without making it about oneself or accepting limitations without catastrophising the future ‘if they let loose some reigns‘, despite awareness of anxious thinking styles.
  5. Breaking Free from Rumination –  Habitual recurring thoughts about a past situation or brooding over how one could have done something better over and over again like playing out a movie in the mind, keeps resentment, frustration or hurt alive and minimizes the intention to move past it, interfering directly.
  6. Assuring Self –  Affirming one’s inherent capacity to figure things out, learn and navigate uncertainty, even when you don’t have all the answers can help to reduce anxious thoughts about the future and can promote emotional regulation.
  7. Choosing Therapy –  Finally, I can’t stress enough on the benefits of considering therapy as a part of holistic self-care and wellbeing practice for oneself, or helping a loved one to get there, or bringing in credible EAPs for workplace teams, so that individuals can get to their goals more effectively and recognise inner resistance or gaps in solutionising.

 

To conclude here I’d say, fostering mental well-being involves identifying and addressing thought patterns that contribute to overall mental health. By embracing these attitudinal philosophies and committing to self-care practices, individuals can nurture a more resilient and balanced mental landscape.

 

If you found this article beneficial or relatable and are interested in learning more about or EAPs, please reach out to us on this Contact Form to arrange a meeting today.

 

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Rajita Ramachandram

About the Writer:

Rajita Ramachandram

Founder & Head Psychotherapist (practicing for 15 years)

Corporate Wellbeing Consultant,

Emotional Intelligence Speaker,

Associate Fellow of Albert Ellis Institute, NY, USA,

AltMindShift.

+91-9967035943

 

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