1.Take good care of your health– eat healthy foods, exercise, drink alcohol with moderation, sleep enough, use relaxation techniques e.g. yoga, deep breathing, meditation to relieve stress and achieve a sense of calmness and balance.
2.Build and maintain healthy relationships and re-evaluate your negative destructive relationships – good relationships form a good emotional, practical and cognitive support system. Close, confiding and reciprocal relationships provide a safe haven in which you can reveal your inner struggles, vulnerabilities and ask for help. Relationships and being a part of a group gives a sense of belonging, stability and help fulfil your needs. Healthy relationships are important to our healthy mental state. They have been linked to greater life satisfaction, higher motivation, perseverance, coping abilities, control, less loneliness and fewer feelings of inferiority and/or inadequacy.
3.Find greater meaning and direction in your life– When we feel that our life has purpose, meaning and that we are directed by something that is meaningful and greater than ourselves, then we feel connected to others, ourselves and our environment. We also go through life with hope, awareness, harmony, motivation, direction, strength, passion and compassion.
4.Stop to smell the roses– live consciously in the present and not on an automatic pilot. Focus on the here and now(mindfulness could help with that). Pay attention to whatever is happening around you and within you. Savour and appreciate even the littlest positive things that happen ,which could bring you pleasure e.g the first sip of a really good coffee in the morning, a soft cold breeze on a hot day or a smile.
5.Set realistic goals and standards– find the optimum level when you set goals. Set it high enough to be an accomplishment and challenging and at the same time not in a level that is improbable and impossible to achieve. Your goal should not become too overwhelming, frustrating, demoralizing and devastating to your self-worth and self- efficacy. When setting the rules and standards, be careful not to fall into the vicious cycle of perfectionism as it will have damaging effects on your well-being too.
6.Challenge yourself– It is important to have and strengthen the sense of mastery in your life. Learn new skills or further develop exiting one, get out of the box and have a new experience, broaden your horizons and set yourself new goals. Try to invest at least 1 hour a day on challenging yourself. Challenging yourself will raise your self-efficacy, self-esteem, a sense of contentment, personal growth and achievements.
7.Give yourself a hour daily to have down and/or play time– to experience positive emotions and achieve more emotional balance in your life, you need to do things that make you happy, feel good, give you pleasure or comfort, promote tranquillity and/or add fun in your life.
8.Express gratitude– Gratitude is about being conscious of, appreciating and savouring even the smallest positive elements in our lives. Take a few minutes every day and list 5 things that you are grateful for. You can write it down in a journal and use it as a perspective and a reflective tool, especially in difficult times.
9.Reduce your inner critic and boost your self- compassion.
10.Talk about your feelings– expressing your emotions instead of denying, avoiding and suppressing them promotes good mental health. Additionally emotions can be expressed by writing, art, music, dance, sports, walking through nature etc
11.Strengthen your self-esteem: Pointing out the negative probably goes automatically for you but make sure you also think of at least 5 of your strengths, attributes, capacities, characteristics, virtues, skills and achievements every day. Nurturing your strengths can bring happiness and more satisfaction in your life. Learn to identify unhelpful thoughts that reduce your self-esteem and challenge them. Develop a realistic, accurate and balanced self-talk and compliment yourself when you deserve it. Don’t forget to be assertive!
12.Care about other people and help others– Helping others leads to physiological changes that promote calmness and happiness. It helps us put things in perspective in our own life, especially when we help those who are less fortunate than us and thus it increases gratitude, positive perceptions, positive emotions and it can even reduce stress and worries. Helping others also gives a sense of belonging, control, boosts optimism and improves confidence.
13.Deal with stress– know what causes you to feel stress and what you need to do to better cope with that stressor. Being aware of your triggers can enhance your coping ability during difficult times. Plan ahead, challenge negative thoughts, problems solve, manage and regulate your emotions, re-examine your resources and life style and adjust accordingly. Learn to accept and adapt to changes as it is inevitable part of life. Accept the things that you cannot change and focus on those parts of life of which you have more control, can solve and change.
14.Learn to regulate and manage your negative emotions e.g. anger, anxiety etc– inability to do so will form a toxic obstacle in your own path, in your relationships with others and in the long term can also impact your health.
15.Ask for help when you need it