40 Health Experts Share Their Tips & Strategies For Optimizing Their Mental Health
We asked top influencers in health and wellness for their tips and insights on how to optimize their mental health. Here’s what they came up with.
Jill Lebeau, MFT
Taking care of our mental health is an important aspect of learning to love ourselves. In the same way we can build strong muscles through exercising, people can increase their resilience to negativity through exercising their mind. When thoughts arise that cause them to feel bad (anxious, depressed, resentful etc) they can practice decluttering those thoughts and instead, choose better feeling thoughts. This is not hard to do. As people become mindful of the thoughts they habitually think and exchange them for better feeling thoughts, they notice that they are starting to feel more hopeful. They are building their resilience to the habitual thoughts that were of a negative nature. Not only do they feel better, the very practice itself is fun! Resilience and confidence begin to strengthen which reinforces the practice. Within a relatively short time, the neural pathways in the brain begin to change, in support of the new practice of choosing healthier, happier thoughts.
Spiritual Psychotherapist and author who has been guiding her clients to live their dreams for more than 30 years. She loves helping others to create maximum success through minimal effort. Jill is always thrilled to teach people simple, powerful, FUN ways to turn their greatest challenges into their greatest opportunities.
I’ve found the best way to overcome negative thinking and difficult situations in your life is to always focus your attention on what is going right, instead of what is going wrong. An easy way to do this is to start the day being grateful for at least 5 things. And if you’re going through a difficult time in your list, meditate and reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself in this time and why you’re grateful for that learning. A daily practice of gratitude, meditation and positive thinking is really helpful for taking care of your mental health. You can also make it easier for yourself by exercising. After a workout, you’re much more likely to feel energetic, awake and are more likely to identify what you’re grateful for.
Joy Randolph is a Career and Wellness Coach for millennials who don’t know what to do next in their career. Through her coaching programes and blog she gets you clear on what job to do next in your career and how to live a healthier, happier and more meaningful life.
By instilling healthy habits we can basically replace old ones that don’t serve us. Rituals, daily practices, accountability partners, mentors and more are key to creating a supportive and structured manner. Meditation is a big part to first have awareness and know the mind so that we can assess where to start and how to move in our path towards reducing the amount of negative thoughts and increase self worth and positivity.
Arianne is a forward thinking yogi with over a decade of leading retreats, trainings, immersions and more. She is the creator of Bizzy Yogi Academy and the president of the Greater Miami Holistic Chamber of Commerce. Her goal is to empower spiritually minded, Yogi heart to embrace their impact on the world with businesses that give back health and wellness to the world.
A “resilience to negativity” is only one piece of a holistic look at mental health. My specialty is not necessarily “mindset,” although having a mindset that protects against absorbing negativity is certainly important. My specialty, rather, is the impact of biological balance on mental health — namely, improved gut health, balanced blood sugar, and reduced inflammation. Solving those underlying health issues has a huge impact on mental health, particularly gut health. The gut is directly linked with the brain — and is often referred to as the “second brain.” And, while restoring balance to those delicate systems may not “heal” mental health issues, they greatly impact depression, anxiety, stress management, mood issues, hormone balance, etc. In addition, 90% of serotonin (our mood-boosting hormone) is made in the gut. Without the proper gut balance (our microbiome), natural serotonin is not produced, which greatly impacts mental health and happiness. Let’s work to restore physical balance and emotional balance will follow.
WENDY BOST is a certified Health Coach and wellness advocate, helping people get healthy from the inside-out. Her focus is to restore balance internally by improving gut health, balancing blood sugar, and reducing inflammation. She helps her clients feel better, gain energy, lose symptoms, and return to their best health!
I believe the first step in acknowledging the negativity is recognizing the fear that comes with the feelings of wanting to withdraw from the world. Those fears cause us to seek shelter within, when n essence, we need to be reaching and seeking help from those who love, support and understand us. These beings provide a safe haven to face those fears and give the much needed love and attention the hurt person seeks. The flip side of this is the dilemma that many of us don’t have that support or sounding board to cheer us on to victory. To these individuals, it is crucial to seek forgiveness. First with self and then that forgiveness needs to be extended with a heartfelt urgency to forgive those that have wronged you. This forgiveness allows you to fully accept yourself as the wonderful being you truly are, and in turn, accept others for their imperfections as well, creating a cohesive understanding into true kindness toward others.
I am the owner of Body Health Coach, teaching others to live their best healthiest life through nourishment of mind, body and spirit.
From my experience and beliefs an holistic approach to health and wellbeing which involves taking care of your own biology and physiology first to bring about homeostasis. Having a diet consisting of high levels of micronutrients from local unprocessed organic foods, quality spring or reverse osmosis water, natural supplementation, consistent appropriate sun exposure to the eyes and skin and moving meaningfully every day. Once your bucket is steady and full, then being of service to others through your personal passion and skills is where I believe true fulfillment and mental resilience is built and sustained.
I am a certified health and wellness coach based in Melbourne, Australia. I believe in a multidisciplinary holistic approach to health and human development with a strong focus on quantum health principles, sleep, movement and nutrition
My favourite tool is keep a gratitude journal, every day, first thing in the morning I write down 3 things I am grateful for. At night, before going to sleep, I write down 3 amazing things that happened that day. It helps to start and end the day on a positive note.
Another great tip in my opinion is, unfollow or unfriend people on social media that you perceive as negative and instead follow more people and channels that spread positivity. Like that, when you are on social media, a positive vibe comes along.
And last, accept that being more positive is a process. If you have a day where you’re feeling down and taken over by negativity, it doesn’t mean that you failed. We are all human and have good and bad days, it’s about knowing ourselves well enough to know how to get out of a down phase.
An online Holistic Health Coach, helping people making sustainable changes to their nutrition and lifestyle. Loves to travel, practice yoga and cooking delicious, healthy recipes. Not to forget, Hip Hop & R’n’B fan and learning to play guitar. Currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.
The first thing you can do when you notice negativity either from someone else or within yourself is to know that feeling badly is not your natural state. Your inherent state is wellness, health, happiness, love, vitality and everything good. When you KNOW this to be your truth you can more easily disengage with any negative thoughts or situations and know that it’s a false belief that is making you feel badly. Understand that you are not responsible for making anyone else happy if they are in a negative mood or circumstance. Take care of yourself through your thoughts and perspectives, you always have the choice to decide how you want to feel, so choose to be strong enough to demand that you get to feel good.
Jodi Bullock is a holistic food rebel. She is a health coach and digestive expert showing people the power of healing through foods, thoughts and mindset and is currently writing a cookbook and filming her online cooking show.
Disconnect. From the internet, from social media, and from outside influences. Take time for yourself and just be with yourself.
You can’t possibly know how you feel about yourself and how you can heal or improve, if you don’t take the time to really get to know yourself again without the filter of the pressures of society and the comparisons from social media.
How do YOU feel? Why do YOU feel this way? What do YOU want? Why? How will it benefit YOU? Make sure your responses don’t involve other people.
Once you really take the time for you, you’ll be confident in yourself and you won’t worry about what anybody else has to say about you. Self-love is the biggest piece in learning to be resilient to your surrounding negativity.
Stefani is a wife, mama, & blogger at The Crafty Christian who encourages healthy family habits & natural healing from chronic illnesses. She is a Certified Children & Family Health Coach, autoimmune & Lyme warrior, and enjoys cooking paleo & gluten free recipes to keep her family healthy.
I track my heart rate variability (different than just heart rate) using an app called Daily Beat. This gives the state of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, which tells me what my stress levels, willpower and resilience is for that day. If it’s low, I’m extra careful about putting myself into challenging situations.
Marcey Rader: Not. Like. The Others. Sure, an accomplished corporate climber, entrepreneur, coach, and speaker. Yes, founder of the Work Well. Play More!® Institute. Indeed, best-selling author of two books and creator of an online course. And yep, regularly featured in media outlets. Marcey hearts healthy, balanced productivity and might be the most fun friend you ever meet on your journey to professional greatness.
By understand the limiting beliefs that are hindering our mindsets, we can begin to replace those with universal truths.
One of the best ways to do that is to spend 15-30 minutes each day doing personal development. This can look like reading books, listening to podcasts, meeting with a mentor or coach, etc. The main idea is that you are feeding your mind with truth and positive affirmations every single day so that you can take control of how you think and live.
One of the best ways to care for our mental health is to implement a regular self-care routine that includes nourishing food, movement and other wellness practices.
We often think of exercise and nutritious food as “punishment” for what we ate due to the pervasive body-image-obsessed culture created by the diet and fitness industry. However, if we begin to look at these practices as self-care their purpose begins to look a lot different.
When you care well for yourself, your mental health will naturally heal.
Rachel is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach who equips and empowers women to eat, move and live well through her daily 6 Power Habits™. Rachel is a passionate outdoor adventurer, anti-diet advocate and the creator of Summit Fit Academy™ where she empowers women to create habits that help them reclaim energy, balance hormones and find the adventure their souls crave.
For anyone who yearns to improve her or his mental state, a brilliant starting point is to be able to think about, or have an image of, or perhaps even an emotional connection with that state. Think about it. If you (or the patient or client) can imagine what is possible to avoid negativity and improve the state of your mental health, you are that much closer to taking definitive steps toward getting results that will help you feel better.
Here are five keys to build resilience to negativity and take care of your mental health.
1. Work with a skilled friend, counselor, or coach who will listen as you name your desired outcome. Let’s say that what you want is to be free from intense family drama. Or perhaps, you desire to feel more connected to your family and reverse the conflict. Maybe you want to get relief from negative self-talk and become your own best friend. Get help and put forth the effort to give language to this desire.
2. Practice embodiment disciplines. Get the energy moving in your body and avoid being sedentary. Activities like stretching, a brisk walk, a refreshing bike ride, throwing a Frisbee for your dog, and hula-hooping in your back yard are all ways to awaken your body and to improve your mental state. Doing this daily will help you feel more alive, more in touch with your physical body, and help you enjoy an improved mental state.
3. Identify the triggers and learn to navigate around them. As I write this, Thanksgiving is one week away. ‘Tis the season to avoid negative friends and family members. ‘Tis the season to avoid getting into discussions that you know, based on the past, leave you feeling upset or tense. Another trigger might look like being around a critical parent. Surely you can step outside of that parent’s web or negativity and set some boundaries. This can be done verbally by stating your limits, or you can do this by stepping away and limiting your time together. Food, drink, stress, money, relationships, and work are examples of triggers around which we can modify our behavior in order to feel better on purpose.
4. Connect with loving and supportive friends and family. The current research across many fields of mental and spiritual well-being points to the importance of giving and receiving both love and help. Isolation is an enormous stressor. The opposite is to pick up the phone, make a coffee or walking date, and in some way to reach out to people who you love, trust, and who love and trust you back. Social media does not count. You may need to get out of your comfort zone in order to call a friend with whom you have not spoken in a while. Open your heart and mind to allow this connection to soothe and heal you. Reciprocity reigns supreme here as you give the love and healing energy back to someone else.
5. Have a variety of ways to soothe yourself that do not include food or alcohol. When the stress hits the fan, or, better yet, before the stress hits the fan, having a few “go-to” ways for you to relax, unwind, and clear your mind are life-savers. Literally, they can save your life by helping you avoid the build-up of stress and inflammation in your body that happen when you neglect taking care of yourself. These self-soothing activities can be simple, like taking a hot bath , taking a yoga class, practicing a breathing meditation, or getting a massage. The point is that you stay on top of how you feel, reference back to what you identified in number one, and practice, practice, practice.
Remind yourself daily that you are worthy of filling your own tank and putting time, energy, and intention into your mental state. By including your spiritual, physical, and even psychological state, you have your bases covered. It’s fun (and sometimes hard work, but worth it) to actually witness the results of your own efforts and intentions. Love the one you are with. In any situation, that will always be yourself.
Rosie Bank is the Founder of Health Matters Coaching and is the author of Health Matters. Rosie is a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, helping her clients throughout the US. Rosie teaches her clients and students to love their bodies and to get their bodies to love them back.
Setting aside regular time for self-care is a powerful way to build up your feelings of wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem, and in turn your resilience to negativity. Connect with your desire to be your healthiest, best self, and use that as motivation to make time to care for your mental health, as well as your physical body, in the ways that feel best to you.
Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.
Negativity can only effect us if we choose to accept the faulty message that we may hear. We have to try to tell ourselves these messages ourselves for them to have any effect on our mental health. If we want wellbeing we must choose positive messages that are true to who we are and that always feel good when we affirm them.
I am one of the top Nutritionists’ and Diet coaches in the fitness field. I coach pro athletes on diet and success. I am also an IFBB professional league judge.
Spending time outdoors. You’ll be surprised what a brisk walk outside can do for your mental health. It’s a good chance to cut off from any outside influence while pumping your blood and getting those lovely endorphins flowing. Whenever I’m feeling down or blue, I lace up my sneakers and take a walk in the neighborhood. I am almost always guaranteed to come back feeling much better about everything. Nature really is the best medicine.
Katelyn Davis is owner and founder of Holistic Katelyn, where she specializes in women’s health. She’s a birth doula and certified women’s health coach and believes in empowering women to be the best versions of themselves in all stages of their lives. Through conception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and beyond, Katelyn believes in taking a holistic approach to wellness.
Reiki is a healing energy that is easy to access by anyone by taking a weekend class. Reiki is applied through the hands and can be given to oneself or to others. It releases negative emotional energy and replaces it with healthy positive personal energy that supports well being on all levels. The energy feels like a warm soothing glow that flows through you, releasing stress and promoting self-confidence and feelings of safety and trust in life.
Reiki Master with 28 years experience giving sessions and teaching classes all over the world. Having trained with seven Reiki masters and always learning and sharing including being editor of the Reiki News Magazine, and president of the Reiki Membership Association, the Reiki Research Association and founder of the International Center for Reiki Training www.reiki.org
Our brains are always scanning for anything negative. This feature was developed to keep us safe, but also causes us to focus on what we don’t want.
Living in this negative state leads to worry, anxiety and a lack of resilience.
One thing I know for sure, what we think about defines who we are.
Our thoughts guide our actions. So, one of the best ways to change your mental state is to change what you believe about yourself.
Change the identity you have built around yourself.
For example, let’s say you want to boost your health.
Step One- Start by creating a statement that you will repeat daily…
“I put my health first. I love to eat foods full of nutrients. I love to move my body every day.”
Step Two- Pick something that you can do daily that will make you believe your statement to be the real deal. Something small. Something you KNOW you will actually do.
Drink an extra 16 ounces of water a day? Go for a 10 minute walk every day? Eat veggies with dinner every day?
You get the idea.
Once you start to believe you are who you want to be, your resilience will skyrocket.
The gap between where you are and where you want to go will narrow. You will become unstoppable.
-Alicia Murphy, founder of Stress Monkee
Alicia Murphy helps busy women get ridiculously healthy, inside + out. She’s here to help you shake up your approach to stress—and learn to use it as a tool to achieve your health goals.
Slow Down. Breathe in slowly and exhale slowly five times before reacting to things. The media, internet, marketing and people are moving at a faster pace than we are.
Our bodies, spirits and minds are at the same resonance as the Earth. We move slower, adapt at the pace nature made us to.
I wrote a book called “Embracing Healing , A thirty day Slow down practice” and in it are phrases to think on as you color pictures. The science behind it is that meditating on a positive affirmation puts positive words in the mind then coloring something shuts all other outside influences out of the mind.
This resets the wiring in the mind and influences production of small bursts of serotonin so that these positive thoughts physically makes a person feel better.
Practicing meditation of this type is a great way to change how you think about the world around you as well as give you a better mental image of your health.
When everyone else is missing all the small stuff, you will get to savor all things around you. It will bring you a sense of connecting with the world and even joy.
I am a twice certified Wellness Coach focusing on Lyme disease Education since 2013. I also am a published Author. Love dogs and my children and grandchildren.
I love that we’re talking about resilience here – the ability to “bounce back” after difficult experiences. It implies that each of us can learn how to change our thoughts and actions.
I think the first step is to recognize negative emotions, beliefs, and behaviors without beating ourselves up over it. It’s easier to avoid actual issues or to have shallow “positive thinking” and tell ourselves we should just stop thinking a certain way. But, we have to deal with the negative to get to the positive. Without this step it’s impossible to get to root of the thought, feeling, or behavior and address where it’s really coming from and what is triggering it.
With courage and work we can dig down deep to the root of such beliefs and behaviors and essentially “reprogram the mixed tape” our subconscious has been playing over from our past. With practice and regularly “checking in” with ourselves, we can learn to own our choices without beating ourselves up and allow past experiences to be a catalyst for change. I believe wholeheartedly that you don’t have to be perfect, just to start is a huge step. From there it takes trusting your personal journey.
I also believe gratitude and forgiveness play a huge role. A helpful tool to express gratitude is to write down things you are grateful for in a journal each day. It’s a simple and effective way to bring more awareness to the positive aspects of your life. Writing a gratitude or forgiveness letter to ourselves or someone else can also shift the focus from being so hard on ourselves or others, to practicing forgiveness and building more appreciation for our positive aspects as individuals. It makes it so that when we stumble or fall, each time it gets a little easier to dust ourselves off and get back up again…that’s the stuff that allows us to really learn and grow resilience to negativity.
Never underestimate the power to nourish yourself as a whole person. Nourishing foods, activities that you love to de-stress and recharge, healthy boundaries, and surrounding yourself with family members, friends, and individuals in the community who are prepared to support you by actively listening to you and truly being there for you are all things that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. That’s the stuff that gets us in touch with real joy and keeps us connected to our positive essence.
Jess is a holistic health coach who is passionate about self care and writes about how to start a soul-centered self care practice on her blog Essentials of Self Care.
Dr. Thomas Lucking
We can build up resilience to negativity and care for our mental health by becoming more self-aware, staying in our own lane when it comes to social comparison, and fostering healthy supportive relationships. Self-awareness is harder than it sounds as research shows that most people think they are more self-aware then they really are. Self-awareness comes in two forms – internal (what I know about myself) and external (what others think about me). By cultivating both of these we are in a better position to limit social comparison and invest in positive social relationships. This is because we are knowledgeable, secure, and at peace with who we are without having to exaggerate ourselves. As Oscar Wilde’s famous quote on authenticity says, “be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
Dr. Thomas Lucking is a licensed psychotherapist, college professor, and author. He currently maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Northern California and also works with people around the globe as a life coach. Dr. Thomas has specialties with Asperger’s (Neurodiverse couples) and digital addiction.
By taking the training of our minds as serious as our jobs, diets and health. Doing meditation daily for example is something everyone could schedule into their daily schedule, but not everyone does. Meditation and mindfulness is an amazing tool that can help support you through negative experiences. Taking care of our mental health needs to be something we openly discuss and something we accept as being right up there on the list of priorities with eating or drinking water. With our stressful lives, in my humble opinion, meditation is a must! And by the way I doubt anyone will ever regret making it part of their day. It would be a joy if schools and work places made it easily accepted and accessible daily.
Camilla is also the founder of the coaching business www.Zenme.tv which is based in Los Angeles where Camilla runs her practice and has helped many clients and celebrities deal with stress, addictions and trauma.
She is also a motivational speaker and holds workshops in the UK and US which includes “Design your ideal partner”, “Reinvent me” and “Forgive and set yourself free”. Her first self-help/autobiography book was published in January 2015 called ‘Strictly Inspirational’ in UK and US, it’s based on the premise ‘how I learnt to dream, act, believe to succeed.’ And her second book “Reinvent Me” How to transform your life and career also published by Watkins in July 2017 is an 8 step program to reinvention.
Before she started her Life coaching and motivational speaking business in the UK eight years ago, she spent over 25 years as a successful competitive athlete in the world of Ballroom dancing. Camilla was part of the original cast of Strictly Come Dancing (UK’s equivalent to US’ Dancing With the Stars) and after winning the trophy in 2008 she left to focus on her wellbeing business. Throughout her years of competing and working in the media, one thing became very apparent to her, this was the fact that when the body and mind is in harmony, you are connected and can be the best version of yourself, enabling you to deal with everyday situations from a very comfortable place. Camilla is passionate about sharing what she has learnt through the years as a top athlete and being in the media spotlight by inspiring through her work as a Life coach, hypnotherapist and meditation facilitator, using tools which have helped her such as NLP, hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness, for others to succeed. Her mission is to inspire the world to meditate and take time for self-care daily.
Someone can build up a resilience to negatively and take care of their mental by finding a physical activity that they enjoy.
I am ACE (American Council On Exercise) Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer. I specialize in Behavior Coaching. I am a Cancer Survivor and Competitive Equestrian.
Placing your mind in awareness of what “fuels” it!
Negativity is perception of the world you see. The mind can project anything toward the world outside. Two people can be looking at the same exact scenario and have completely different perceptions. I suggest the means of going about this is to have one think of living their life in a state of peace. I direct those I speak with to an understanding of their divine creator, source or God as the benevolent loving force that can be the “fuel” in the right minded-ness that will assist in changing the world you see; the “ego” being the alternative. The ego directs your mind to view the world in judgement, blame, anger therefore ultimately keeping you in a holding pattern of negativity and thus in that depressed mental health.
If you change the way you look at things (people, events, ect) the things you look at WILL change. So changing your mind about the world you see is the key to reducing negativity.
Jen is a Reiki Master, health coach and business owner but mainly she is a person who would love to help others change their minds. In the moment all happiness is a thought away. She has also developed the company Do Life Inspired, Inc. for inspiring people to know their connection with God and all that is theirs in peace and love.
Resilience is the capacity to cope with stress and negativity. That capacity deepens with a strong connection to yourself, and a belief that you play a vital role in something larger than you.
The core of my work is in counseling individuals and groups on what is best to consume for optimal health. Often this consumption is in the form of the food we eat- I’m a big believer that food is medicine – but we are consuming things all day long. We take in all kinds of “food”, things like: media in it’s all it’s forms (radio, video, written word, social, etc), the words and energies of the people we spend time with (virtually and otherwise), and the thoughts and beliefs we hold about ourselves (our own personal feedback loops), these all contribute to the information, the “nutrition” that shapes us. Those things can be nourishing or toxic – and the choice is ours.
One tactic for building resiliency and that sense of connection that we all crave is to create some boundaries around what sort of media and information you expose yourself to. Being mindful about how much time you spend on social media, awareness to the sorts of messages you tend to consume, and at what times of day you consume them, can profoundly impact your ability to cope and persevere.
Here are three tips to build resilience by consuming less “junk” and consuming more thoughtful forms of connection.
*Audit your current consumption habits – then go on a detox!*
Start by noticing the kinds of things you are consuming on a regular basis, and when you are consuming them. Do you tend to jump into social media first thing? How do you feel when you do that? Get curious about how certain behaviors make you feel – bring some awareness to your consumption. Then create boundaries to protect your space and mental health. To start you might want to time box the amount of time you spend consuming news or social media – say 15 minutes, twice per day – then make a plan to engage with more nourishing types of content. Keep in the know by listening to quality podcasts, reading a reputable newspaper, or engaging in long form articles and essays. Make a date with yourself to engage in this mindful way. You may even choose to include a friend! Make dates to read the newspaper each Sunday at the library, or share favorite articles from favorite magazines.
*Create opportunities for periods of stillness.*
Protect potent times of day like first thing in the morning, or right before bed. A common habit that I have observed in my clients challenged by anxiety and depression is that they start their day engaging with social media. If the first moments of the day include semi-conscious consumption of all the comings and goings of the outside world, we can’t help but set into a motion a habit of reactionary thinking. First thing in the morning is a sacred time. A time to find stillness and turn inward for reflection. This doesn’t have to be an hour of meditation (though it could be!) This could be as simple as taking three big deep belly breaths right when you wake up. Or considering what you are grateful for. Maybe wiring out your intention for the day – it can be one things you want to be sure to do, or an energy you want to bring to the day. Keep some time each day to be just for you -even if it is just a few moments. Use this time to check in, notice your breath, feel your presence in your body. By investing this bit of time early in the day to reconnect to yourself and get grounded and ready for what lies ahead – you will find that it feels like you have MORE time to work with as the day marches on. This very simple practice will build resilience, by strengthening your connection to yourself. Take the opportunity!
*Prioritize connecting with your local environment.*
Tuning in to social media and heaps of world news can definitely result in overwhelm and desperation as the problems mount and it feels impossible to contribute in a meaningful way. If you are feeling overwhelmed by what seems like never-ending negativity, take a beat to notice your feelings, and then disconnect. Instead, reconnect to those in your local community. Phone a friend. Take a walk with a neighbor. Enjoy the sounds of birds and the smell of trees in a local park. Go to a coffee shop and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Make it a point to connect with new people, learn something new, bring some curiosity to your local community and be willing to entertain a new perspective. You may find that viewing the world with a smaller lens will lend itself to you contributing in a meaningful way.
Finally, remember that all energy moves in spirals — if you feel like you are spinning down, down, down, you need to make a change to effect the momentum. It will feel like work to make this profound shift, but eventually it will get easier with time. As you begin to spiral upwards, it will take less effort to make big moves.
Denise is a Functional Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, Plant-Based Chef and Ayurveda enthusiast.
I believe focusing on everything that you are grateful for, instead of what you don’t have, creates positivity. When you take even a few minutes out of your day to reflect on all that you have it really takes away any negative energy. Also, taking care of your body makes you feel good. Eat whole foods, drink enough water and get enough sleep!
I am a recipe developer, food blogger and the staff Nutritionist at The Bar Method in Montclair, NJ and The Bar Method in Warren, NJ where I offer workshops and individualized counseling. I have written two cookbooks which I am incredibly proud of, The Everything Wheat-Free Diet Cookbook and The Greek Yogurt Cookbook. I have an undergraduate degree in Business & Finance and Psychology and my Masters in Nutrition Science. I love to share my healthy and delicious recipes with all you. Yes, I am a nutritionist but I enjoy treats and cocktails too, all in moderation! I don’t believe in deprivation and believe you can live a well balanced lifestyle while enjoying it at the same time.
The key is focusing on gratitude. ‘When we appreciate the good, the good appreciates.’ -Tal Ben-Shahar
Try keeping a gratitude journal and find 5 people, things, opportunities to be grateful for each night. You are then re-wiring your brain to find the positive. You’re becoming a benefit finder and when you’re neural pathways are trained to look for the best in others, that’s what you will find. When you are surrounded by good people, you will find more great opportunities. More great opportunities leads to a flourishing life. It’s an upward spiral!
Rachael Todd is Miss United States. A licensed integrative health coach, yoga instructor, and holding a certification in positive psychology, Rachael utilized her unique life experiences, education, and story to advise women on how to discover where their passions, their strengths, and their desires intersect. She is passionate about helping women to live a more fulfilling, confident, life.
Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank
The first step is recognizing when negative thoughts start to arise. Once one has the ability to understand their triggers it becomes a bit easier to make the necessary shifts in order to live a fiercely optimistic life.
Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank is a NYU certified life coach, Reiki Master, meditation teacher, yoga instructor and writer for MindBodyGreen and The Chopra Center who is best known for her empathetic nature, non-judgmental approach and light-hearted humor. Her journey thus far has allowed her to experience an array of hardships and struggles, which led her to find an indescribable inner happiness that she shares with all whom she meets. Alisha is a true activist for both human beings and animals alike advocating all the way from her childhood home in Oxford, Michigan to the prestigious United Nations in New York City. Ms. Hawrylyszyn Frank serves as a director on the La Jolla Merchant’s Council in San Diego, California. She is currently bi-coastal and holds offices in NYC and La Jolla, California.
Elise Marie Collins
I believe in a three pronged approach to building up resilience to negativity. The first way to develop resilience is through One’s mindset. A person needs to decide or choose positivity. If one is not motivated or not choosing to be positive then, resilience will slowly erode. Mindset is key. The second prong is taking care of physical health. The body controls the mind and vice versa. Eat a clean diet, exercise, breath deeply. Have a daily routine that encorporates all three of these activities. Value consistency over duration. 50 jumping jacks, an extra serving of veggies and one minute of deep breathing is all you need. Make it so easy you can’t say no! Finally a person must embrace a spiritual approach to resilience. Life will throw you curve balls and if you don’t have a deep faith that things will work out, your mindset will sink and then you will be back to square one. Do what works for you, pray, meditate, go to church, temple or synagogue. All that really matters is that you feel connected to a power that is much bigger than the minor hassles and major obstacles in your life.
Elise is a writer, yoga teacher and avid traveler. Her latest book, Super Ager will be published in Spring, 2018.
Never take anything personally. Everyone has issues. How others treat you has a lot to do with their issues. Everyone interprets what they see and hear through the personal filters of their past and their interpretations of their past. We’re always making up stories about what’s happening around us. Therefore, you have a choice in what stories you make up and believe. You can also change the stories you’ve been telling yourself so that you can feel better about what happened.
Compassion toward yourself and others can help you create better stories. Compassion is an empathetic understanding of the other person. For example, if someone is being a bully, instead of being angry with them, you can feel compassion for them. You can imagine them as a child acting out to get the love every child wants from their parents but never receiving it. That acting out continued into adulthood because they never learned a more productive way of coping. In this way, your story about their past, true or not, helps you to not take their bullying personally and not get wrapped up in their current issues.
Paige Burkes understands that we need to find more effective ways of achieving our versions of happiness and success. The traditional methodologies are making us more stressed and less happy by the day. She inspires her community at Simple Mindfulness to see the world in a new light through mindfulness.
Very simply, use the Brainsweep Systems proprietary techniques to reduce anxiety, negativity and to reduce suicidal ideations. Please visit www.closingthedoortosuicide.com
I am a certified level 2 Brainsweep coach and trainer with Brainsweep Systems, Inc. I am also a Root Cause Clinical Health Coach focused on reducing stress related health concerns. I am a certified child care provider and work closely with child care facilities to help staff and children reduce and eliminate stress and abuse.
Rachel Collins – The Mum’s Health Coach
Know that it is ok to prioritise yourself. Your needs are valid and worthy, always! Mental health and physical health are incredibly closely connected so making sure you stay active and eat well are really important. But never beat yourself up for not getting it right all the time, strive for progress not perfection. Choose one simple change to make that will start an upward spiral, maybe commit just to drinking more water and less soda or caffeine each day. Give yourself time to let that habit settle in before trying to change the next thing. Take pride in each change you make to support your mind and body. Every step you take, no matter how tiny, is valuable and something to be celebrated.
Rachel believes that Motherhood can EXPAND our world and shows mums how to make that happen! She helps women break down some of the biggest blockers to living life to the full; low energy levels, low self-esteem and Mum guilt.
We can’t control other people or our situations, but we can control how we react to them. Looking at things with a ‘glass half full’ attitude and identifying the positive things about negative situations help people to change their mindsets and build up resilience. Having gratitude for all that we have each day is another way to build up resiliency and have a positive mental attitude.
Elizabeth Girouard is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. After years of struggling with her own health, Elizabeth changed her diet and lifestyle, creating wellness. By working together in partnership, Elizabeth has helped hundreds of clients find the food and lifestyle choices that best support them.
The key to building resilience is through the regular cultivation and practice of awareness, courage, a sense of common humanity. You’ll be more aware of your triggers, have the heart and courage to surf the difficult experiences, and the sense that you’re not alone is like a web to catch you when you’re falling. Through all of this, you will not only become more resilient but also begin to uncover an enduring sense of happiness. – Elisha Goldstein, Co-Founder of The Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles.
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a psychologist, co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles and creator of number of powerful programs including the 6-month mentorship program A Course in Mindful Living. He is a psychologist, speaker and author who has published numerous articles, chapters, and blogs, including Uncovering Happiness, The Now Effect, and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR Every Day. He has his private practice in West Los Angeles, California.
I am a firm believer that being involved in things we enjoy and pursing something we find that we are really good at can go a long way to building resilience to negativity. We build a strong sense of self, healthy confidence and acceptance towards ourselves when we flourish in things we love to do. Nutrition and moderate exercise are both a big influence and the main driver to taking care of our mental health.
Teresa’s newly branded company, Rejuvenate Mind Body Nutrition, provides services to individuals, groups and companies interested in a philosophy of health and wellness. While growing her company, Teresa found her true passion was helping others achieve a dynamic and holistic approach to nutrition and fitness.
First thing is to accept the life as it is. If it’s bad accept it, if it is great, accept it. Then, realize that in any given circumstances, you can be negative or positive. But that is not going to alter the circumstances for you. It will remain as it is. However, if you are positive, you will find some creative way to deal with that circumstances. You can always make lemonade with sour lemons. So it is always better to be positive. Being in a negative state does not add anything to the problem. It only make it worse. So in this game of choice, choose the positive attitude and see the difference.
Eklavya runs meditationiseasy.com and help busy people in learning meditation.
Most people respond to negativity by either a.) avoiding it or b.) catastrophizing it into something much bigger than it is.
A healthy approach lies in the middle: by facing negativity without judging it to be bad or wrong. This lack of reactive judgment allow us to respond from a place of calm clarity, rather than avoidance or overwhelm.
This is mindfulness: nonjudgmental awareness of moment-to-moment experience.
How do we strengthen mindfulness? We can start by bringing nonjudgmental awareness to the simple physical sensations of breathing and walking, then graduating to heavier forms of experience, like the sensations of intense emotions in the body or the subtle layers of how we relate to ourselves during triggering situations.
Practicing nonjudgmental awareness of the small stuff builds one’s capacity for the heavy stuff.
By facing negativity with open, nonjudgmental awareness, we can even tune into why negativity is surfacing in the first place, which is often sourced to a sense of hurt, fear or suffering. And if we’re able to “be with” that suffering without avoiding it or catastrophizing it into something much bigger than it actually is, then it’s easier for us to actively wish ourselves and everyone else well – the ultimate sign of strong mental health.
Sean Fargo is an international mindfulness teacher trainer, former Buddhist monk of 2 years, Certified Instructor for SIY (the mindfulness program at Google), Certified Integral Coach (New Ventures West), and the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, home to more than 1,500 free mindfulness meditations, worksheets, ebooks and videos.
When talking about dealing with negativity, the standard advice usually comes along the lines of “think positive”, “be optimistic”, “overcome your pessimism”, etc. But is it really possible to build up a true resilience through denying your emotions?
Positive thinking and “good vibes” certainly have their places in your life. They are important to keep you balanced and healthy, to help you stay motivated, push through hard times, or simply just enjoy the good ones. That said, having negative emotions — anything from sadness through emotional pain to deep sorrow — are as natural as joy, love and happiness and, more importantly, just as healthy.
Although psychologists, and mental health professionals used to treat negativity as something undesirable, something to be treated, to be changed, the contemporary understanding of mental health is shifting towards a more balanced approach. Negative emotions are increasingly recognised as an essential part of the human psyché, an important defence mechanism, that had allowed us to prepare for dangers, risks, and unexpected situations since the dawn of time. Suppressing our negativity can be damaging and, unintuitive as it may sound, negatively affect our mental healths in the long term.
Negativity is as much part of the human experience as breathing, eating, or laughing. Nobody can live without it. Neither the celebrity or the social media phenomenon, whose job literally is to always appear positive, nor the friend or acquaintance who do their best to effectively mimic their role models, and always show the sunny side only. Striving to be like these deliberately constructed images is an unrealistic expectation, that can damage your mental health more than embracing your less than happy emotions.
While that still does not mean that you must indulge in negativity, and cherish your sadness, acknowledging the less than positive emotions, learning to accept them as an essential part of life will allow you to deal with them effectively, avoid the cognitive dissonance that often accompanies denial, and turn your negative experiences into important life-lessons, from which you might draw strength and even positivity.
Acknowledging your negative emotions is only the first step. They exist, and harder you try to suppress them, the harder they will keep coming back. What you need to do is try to find a meaning in them. Try to decipher the message your subconscious is trying to send you through these emotions. Negativity might be a warning, it can tell you something’s off, something’s missing or not right, or it might be an indicator that it is time to change things.
While it is impossible to give meaningful generalised advise about how to do this, there are a few things that you should keep in mind, while seeking the wisdom in their meaning:
- You are not alone. Others feel sad too, literally everybody goes though negative experiences. Often just talking to someone openly and honestly can do miracles. You might just need to get it out of your system, sharing your emotions might lead to unexpected insight, or you might get valuable advice from someone who had been there before. When you suppress your negativity, you rob yourself of this opportunity, so don’t.
- The answer can be found in yourself. Mindfulness based practices can teach you to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgement, and could lead to better understanding yourself, while deeper meditation techniques, such as Zazen, or mantra based meditations, might bring a peace and quietness your troubled mind craves, out of which solutions so often arise.
- Taking care of your body, and physical health is a prerequisite to preserving your mental health. Your overall energy levels can have an enormous impact on your emotional well-being. Practising Yoga or QiGong will help you to release stored tension, while more active exercises will re-energise your heart and mind.
- Lastly — and this again can sound counter-intuitive after all you’ve just read — be positive about your negativity. This means, when you encounter it, don’t give in to it. Remember, that you are never alone, even though that might be exactly how you feel at the time. Remember that you can do something about it, you can find meaning in it, you can turn into a beneficial experience. Remember that you, an only you are in control.
Attila is an author, professional writer, and blogger. His latest book “The Essence of Meditation”, and his website “Meditation for Beginners” focus on traditional meditation, QiGong and breathing techniques. Not pretending to be a guru, his aim is to share all he has learned from various teachers over many years.
Building resilience to negativity begins with awareness. Negativity is a habititual way of thinking that many of us aren’t aware of. As with all habits, it is possible to build new ones that will promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. We begin by starting to pay attention to our thoughts from a place of kindness and acceptance. We avoid judging ourselves for having negative thoughts recognizing they are part of being human. We then introduce a daily gratitude practice that begins to shift our thought patterns from a place of negativity to appreciation. Over time, we create new thoughts patterns that are nourishing and cultivate resilience.
Bev Janisch mentors women who are ready to thrive in all areas of their lives. After leaving a 30-year career in nursing, Bev founded The Compassionate Mind and offers meditation and mindfulness-based programs and services. Through mentoring, teaching, speaking and writing, Bev inspires women to live fully and in alignment with their highest selves.
Vanessa Swier, LCSW
Practicing and prioritizing self-care, self-love and self-compassion on a daily basis can help build up our resilience to negativity and gives us a perpetual reminder to take care of our own mental health.
I am the founder of Hope, Harmony, Healing Therapy Services in San Luis Obispo, CA. I provide talk therapy to those in need of emotional support and processing. My goal is to assist people in improving their mental health and overall well being through the services I provide.
I believe building up resilience to negativity and taking care of one’s mental health are two different questions yet with a strong link to each other. The only way to take care of one’s mental health is to ensure that the mindset is always in a state of positivity; and this can only be done by ensuring that the negative thoughts don’t linger.
There are many methods and behaviours to use in order to build up one’s resilience to negativity:
- Keeping the mind / brain strong – by continually looking to educate and stimulate the mind you are learning and adapting to all what is around in the world. You are using these new learnings to grow yourself and this helps with mental sharpness with an added bonus of overall positivity around health and wellbeing.
- Find out what makes you tick – your passion and drive for what brings you happiness and fulfillment will help to push out any negative thoughts that might linger allowing for you to move forward in a positive manner with positive outcomes.
- Taking care of oneself – good health will shine through the mental, emotional and physical resilience. Physical exercise and mental breaks with relaxation help to keep stress and anxiety at bay which in turn help to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and reacting to every situation. Exercise releases feel good endorphins which, again, are all positive. Physical health combined with looking after the body from the inside also have a positive effect on building resilience to negativity. If you eat well, and you exercise you will feel and look better altogether which will have an overall positive impact on anyone in a dark place.
- Surroundings – it is imperative to always surround yourself in a loving, caring and calming environment. Spending time and interacting with people that lift you and you enjoy being around automatically leave you feeling stimulated and feeling good. Having calm surroundings both at home and work make it easier not to feel negative or destructive towards oneself.
- Support – having the right role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours you want to inspire to emulate will help in leading a positive life. These role models can be made up of several sources including coaches, mentors, therapists, counsellors, friends and loved ones; all of whom play a part in some way to help build you.
- Spending time with a mixture of people will help you learn new life skills and adapt them to different circumstances. This allows you to see situations from all points of view, find different coping strategies and also learn to be more flexible when reacting to situations. All this allows you to help find your inner strength and allows you to face your fears. Surround yourself with positive people and eliminate those that take up your time and are toxic to your wellbeing.
- Spirituality – this is more acceptable and practised in daily lives today than ever before. This takes form, but is not limited to yoga, meditation, breathing etc. People all over are practicing this spirituality on a daily basis as opposed to turning to it when tragedies have taken the resilience down and negativity is taking over.
- Being positive and optimistic – resilient people don’t paper over the negative emotions but instead learn to be optimistic, positive and look towards the bright side of life. They learn to build their resiliency in the following ways:
- Handling pressure and criticism
- Spending time with less fortunate people
- Learning what’s the worst situation they could be in and how to handle it
- See how far they are prepared to try and push themselves
The second part of the question is “how does someone take care of their mental health”. This is strongly linked to the points above. By incorporating all the points above a person is not only only building their resilience towards negative thoughts but also ensuring that they are taking care of their mental health.
However, in addition to the above the following should also be observed to ensure overall positive mental health:
- Talking about your feelings and asking for help – sharing concerns and worries will help you to deal with issues and stay in good health. A problem shared is a problem halved – and sharing your problems will allow you to not feel so cluttered, overloaded and overwhelmed.
- Lists – make a list, or make many lists, of things that need to be done or tasks that need to be achieved. This helps to declutter the mind which could lead to mental exhaustion. Keeping a list/s also keeps you organised.
- Breaks to reboot and detach so you come back energised.
- Alternative healing therapies – awareness is always a good thing. These days science and medicine is far more developed and information is more widely available allowing people access to previously unheard of or expensive therapies.
- Enjoy yourself – do an activity you enjoy everyday and this will help to reduce your mental stress levels keeping you focused and positive.
- Learn to give and care for others – this will leave you feeling loved and valued. Giving or helping others in a less fortunate situation brings about a sense of hope and positivity.
- Feel good about yourself – eat well, sleep well and exercise. Surround yourself with new experiences, activities, people and places. Remove the negative in your life
I hope that this article has been useful and has shown you that nothing works in isolation. Everything in the world and the universe is interlinked and once you start taking care of one aspect at a time the overall outlook to life and its challenges can be dealt with.
A Bio energy balancing expert who uses innovative technology to corrects imbalances in Mind and Body. I work with the latest IT technology and programmes to deliver this exclusive service creating optimal mental, physical and spiritual health, done at cellular level.