Using Mindfulness to Support Your Mental Health

One of the amazing things about human beings is our minds. Unlike other animals, we have the capacity for thinking, imagining, and analyzing things which makes it possible for us to build cities, workplaces, and social media platforms. Unfortunately, it can also affect mental health.

However, awareness goes even further than that! If you find that you are distracted a lot, or you want to be more present in your life, then this is the article for you! In this article, we discuss the various ways that you can use mindfulness to support your mental health and become happier.  

Monitor your thoughts 

Thoughts happen! They are not exactly the same as breathing, but they are close. Whether it’s a stressful thought about your work, a happy thought about your weekend, or an uneasy thought about the past, they all arise and pass away like clouds, unless, of course, you hold on to them. 

Attachment to thoughts is one of the ways we start to think. One thought leads to another thought, which leads to an idea. Before we know it, we are locked in our imagination, and feelings follow (either positive or negative) so monitor your thoughts to improve your health. 

Monitor your feelings 

There are debates around what comes first, thoughts, feelings, or actions. Ask any professional CBT trainer, and they will give you their opinion, but they might say there is no definitive answer. Sometimes the action inspires the feeling, which inspires the thought; other times, it’s different.

However, feelings can be monitored in much the same ways as thoughts. Thoughts come and go naturally, and we can choose whether to attach our attention to them or not; feelings work in much the same way, although they are more immediate. It can be useful to label your feelings.  

Monitor your actions 

The next element of the awareness equation is actions. We tend to think of actions as movements like walking, picking something up, and sitting. These are indeed forms of action, but there’s more to it than that. Actions can also involve intentions, speech, and thinking. 

If you want to increase your levels of awareness, an excellent place to start is by monitoring your actions. Start with obvious actions such as walking, go for a short walk and bring your attention to every step – see how long you can sustain this! Chores are also good opportunities.   

Openness to feedback 

Feedback is a form of criticism, and no matter what you call it, that’s the way it lands. When we get feedback formally from our workplace or informally from our friends, it tends to strike a chord and sometimes hurts. But that’s a good sign; it means we are learning something useful. 

Instead of viewing criticism as harmful and avoiding it, we can choose to see it as an opportunity to build resilience and improve our skills. Often, people in positions of leadership get out of the habit of criticism, but that is often a disadvantage. Be open to feedback and learn to improve. 

Openness to strategies 

Everyone has a life situation regardless of their age or background. A life situation is the circumstances you find yourself in at the moment in relation to your work, your relationships, and your life aspirations. The life situation you have is largely the result of your life strategies. 

Chances are you have a toolbox of strategies for life, some of them you are acutely aware of, while others operate at a more subconscious level. Try to become more aware of the life strategies you use, and write them down. Also, consider the strategies of others to benefit. 

Change your routines

As with life situations, we all have daily, weekly, and monthly routines that keep us happy and in control of our lives – we think. Routines and habits can be useful, but they can also be harmful to progress, especially if we adopt habits that lead us into financial difficulties or poor health. 

The good news is that routines can be changed, although this is not always an easy task. If your nightly routine is to play video games until you feel sleepy, that might affect your quality of sleep and cause headaches throughout the day. Use mindfulness to improve your overall life balance.. 

Observe other people 

One of the greatest leaders in world history was General George Washington, who managed to secure victory for the thirteen colonies (which became the United States) against seemingly insurmountable odds. He didn’t do this alone; he did it by observing and listening to others.  

General George Washinton knew that he would be a better leader if he listened to other people because he would have more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to use. He considered himself to be part of the collective and the collective was part of himself. This is mindfulness of other people. 

Build leadership qualities 

If you want to improve your awareness, then try to develop leadership qualities. Even if you are a shy, introverted person, chances are that’s only on the outside. Inside your mind, you have leadership qualities; you have a command function that advises you of the best practices in life.

Become aware of your intrinsic leadership qualities, things like innovation, honesty, active listening, self-confidence, and resilience, that help you to navigate the world and contribute to your community. If you don’t feel like you are a leader, you can open this level of mindfulness.    

Disengage with media

So far, we have looked at the levels of awareness within the individual mind and personality, but what about awareness of the outside world? This is also an important consideration. As the saying goes, no person is an island, which means that no one can fully detach from the world. 

When it comes to the media, there is a strong bias toward negativity; in some ways, this is the same as the mind, although it seems more pronounced on the nightly news. If the world is affecting your mental health, become a watcher of it, the same way you watch your thoughts.  

Health care treatment

Mindfulness is a powerful practice that can enhance your life and resolve many issues relating to mental health; that said, mindfulness is not always the answer, sometimes people need some in-house health care treatments from a medical professional to support a mental health journey.

Whether you have a form of anxiety, depression, hallucinations, or something else, reaching out to professional doctors gives you a Uniform Advantage that you wouldn’t have otherwise! Sometimes the answer to mental health issues is a range of treatments including mindfulness. 

Discover your strengths 

To develop more mindfulness in your life, you need to discover your strengths and weaknesses, then work to improve both. Remember that a strength can also become a weakness in a different situation, so monitor your performance continuously and take action to improve. 

How exactly can you become more mindful of your strengths? Keeping a diary is a good idea. These days, a diary doesn’t have to be a paper notebook; it can be a locked app on your phone if that is more convenient. When something goes well for you, add it to your list of strengths.   

Discover your weaknesses  

Weaknesses are just as important as strengths, if not more so! Understanding your weakness and taking action creates more resilience and awareness of the areas you have to monitor. It might be easier to discover your weaknesses because it’s more obvious when things go wrong.

Again a diary is an excellent way to monitor your weakness; along with a note about what your weakness is, you might want to put a note beside it with an idea on how to improve. Don’t forget about this diary. Take a look at it once a month and reflect on any changes that have occurred.  

Mindfulness and meditation 

Not everyone knows how to meditate, which can make it hard to get started; there is also a stigma around it in some circles, so you might not want to disclose your meditation practice to friends and colleagues at first. That’s fine; actually, meditation can be simple and discreet. 

If you want to start a formal practice of meditation, it’s useful to buy a meditation stool and create a space in your home that’s dedicated to your practice. However, if you want to be more low-key, you can practice mindfulness breathing. It’s a great way to improve mental health.

Use digital downtime

One study shows that people spend around six and a half hours on their screens every day; that’s almost a full day of work. Needless to say, this takes its toll on your health and your mindfulness. What you need to do is switch off, close your eyes, and reflect on your life. 

This is called digital downtime, and it’s a beneficial way to become more mindful in your life. Instead of being constantly distracted by social media and internet browsing every time you think of something to look up, you can let go of your thoughts and focus on the present moment.  


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