How Important is Mental Health?
And how do you keep your mental health in check?
I think we all can agree on the fact things are changing at a pace that we have never seen before, and not for good. There are a lot of different opinions on what to do, how to live your life, feel better, and so on. However, people tend to forget that not everyone is the same. There is just one thing that is the same.
The world is going crazy.
We have to adapt to this craziness as fast as we can and change things up for ourselves without losing our minds. We have to take care of our minds because if we can take care of them in the most responsible way, we can find a way to succeed in this life.
However, how do you actually take care of your mind? As mentioned above, not everyone is the same. Everyone needs different things, and everyone can adapt to different things at different times. I will try to help you find those keystones and see what could affect you in which way.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
— Oprah Winfrey
News is and never was a great source of information gathering. They try to give you the information in the most marketable way they can. This means trying to upset you, make you angrier, shocked, or whatever. You do not need unnecessary emotions about things that you can not do anything for.
News is a great way to get negativity about the world you are living in. There was no time in the history of humankind when everything was alright. If you look back, you will see that there was always something to worry about.
Since 2008, there have been more than 15 events that have happened that could worry you for nothing. European Sovereign Debt Crisis in 2011, BP oil spill in 2010, global stock market selloff in 2015. These are just one of the most minimal things we can think about.
If you had watched the news every single day since 2008, you wouldn’t have a single day without a worry, and you would turn into a depressive maniac without an understanding of the reality of your surroundings.
Do not watch the news; just try to understand what is going on in the world and not feel any emotion towards them. What can you actually do to fix the hunger in Africa? What can you do to stop the war in the Middle East?
“People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.”
-A. J. Liebling
Be a Stoic
Stoicism is not a perfect idea by any means. However, it is one of the most underrated ideas and schools of thought of our century. The whole idea is to steer you away from unnecessary stress and worry. As I have mentioned above, the core idea of stoicism is not worrying about the things you can’t control and starting to change the things you have control over.
If your boss has told you something that you did not like at work, instead of worrying about “how can he say that to me?!”, start worrying about why he said that and how you can change this. This is something you have control over.
When something happens in the world, like a war or a drought, is there anything you can do to improve the situation? %99.9 of the time, you don’t. Why are you getting upset over it? Why are you trying to be the head of the change when you don’t have any power? You can’t control this; why do you get upset over it?
Let things go and focus only on the things you can change for the better and good.
“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.”
— Marcus Aurelius
No one ever plans anymore. Everyone either just lives through life with plans in their mind that you can barely remember or just don’t remember at all. However, in an age like this, it is extremely easy to plan ahead, make things go smoother, and track your progress each day/week/month.
Once you plan ahead, you know what you will encounter and be more precise about your goals because a goal without a plan is nothing. You can either do this every night before bed or right after waking up. The idea here is to know what is going to happen in your day and how you are going to spend your time (including free time).
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
This allows your mind to focus on other important things rather than cluttering your mind with useless stuff like what you were going to do or what it is that you should prioritize. They take up a lot of places in your mind, more than you can imagine.
Always plan ahead and make sure that you stick to that plan, at least stick to 70% of that plan. No one is perfect, after all.
The last and the most important thing is to have goals with your life and with what you want. If the only thing you want is to go home and watch Netflix, you probably do not need to take care of your day-to-day life because you kind of lost hope in what you have been doing for decades.
Having goals makes it easier for you to focus on your plans and not get distracted by other unimportant things (like watching the news). Following up with your goals also allows you to care about your goals only and do not really care much about other stuff (this makes you a stoic at one point). When you have a certain goal in life, planning ahead, planning for your days and your ideas get easier because you know what you want to do and how to focus on them.
All in all, you need to combine everything with just one thing; having goals. Having goals is like breathing if you want to keep your mental health in check. Everything gets boring after a while. Going out clubbing, drinking, watching Netflix. But following through with your goals and really achieving something gives you a dopamine boost that nothing else can give.
Focus on yourself, do not forget about yourself. Suppose you do not take care of your mind. In that case, nothing else will matter because a crazy person or burnt-out person can not really do anything good for their family or for their life. You need to find the balance between keeping yourself together and going all-in on everything. You shouldn’t do everything in abundance.
Do not watch useless news that does not really change anything in your personal life.
Do not care about useless things and worry your mind over matters that you can not change. Be a stoic.
Always plan ahead; either plan your next day or your next week but have a plan that you need to stick to and complete. Checking off marks of the things you did gives you a dopamine boost that will keep your mind in check and without any clutter.
Have a goal for your life. What is your passion? What do you want to do with your life? What career do you want to pursue? Always have an answer to the most important questions and follow through with your answers.