This is the second part of the series on ‘Taking Charge of Your Mental Health’, which we bring for this year’s World Mental health day, which focuses on the theme of ‘Psychological Mental Health – First Aid For All’. We have been talking about those little things you may choose to do on a regular basis which will increase your well-being and develop your habits to manage daily life skilfully.
Having supportive relationships is a gift of life. Behind this gift, there are skills which we can develop to maintain, mutually respectful, affectionate and supportive relationships. All humans need few relationships where they receive unconditional positive regard, but it is also true that it is a matter of cultivating it mutually.
In the busyness of daily living we often start taking people around us for granted and our interactions get limited to some goals and objectives. However, if our interactions only focus on that, then each one of us starts feeling alone in our self. Then during difficult times, even when we want to reach out to someone who cares for us, it feels we have lost the common language and forgotten how to lean on someone.
So try to make regular time for your important relationships. During that moment, ignore the digital distractions of mobile, TV, internet and just be around with each other. You may choose to talk about your hopes, your challenges and journey of growth or anything else which touched and moved you, inspired you… you may also choose to do things together- cook a meal, go for a walk, listen to music etc. However the focus is on the joy of togetherness and sharing.
Listening deeply, without distraction, without judgements and instant comments, is equally important. Listen to what is said and left unsaid, listen to feelings, as well as words. So as you go on trying to listen deeply, you may also wish to talk about deeper things in life with your friends, share your joys and difficulties with them. Such connections and conversations will make you feel more alive. You can also reach out to them during moments of stress and sadness. So Lean-on!
A few other tips
Gratitude Visits: Think of times when someone helped you and supported you. Write a letter describing how it influenced your life positively and then visit that person, or call over phone, and read that letter to her/him. Such gratitude visits can add meaning to other person’s life, but can also make you feel happy and connected.
Kindness- Passing it on: Try to act with kindness in daily life such as visit someone sick, do some helpful thing for a neighbour, give an unexpected gift, thank someone, be tolerant, forgive a mistake, offer your seat. The options are limitless, however once you act in a kind manner, you will feel good yourself and also would have made life easy for someone else.
So, develop deep and supportive relationships, and develop the qualities of kindness and gratitude, and you will make the world happier as you will yourself feel happier.