How do you asses your own mental health? I mean, we can see if we have got a cold, have the flu, broken an arm etc. When something affects our physical health we know what to do and what we need.
So how can we give ourselves a bit of a mental health MOT and why should we? We are getting better at talking about mental health and acknowledging the role it plays in all of our lives. We are getting better at talking about mental health but there is still a belief that doing something about it is someone else’s problem.
In the same way many of us take care of our bodies through being mindful of the food we eat or exercise, why is mental health any less important? If we can understand that in order to have a healthy body we must look after our minds, then the problem might just improve.
Laughology recognises the role that positive mental health plays, especially for employees. Speak to any HR department and they will tell you that more and more people are taking time off work due to mental health issues.
Here’s some quick and simple steps for your own mental health MOT:
Getting inside your head – Top tips for taking stock
Let’s get under the bonnet and have a good root around. Do you take time out each day to think about your state of mind? How are you feeling, what mood would you say you were in? Does it fluctuate? Being more mindful of your mood will help you work out where you are at. Doing this will give you useful clues that you need to do something about it. If you are regularly getting headaches or notice you are grinding your teeth more, this can be a signal that you are worrying about something
What about your mindset, how often would you say you veer to a negative state of mind?
I find that keeping a feelings log can help, by writing things down I can assess more easily my state of mind, why don’t you try it for yourself?
Our senses play a huge role in how we see situations, so let’s give our eyes, ears, mouth and nose a bit of the once over.
Eyes and Ears
Being mindful of what we see and hear and how we interpret it can positively challenge our perceptions. Check that our perception is correct through being mindful of any negative thinking that might influence the outcome. Have a chat with someone you trust to establish some facts or opinions
What about your nose, let’s think about breathing and how you can use breathe to calm the nerves, helping give clarity to thinking. Be more mindful of your breath and use it as a powerful tool to change the way you feel. If you notice that you are breathing quickly, and this is happening often it may be a sign of anxiety. Try taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth
The last part of your MOT is to be mindful of the types of words you are using. Have you noticed that more negative words have come into play more regularly? Words and thoughts affect our behaviours. How about making a conscious effort to introduce positive language into the words you say out loud to others and inside your own head.
And so, we have come to the end of your mental health MOT. Passing is not about being perfectly positive and happy all the time. Passing is about establishing what work needs to be done and reassessing this all the time as our mental health shifts day to dayGo to our mental health in the workplace workshop page