How to maintain mental health? Hear it from the experts

They say there is no health without mental health. Mental health is the collective term for your emotional well-being. It includes your self-esteem, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to regulate emotions and solve problems. Although anyone can suffer from mental or emotional health problems, these problems are very common these days. For this reason, managing your overall well-being requires learning to control your emotions and deal with life’s problems. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

On World Health Day, Health Shots reached out to some mental health professionals to learn how they are maintaining their mental health challenges.

Here are 9 experts who revealed how to maintain their sanity:

1. “Laughter makes me happy and it keeps me going”

I am aware that one of my responsibilities as a doctor is to translate other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Movement, joy and laughter make me happy. I try not to let jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, or anxiety cloud my judgment when dealing with people on a daily basis because I don’t want to waste my body’s precious feel-good hormones on unimportant things. Otherwise I’m a TV and others have the remote control, they press the button and my color changes. I also teach my patients to respect their brains and those of others, says Dr. Vasant Mundra, Specialist in Psychiatry, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim

2. “Meditation is at the heart of my daily stress management routine”

I spend a few hours every morning and evening doing meditative programs and mindfulness. These techniques have the power to unleash our innermost potential and improve our quality of life. My daily practice of introspection and visualization actually increases my productivity. When in doubt I sit in silence to reconnect with my vision and this simple activity helps me discover all the answers I seek from within. For anyone who wants to improve their mental health, I would highly recommend making journaling a daily habit. When done right, it can restore your emotional and cognitive functioning and transform your life completely, says Ishan Shivanand, a meditation, yoga of the immortals specialist.

maintain mental health
Stay calm with the help of yoga and meditation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. “Breaks from work help me recover”

I usually maintain my sanity by taking breaks from my work. It gives me space to let out excess emotional baggage. This balance is always required. I also try to calm excessive emotions by doing other fruitful things such as E.g. meeting close people, having time for myself and exploring new places. I love spending time with my pets and plants on a daily basis which give me a dose of positivity and emotional balance. Deep relaxation and listening to soulful music are also part of my routine to manage my stress levels, says Dr. Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist, Mansa Global Foundation for Mental Health.

Also read: Why Let Stress Ruin Your Day? 5 ways to relax your body and mind at work

4. “Staying physically fit helps my mental well-being”

Mental and physical health go hand in hand, so it’s important to take care of both. I try to build in some physical activity in the morning. A daily to-do list helps me stay organized and saves time. I like to keep my work and personal life separate, which helps relieve stress. Practicing mindfulness helps increase focus and productivity. I like to keep my views unbiased so I’m nonjudgmental and can make better decisions about myself and others, resulting in less stressful situations, Dr. Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai.

maintain mental health
Sport has many advantages for a woman! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. “I live in the present to avoid past or future worries and fears.”

As a doctor, I prioritize mental health by staying rooted in the present. To do this, I use mindfulness techniques such as mindful eating, five senses exercises, and strictly following set routines whenever possible. It also helps me to give my private life equal attention, including spending time with family and friends. Overall, I always strive to take ownership of my responsibilities and challenge myself to achieve a higher level of ability and skill in my work, while also enjoying the process. All of this has helped me develop a positive attitude and stay away from mental stress and anxiety, says Dr. Kedar Tilwe, Specialist in Psychiatry, Fortis Hospital Mulund and Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi – A Fortis Network Hospital.

6. “Self-care is my priority”

My number one priority is treating myself well and valuing myself. Start treating yourself with compassion and respect if you want others to treat you that way. Your mental health can be improved by taking care of your physical needs as well. To calm my mind, I strive to eat healthily, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. In addition, I benefit from spending time with good people and donating my time and effort to charitable causes, says Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali.

maintain mental health
It is NOT selfish to think of your own needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. “Avoiding self-criticism and accepting who I am helps keep my mental health in check”

The healing of the healers is extremely important. Investing an hour each day in self-care by pursuing hobbies and chores I love helps me rejuvenate. Exercise, meditation, and relaxing walks also work to reduce stress. Being with friends and family and discussing my concerns helps me feel relaxed and calm. Travel rejuvenates the spirit. So I try to plan trips by taking a break from work. Above all, forgoing self-criticism and accepting who I am and being happy around me helps me improve my mental health, says Dr. Rituparna Ghosh, Counselor, Psychology, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai.

8. “My pets help me unwind and feel relaxed”

As a therapist, finding ways to manage your own mental health is incredibly important. I have two wonderful pets – a dog and a cat. I always relax after the sessions by cuddling or playing with them. Taking care of my fur babies is very healing. That being said, I also understand the importance of taking breaks. I love to travel and drive. I feel like traveling gives you new perspectives and is the perfect way to take a break. I’ve also sought therapy for myself, and my therapist has helped me work on my own mental health, says Richa Vashista, chief mental health expert, AtEase.

maintain mental health
Befriend a pet and put all your worries on the back burner. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. “Don’t be hard on yourself”

Your best can look different every day. It took me years to accept this one thing, but when I did – it was a game changer. As a high-performance coach, I develop hacks for growth mindsets. I love trying different ways, tools and routines that can bring out the best of my skills, creativity and talent. Some days, you can also try jotting down your thoughts before you start your day, says Aditi Surana, high-performance trainer and mental fitness expert.

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