Unfortunately, many are affected by mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. These conditions can be debilitating and make it hard for anyone to go about their normal life.
If you suffer from any of these disorders, or symptoms of common mental health illnesses, there are many approaches you can take to help you cope with mental issues. Most turn to medication and counseling but completely overlook self-practiced mindfulness.
Let’s take to look at how mindfulness can relieve some of the pain caused by mental health illnesses and how to practice this free coping technique.
How Mindfulness Will Help You Cope with Mental Illness
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply a way to be more aware of yourself and your surroundings. By focusing on the present, you can become in tune with your thoughts and feelings.
A common misconception about mindfulness is that you have to be religious to participate in it. This is likely due to the practice’s association with techniques such as meditation. Know that anyone, religious or not, can utilize and benefit from mindfulness.
How Mindfulness Can Help You Cope
When someone suffers from mental illness, it can be hard for them to be aware of the present. Anxiety and troubling thoughts can cloud our sense of reality and make it hard to pay attention to ourselves.
Mindfulness is intended to help us become aware of ourselves, emotions, and thoughts. With this newfound insight, we can better manage our mental health.
Basics of Mindfulness
Mindfulness begins by becoming aware. You will start to notice things you previously hadn’t before they rise to the surface. By detecting thoughts and feelings early on, you’ll be more prepared to deal with them effectively.
When it comes to mindfulness, it is also important to adopt an open attitude. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Your emotions are normal and valid.
- Don’t suppress. Suppressing your problems is very unhealthy and will lead to even more issues. What’s bottled up always comes back stronger, and with more impact.
- Be accepting. When you accept your feelings and aren’t dealing with internal conflict, you have more energy to work on yourself.
Techniques You Can Try
Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are all techniques that you can use to practice mindfulness.
Some more specific exercises include:
- Five Senses Exercise. Pick an object, carefully focus and observe it, and describe it using the five senses. This will get you use to being aware of your surroundings. This can include sensory play- carry your favorite relaxing scent or a picture you love on your phone.
- Train Analogy. Mindfulness is a gradual process, much like a train coming to a stop. Process your thoughts slowly and deliberately so that you become a master at bringing the train into the station, rather than speeding out of control.
- Take Long Walks. Rather than binge-watch a new series, take a walk and place your attention on the outside world. This reminds you that you’re part of something larger than your uncontrollable thoughts. Sometimes awareness of what’s around us makes us more mindful of what’s bothering us within.
Using Mindfulness in Combination with Clinical Treatments
Among the treatment options available to those suffering from mental health issues include clinical approaches. When looking at cases where patients receive medical treatment, we find that successful ones often include adherence to overall mindfulness.
For instance, Neuro Wellness Spa is one of the leading providers of IV ketamine therapy. Patients are administered the antidepressant, but doctors also apply a comprehensive approach that focuses on the well-being of the mind and body. Their success reveals how effective mindfulness can be, especially when paired with medical treatment.
Seeking Further Professional Help
The tips we’ve discussed about mindfulness might sound reminiscent of a therapy session. This isn’t too far from reality; many therapists and psychologists help their patients by teaching them how to be mindful.
You can certainly practice these tips on your own, but seeking a therapist or psychologist might help you better handle your problems. A professional will be able to uncover the root of your problems, talk you through exercises, and determine the best coping mechanisms.
Regardless of the course of action you take, know that you have options when it comes to dealing with your mental health. Give mindfulness a try to see if it’s right for you.