Perhaps not surprisingly, our mental health operates on a large scale. Unfortunately, a mental health assessment – just like other medical examinations and counseling regarding our physical condition – looks most of the time in black and white: or depressive/anxiety/etc. We suffer or we do not suffer. However, mental health is rarely entirely straightforward. So how do you spot the subtle changes in your daily mood that indicate you’re going in the wrong direction and need some support or a change of direction?
If we recognize the small signs in time and take them seriously, we can prevent bigger problems. It is important to remember that it also depends on our personality traits, which of the following bode ill for us, and which of the following are completely “normal” parts of our daily functioning. Maybe we know ourselves well enough to make the decision.
It’s hard for us to focus, we’re constantly “clicking” on something
If we are constantly walking around and thinking about the unpleasant conversations, arguments, and frictions that happened several days ago, it could be a sign that we are overreacting and have begun to develop negative thinking patterns. Provided that this phenomenon was not typical for us before. This can manifest as frequent self-criticism, for example, we can think that “I’ve always had the greatest bad luck in the world” or “I’ve never succeeded in anything.”
In these cases, it is helpful to trace the history of the emergence of these negative thoughts, whether there is a particular event or experience that can be linked to them, and to ask ourselves what it would take to put an end to them. We don’t have to knock down the psychologist’s door right away because of odd or sporadic thoughts. But those constant, recurring thoughts that cause stress and disturb our work, and even if we are aware of their presence, we cannot get rid of them, certainly indicate the need for treatment.
We spend more and more time in the past
If we find ourselves constantly living in the past and either remembering those times, spending time in our imagination to correct mistakes made long ago, or overcoming perceived or real mistakes made against us, this may be a sign that they are unsatisfied. With the current daily life, we do not trust enough in our abilities to shape our destiny. All of these can also be harbingers of a mental health challenge. If you often dream about a specific moment in the past, expand what you feel is missing from your life and make a plan to accept the current situation and achieve your future goals. If we focus on past events, let’s examine which aspects of our present life have had a negative impact on them, and how we can make the most of the current situation.
One goal should float before our eyes: to be more satisfied with where we are and where we are heading.
Even the smallest mistakes create a feeling of frustration in us
Either we ourselves or someone in our environment makes a little mistake, and we’re done, or are we in the roof? Instead of the left half of the middle shelf, our partner put the olive oil back in the right section of the middle shelf, and we explode at the sight? There’s a comma in our show and we’re about to collapse? If these little things have been causing us unreasonably high feelings of anger lately, but have been around for too long to be attributed to the irritation due to the current cold front, then it’s worth hitting the pause button and examining what’s really bothering us. Perhaps we are burdened, perhaps circumstances make our lives miserable. Even if we can’t change this, being aware of the specific causes and not showing our frustration all over can help our mental well-being a lot. However, if the situation becomes unmanageable, we should definitely seek expert help (and we can also try, for example, meditation while walking).
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