9 ways to build resilience and tackle mental health problems

Representational  Image
Representational Image

New Delhi, September 26 (IANSlife): Covid-19 has triggered a global financial crisis and due to strict adoption of lockdown measures, the magnitude of poor mental health is increasing across the world. The 'New Normal' hopes to bring a positive outcome, but the fear of contracting the virus is making it difficult for people to live through these times.

All we need is to do is go back to basics and work on maintaining mental health by sculpting resilience on a daily basis. Resilience is a healthy pathway to cope with stress, fear and anxiety. It will make you, the people you care about and the community stronger. The bounce-back-ability is a kind of "miracle drug" personality trait, something that can heal all wounds and right all wrongs. It is a wonderful trait to have as it is related to a plethora of positive outcomes, and "perhaps most important of all" it can be improved.

Resilient outcome doesn't come about as a result of something particularly earth shattering, it's just everyday stuff, like getting a teacher to give a bit more attention to a particularly weak or disadvantaged student.

According to the research, resilience contains 5 essential elements:

Knowing your inner self -- Your inner self is who you really are on the inside, to know your purpose, values, vision, goals, motivations, and beliefs. Your inner self is who you really are on the inside.

Challenge -- Resilient people encompass an adverse situation as a challenge and not as a paralysing phenomenon. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth in future. They don't view themselves as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.

Analysing situations -- Resilient people are very good at analysing any negative situation and turn the situation into a positive phenomenon.

Commitment -- Resilient people possess a strong sense of commitment, they are committed to their lives and their goals. Commitment isn't just restricted to their work - it's to their relationships, their friendships etc.

Self control -- People with resilience, focuses only on self-regulation and self-control. They like to invest their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. They put their time and effort where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident in.

Here are nine ways to build resilience:

Cognitive Restructuring -- Do you often find yourself "stuck in your own head," caught in endless spirals of negative thinking? Try cognitive restructuring! It is a simple but powerful technique for identifying and undoing negative thinking patterns like worry and rumination. When thought patterns become destructive and self-defeating, it's a good idea to explore ways to interrupt and redirect them. That's what cognitive restructuring can do.

Sleep is vital -- Sleep is a vital component of every person's overall health and well-being, often neglected. It reinvigorates the body and prepares it for another day. Getting adequate rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Maintain perspective -- Resilient people are well-versed with the fact that although a situation or crisis may seem overwhelming in the moment, it may not make that much of an impact over the long-term. Remind yourself of your priorities. Doing the "things that matter most" is all well and good - but it requires actually knowing what your priorities are.

Physical Wellness -- Physical activity in any kind is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental wellbeing. Research shows that doing physical exercise influences the release and uptake of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain.

Building Social Connections -- Being social enables you to interact with these people and relate to them in a positive manner. People with social connection helps build our resilience and improve our physical and mental health, and help us cope with life stress.

Thought awareness -- People with resiliency don't let any negative thoughts destroy their efforts. Instead they consistently work upon restructuring a positive mindset.

Empathetic and compassionate -- Resilient people don't think of themselves as a victim. They don't waste time worrying what others think of them. They maintain healthy relationships, but don't bow to peer pressure.

Balanced diet -- A recent study found that a balanced diet (a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.) supplemented with fish oil led to a reduction in depression among patients. To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular are brain protective. Nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods.

Spirituality -- Spiritual resilience comes by cultivating gratitude and counting your blessings. Be thankful for what you do have rather than focusing on what you're missing. Build optimism and be positive, accept the past and focus on the future.