Mental Hygiene- The ABCD of Good Mental Health

“He Who Wins Over His Mind Is The Master of the World” ... Sri Guru Granth Sahib

good-mental-health Mind is arguably the most powerful entity in the world. It is our mind that perceives, experiences and interprets our world for us. Situations, events and actions are plainly neutral as only our mind gives them their distinctive colours, flavours and meanings. Its immense power remains mostly under-utilized to a great extent due to a variety of reasons. So much so that there is a strong scientific belief that mind rules over the body i.e. our body modifies its physiological processes as commanded by our mind.

There have been several documented cases of terminally ill patients bouncing back to good health just on the strength of their will power and mental toughness. Therefore, it's time we woke up to the powerhouse that our mind really is and took care to keep it in good shape for a productive, happy life.

HAVE an effective perception of reality. Try to have a realistic idea of your strengths and weaknesses regardless of others’ opinions or actions. Mentally healthy people neither over-estimate nor under-estimate their capabilities nor do they shy away from difficult tasks. Sit down alone with a sheet of paper in a closed room for 2 hours and jot down all your positive and negative traits. You will be surprised with your pleasant discoveries !
BECOME aware of your own feelings and motives. It will help you evaluate and control your reactions better in future.
ACCEPT and appreciate yourself as a valuable, unique person. You may want to better yourself but first, you must be comfortable with what you are. Having self-acceptance and self-esteem is one of the defining criteria for a well-adjusted individual. Remember, if you do not esteem your own self, you cannot expect the world to do so.
BE what you want to be because you like it that way. Do not become what you think what are supposed to simply because you are a man, woman or something else.
LOVE yourself before you can pass on this love to others. Loving yourself is not equivalent to being selfish. Stop being a martyr !
SELF-WORTH cannot be quantified or verified. You are worthy just because it is so. If you depend on others for your self-worth, it is their worth of you, not yours.
DISTINGUISH between desires and needs. The desire for approval is fine but a need for approval all the time is a NO, NO. Please eradicate it if you want personal fulfillment in life. We all love compliments, applause and cheers but it should not become a necessity so important that if they were not there, you would collapse.
THERE are no right or wrong decisions in life. Retrospect is such a beautiful thing, so said Saurav Ganguly in response to the critics’ scathing comments after a match because hindsight vision is always 20/20. Just think of decisions as courses of action having different consequences. Trust yourself and please yourself instead of meeting some external benchmarks. Treat every failure as a learning experience to emerge a better person out of it.
THANK God that you were born as you. Do not compare yourself with others. This is a sure shot recipe for personal discontent and a thoroughly frustrated life. You really don’t know what their journey is ! Your only competition is you, your abilities and your performance.
BE the change that you want to see in others. STOP waiting for others to change so that you feel good about it. Just ask yourself why should somebody be different just because you like it that way? And vice-versa too?
CULTIVATE the art of being interesting company so that people would want to be with you and get some valuable, stimulating inputs.
DEVELOP a few interesting hobbies for leisure time. The most bored people in the world are those having no hobbies at all.
NEVER miss a chance to offer sympathy to somebody in a problem situation or congratulations over some achievement.
PLAN your work in small, manageable parts. You will be surprised with how much you are able to do.
AVOID keeping unrealistic targets and deadlines. Work in 90-minute cycles interspersed with rest breaks for tea, just walking around, music or TV. It can do wonders to your efficiency !

Reward yourself (a favourite movie, an outing, a picnic) whenever you are able to achieve a difficult but desirable target. You owe it to yourself to keep yourself happy and cheerful !
CULTIVATE the company of positive people. A positive person is one who sees opportunity even in the worst possible situation.
GIVE up being judgmental all the time. It’s fine if you do not like somebody’s dressing style, but he is as much entitled to his choice as you are to yours. It is variety that adds spice to our life. Imagine if everyone looked and behaved similarly, the world would be so boring. Accommodate diversity of opinions and respect it. To have great, affectionate relationships, you need to have purposeful communication, right understanding, non- judgmental attitude and acceptance of responsibility.