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Mental health deals with your brain and your thought process. Here are 10 ways to help you mentally thrive:
1. Mentally Thrive By Reading All Da Things
Read everything you can get your hands on. Even if you dislike it or disagree with it, read it. The reason for reading all the things is because the more you read about various topics, be they politics, your favorite way to DIY, cats, or anything – the more you learn and gain insight from it. You learn what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’re really indifferent to.
Additionally, by keeping an open mind, you can gain empathy for various topics, and a deeper understanding. It will also help you learn different perspectives and become more knowledgeable about any said topic.
The best part, you can find things you really love. I, for one, used to detest reading non-fiction, but because I read some nonfiction, it helped open my eyes to various topics that I have become passionate about.
The same will happen to you! And you will be surprised at what you discover that excites you.
2. Mentally Thrive By Travelling
This way you can experience different cultures and learn about them. The more you experience them and their customs, the more you can have the ability to be more empathetic to those around you. This will also help you gain the ability to look at things from a different perspective.
Your entire life you might feel one way about something, but when you’re with another culture, you recognize that everything is more convoluted than you probably thought.
Maybe you have never been to France, and you always had a stereotype of the French in your mind. Then you get there, and you realize that most of them are different from what you thought.
It has always fascinated me, when I travel abroad, that most of the things that the news reports about a group of people are in error. I had fully expected, when I went to Italy, that they would hate me because I was an American (the media had told me that all Europeans hated Americans).
Instead, I discovered that the people in Italy were warm, wonderful, and protective. They would maybe a person who had ill intent come near my friend and I, and they would intervene. The French weren’t snobbish (ok, one guy was a total jerk), but rather very polite and kind.
I guess they had not gotten the memo that nobody liked Americans. Haha.
Related: 10 Ways to Spiritually Thrive
3. Mentally Thrive By Working On Logic Puzzles
Logic puzzles are amazing. The reason is because it helps you deduce things. You won’t accept what is given to you. It helps you think things through that would ordinarily not make sense.
It helps calm the emotional side so that you can focus solely on how to do things logically. Think of it this way – when you’re being creative, you use the right side of your brain, but by doing logical games you’re allowing the left side to work, allowing your right side to rest.
It helps you to educate yourself, by being able to reason things out, and fully understand the whole picture rather than what you’re told. It also helps to improve Cognitive Ability, which enhances the vocabulary and enhances the motor skills.
Additionally, it helps you improve your productivity. Instead of being scatterbrained it will help you be able to focus, and solve problems a lot easier. This is because you’re forcing your brain to focus on the logic rather than the emotions in a situation.
4. Mentally Thrive By Taking a Night Class
You can never ever stop improving yourself. It doesn’t matter what kind of night class you want to take, as long as you take something you enjoy. Do you want to learn how to make your own dishes? Cool! Take a class. Same with art, or writing, or even math.
There are many places you can take an online class. You can go to your local university or trade school. Or, you can take a reputable online course that will help you learn all the things.
The best part about taking a night class is that not only are you learning new things, you’re also making new friends.
5. Mentally Thrive By Watching Documentaries
Documentaries are a wonderful way to learn different things about something that interests you. But, you have to make sure you’re not just watching one documentary, but all the documentaries about that subject. That way you aren’t being skewed in one direction verses the other. You actually get the full picture.
I love watching documentaries – and many can take you behind the scenes to a certain topic. These documentaries have the ability to talk to experts that you may or may not have access to. These experts may also have a way to contact them so that you can have a viable conversation with them.
Three of my all time favorite topics is the Civil War, World War II (European Theater) and the Civil Rights Movement. I’m a huge proponent to equality and have cheered on the likes of Dr. King, Ms. Parks, and many others.
And, because I like watching documentaries, I got to see interviews of experts, and people who fought certain battles that otherwise, I would never get that opportunity to see or hear (usually because, sadly, the expert had long been deceased).
It’s a rich discovery that you can find new and exciting tidbits that make life so enriching.
6. Mentally Thrive By Watching Foreign Films
This is similar to that of the documentaries and visiting new countries. You get a peek into the life of new cultures.
One of my favorite international directors is none other than the great Fellini. He filmed beautiful scripts like La Strada, 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita. Another favorite director is Claire Denis. She filmed Chocolat, but not the one with Audrey Tautou. Chocolat is a story about a woman returning home to Africa.
Additionally, there have been so many international films that is a huge revelation of how people live or lived with a nice story line. Yes, you’ll have to deal with subtitles but that’s not a big deal.
And, if you’re a big fan of film and television, if you watch the older foreign films, you might notice something interesting… like – Pepe La Moko, a great French Film was the basis for the Warner Brother’s cartoon character Pepe Le Pew.
You can check some great foreign films through the Criterian Collection and sometimes through Amazon or Youtube. It’s worth checking out!
7. Mentally Thrive By Listening To Music You Normally Wouldn’t
I have a confession to make. This is a hard one for me because I’m not a big music person. If I’m forced to listen to music, I will listen to Jazz, Oldies or Bluegrass.
But, I found them by accident. I used to have to drive four hours every day when I came home from grad school. At that time, I didn’t listen to any music, and if I were listening to the radio it would be to talk radio. Of course, that would also cause my anxiety to go up and it would just not be a good thing.
Another reason I don’t like to drive and listen to music is because I either have to be in the mood for it. Otherwise it’s like a high pitch mosquito in my ear buzzing and it causes me to be anxious. It drives my mom and my best friend up the wall, all because I can’t listen to music in the car. It’s like my own personal version of hell lol.
But one day, I was looking for a talk radio station to hear all about the traffic I was sure to get into, and lo and behold I heard this amazing music, with an incredible voice and beat. Turns out, it was Lady Gaga. Sure enough, I thought it was a jazz singer and it turned out…
I discovered that I liked Lady Gaga and P!nk. Additionally, I found out that I absolutely loved Sia and even some international bands (Within Temptation and Anouk). All because I couldn’t find my usual news station.
Be open to the music you listen to and you’ll find you enjoy some of it.
8. Mentally Thrive By Being Curious
If I were to tell you one that that was the most important thing you will ever learn – it would be to tell you to never, ever accept anything at face value. Don’t do it.
Check out what everyone says. Don’t listen to anyone (myself included) until you ask why. And when it comes to the news, never accept what they tell you until you check it out yourself.
If you have a question, find an answer, from different sources. The reason is because if you’re not curious then you will never know and fall into something called group think. Group think is where you just accept whatever people or society tells you.
By being a curious person, you are exercising your mind and your right to think for yourself. And, you’ll find that with some people – if you ask questions they might get mad at you to the point where they just ignore you, because God forbid you question an ideology. If that’s the case, you’re in a cult-ish group and you need to get out.
You can also find the answers to your questions logically, and with true facts (don’t believe everything you read) and you can then determine what you believe to be true.
And, the more you ask why, the more of an adventure you can go on, and it’s a delightful adventure.
9. Mentally Thrive By Practicing Discipline
Maybe I should turn in my card here. Discipline is not my strong suit. But, in order to thrive mentally, you have to have some sort of schedule that will help you create some sort of discipline and tasks to accomplish.
The reason is because it helps you put things in an order and when you accomplish said goals, you actually feel better about yourself. You know what to do, what not to do, and you get a chance to really maintain the amount of time it takes to really accomplish all your goals.
And it’s hard. Because when people think of discipline they think of something that it really isn’t. It’s not being forceful or whatever, it’s about having a goal and being able to complete and not backing down when the first scary thing occurs.
It’s about being able to win the proverbial race, and it can be done.
10. Mentally Thrive By Doing Word Puzzles
Word puzzles are so much fun! Plus, by doing word puzzles you get a chance to do a different form of deduction. These word puzzles are like crosswords, text twist, and other such puzzles.
These books help you to increase your vocabulary and you can even learn how to use the new words. It can be a lot of fun, and the more you do it, the more you are able to pay attention to words, and understand what’s being said and not said.
Mentally thriving is the ability to expand your mind and to embrace new thoughts and ideas while at the same time aligning them with your personal thoughts and beliefs. Of course, these are only 10 ways to mentally thrive… which one are you going to do first?
Let me know in the comments below!