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5 Simple Strategies to Build Mental Health and Resilience

mental health

 In our busy world full of worries and tough times, taking care of our mental health is super important. We can learn a lot about how our minds work from psychology and other areas. So, let’s start an adventure together! We’ll look into practical ways to boost mental health, like taking control, being thankful, feeling stronger, and staying humble. It’s all about making our minds feel good!

Understanding the Link Between Mental and Physical Health

Just as we recognize the importance of staying physically fit through regular exercise and attention to our bodies, it’s equally crucial to understand that mental well-being requires ongoing care and attention. Comparing mental health to physical health helps us grasp the idea that just as we need to work out our bodies to stay fit, we also need to engage in practices that nurture our minds to stay mentally healthy. It’s a journey of self-discovery, where we delve into understanding our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, much like exploring the intricacies of our physical selves. So, let’s embark on this journey to deepen our self-awareness and foster lasting mental resilience.

Let’s explore five tried-and-tested strategies to enhance your mental health and overall well-being.

Strengthen Your Mental Health By Mastering Self-Awareness And Cognitive Restructuring


Embarking on a journey of self-discovery is pivotal for cultivating mental resilience. It involves acknowledging our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours without prejudice. Engaging in practices such as mindfulness, journaling, or seeking support can deepen our self-understanding.

Here are five psychological theories intertwined with self-awareness and personal development, illuminated by renowned psychologists:

Numerous psychological theories underscore the significance of self-awareness in fostering mental well-being.

Cognitive Restructuring


Another important part is changing the way we think about things. It’s called cognitive restructuring. Imagine you have a toolbox for fixing bad thoughts. When we challenge and change negative thoughts, it’s like using a tool to make them better. This helps us feel more positive and strong. Cognitive restructuring is a powerful way to make ourselves more resilient and mentally healthy. 

Now, let’s delve into different ways we can understand ourselves and improve our mental well-being.

Understanding Yourself Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

Think of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) like a roadmap to feeling good. It says we feel best when three things are happening:

    Feeling good at what we do (competence).

    Choosing what we do (autonomy).

    Feeling connected to others (relatedness).

    Paying attention to these things can help us feel happier and more aware of ourselves.

    Learning from Others Using Social Cognitive Theory for mental health


    Imagine you’re learning how to be happy from watching others. According to Social Cognitive Theory, seeing others succeed can make us feel more confident. But when they fail, we might doubt ourselves. Surrounding ourselves with positive people who believe in us can make us feel stronger and happier.

    Growing Personally Using Humanistic Psychology for mental health

    Humanistic Psychology is like a cheerleader for personal growth. It says we all have the power to become better versions of ourselves. To do that, we need to know ourselves really well. By recognizing what we’re good at, what we’re not so good at, and what we want, we can set goals and work toward becoming the best “us” we can be.

    Changing Negative Thoughts Using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    Picture Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a toolkit for fixing unhappy thoughts. Sometimes, our thoughts make us feel bad. But by recognizing these thoughts and using CBT techniques, we can change them. This helps us feel more in control of our emotions and happier overall.

    By using these tools, we can get to know ourselves better and feel stronger and happier in our lives. It’s like taking a journey toward a better, more fulfilling life.

    Take Control And Be Thankful: The Power of Emotional Intelligence


    Moreover, growing emotional intelligence is like building a strong foundation for feeling in control and thankful. Emotional intelligence means being good at recognizing, understanding, and handling our feelings well. When we get better at knowing and controlling our emotions, it’s like giving ourselves tools to handle life’s ups and downs with strength and flexibility.

    Follow these strategies commonly recommended for improving emotional intelligence.

    Take a Breather:


    When you’re stressed, your body gets ready to fight or run away, which can mess with your thinking. Take slow breaths, relax your muscles, and center yourself before you start thinking things through.

    Figure Out What Set You Off:

    Find out what made you feel upset or stressed. Knowing exactly what happened helps you understand the situation better.

    Check Your Feelings:

    Recognize how you’re feeling. Are you frustrated, sad, or angry? Understanding your emotions helps you make sense of your thoughts.

    Catch Those Quick Thoughts:

    Your first thoughts are often negative and critical. For example, if someone gives you feedback on a presentation, you might think, “I’m terrible at presenting.”

    Look for Evidence:

    See if there’s any proof backing up your quick thoughts. Be honest but smart. Maybe you made a mistake during the presentation, but overall, it went well.

    Find the Good Stuff:

    Search for evidence that goes against your first thoughts. Did anyone say something positive? Have you done good presentations before?

    Think It Through Again:

    Based on what you found, come up with a more balanced and real way of looking at things. For instance, “It’s okay to make mistakes. I can learn from this and do better next time.”

    Check Your Mood:


    After changing how you think, see how you feel. Do you feel more relaxed and in control?

    Find Your Purpose and Live a Meaningful Life: The Power of Gratitude & Humility

    Furthermore, giving your life a sense of purpose and meaning is really important for feeling thankful and humble. Doing things that matter to you and match your goals makes you feel really good and gives your life direction. Whether it’s helping out, doing things you love, or building strong connections with others, these activities fill your life with purpose.

    Let’s take you on a journey to discover your own purpose. Finding what really matters to you isn’t always easy, but the adventure itself is rewarding.

    Discovering meaning in what you do is super important for feeling thankful and humble. Whether it’s following your passions, helping others, or making strong connections, having a purpose makes life more meaningful.

    Have you ever met someone who seems really driven? Maybe they’re passionate about making the world fairer or helping kids in need. Finding your own purpose might feel tricky, but it promises a lot of meaning and joy.

    Here are some steps to help you figure things out:

    Find What’s Important to You:


    Your purpose is about using your talents to make positive changes in a way that matters to you. Start by thinking about what’s really important in your life.

      Imagine a Better World: Think about the changes you’d make if you could. Why are these changes important to you?

      Think About Your Values: Explore the things that guide how you live. There are lots of tools online to help you figure out what your values are.

      Discover Your Strengths:


      We all have things we’re good at. Think about:

        What You’re Good at and What You Love: What things do you enjoy doing that make you feel happy and fulfilled?

        Ask for Advice: Talk to people you trust, like friends, family, or mentors, to learn more about what you’re good at.

         Ask for Advice: Talk to people you trust, like friends, family, or mentors, to learn more about what you’re good at.

        Get Involved – Try Volunteering:


        Trying new things can show you how your skills can help make the world better.

          Find a Cause You Care About: Volunteer with a group that matches your interests.

          Make Connections: Working with people who care about the same things can give you lots of inspiration and motivation.

          Follow Your Dreams:

          Think about:

            Your Future Self: Imagine the person you want to become and the things you want to achieve.

            What You’ve Wanted in the Past: Look back on the things you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done yet.

            Stay Positive:


              Be Thankful: Think about the good things in your life and use them to help others.

              Feel Amazed: Spend time enjoying the beauty of the world, whether it’s in nature or from something inspiring.

              Find Inspiration:


              Look at stories about people you admire, or find inspiration in everyday heroes. Remember, finding your purpose doesn’t mean doing something huge right away. It’s about taking small but meaningful steps toward what really matters to you.

              Don’t Go It Alone: How Support Networks Boost Your Mental Resilience


              In the journey of getting mentally stronger, having people who support you is really important. Whether it’s talking to a therapist, joining a support group, or sharing with trusted friends, having understanding people around helps you get through tough times. Let’s talk about some important ways to do this:

              Build Your Support System:


              Make sure you have people who care about you around. This could be family, friends, therapists, or support groups. They’ll be there to encourage you when things get tough and help you feel safe.

              Build Strong Relationships:


              Spend time with people who care about you. They’ll be there to help you when things get tough and cheer you on when things go well.

              Find Meaning in Your Life:


              Think about what makes you happy and gives your life purpose. Knowing why you do things can keep you motivated, even when times are hard.

              Learn from Life’s Ups and Downs:

              See challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Both good and bad experiences can teach you important things and make you stronger.

              Stay Positive:

              Try to think positively and believe in yourself. Trust that you can overcome obstacles and handle difficult situations.

              Take Care of Yourself:


              Look after your body and mind. Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and find ways to manage stress. This helps you deal with challenges better.

              Be Proactive:

              Take charge of your life. Start working towards your goals, knowing that even small steps can lead to big achievements.

              By using these strategies in your life, you can make yourself mentally stronger. This means you can face tough times with confidence and grace.

              Bonus for Your Mental Health – Recommended Books

              • Cognitive Behavior Therapy Basics and Beyond by Judith S. Beck
              • New SDT Book by Ryan & Deci by Shannon
              • THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI by Robin Sharma.
              • 27 Best Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Books to Master CBT by Amanda O’Bryan, Ph.D.
              • The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
              • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

              Gadgets to Build Mental Health and Resilience:

              While mental health is primarily nurtured through habits and mindsets, some gadgets can be helpful accompaniments to the “5 Simple Strategies” approach:

              Support Mindfulness and Relaxation:

              Meditation Apps with Biofeedback (mentioned previously)

               Apps like Headspace and Calm offer meditations with biofeedback features using your phone’s camera to track heart rate variability (HRV). HRV can be an indicator of stress levels. Biofeedback helps you learn to regulate your breathing and calm your nervous system,

              promoting relaxation and resilience.

              Image of Headspace meditation app
              Image of Noisli app

              Promote Activity and Focus

              Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches (mentioned previously):

              These wearables like Fitbits and Apple Watches can track your activity levels and set goals. Meeting fitness goals can boost mood and self-esteem, contributing to mental resilience. These devices can also offer guided workouts, which can be a mood-booster and a stress reliever.

              Image of Fitbit fitness tracker
              Image of Freedom focus and productivity app

              Light Therapy Lamps (mentioned previously)

              Light therapy can be helpful for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and may also improve mood and energy levels in those without SAD.


              These gadgets are tools, not solutions.

              Food Supplements for Building Mental Health and Resilience:


               Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements. These are not a substitute for a balanced diet or therapy.

              Vitamin D (mentioned previously):

              Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression and mood disorders. Maintaining healthy Vitamin D levels can contribute to overall well-being and mental resilience.

              Omega-3 Fatty Acids (mentioned previously):

              Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are important for brain health. Studies suggest they may improve cognitive function and mood regulation, contributing to mental resilience.

              Probiotics (mentioned previously):

              The gut microbiome plays a role in mood and anxiety. Probiotics may help to restore balance in the gut, which some studies suggest can contribute to improved mood and reduced anxiety, leading to greater mental resilience.

              Ashwagandha (mentioned previously):

              This adaptogenic herb is thought to help the body manage stress and anxiety. Reduced stress can significantly contribute to mental resilience.

              L-Theanine (mentioned previously):

              This amino acid promotes relaxation and focus. Feeling less anxious and more focused can make it easier to cope with challenges and build mental resilience.


              A balanced diet is the best way to get most nutrients. Supplements should only be used to fill gaps in your diet, and with a doctor’s guidance.

              The “5 Simple Strategies” likely focus on practices like mindfulness, exercise, healthy sleep habits, and positive social connections. These gadgets and supplements can be tools to support these practices, but remember, the most important factors for building mental health and resilience are your mindset and the choices you make every day.

              Additional Resources to Improve Your Mental Health

              For more information and support on improving mental health, consider exploring the following resources:

              Mental Health America

              Mind (UK)

              Beyond Blue (Australia)

              Canadian Mental Health Association

              European Alliance Against Depression