7 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Mental Health
Have you thought about what you could do today to feel better? Why wait for some undetermined moment in the vague future to make changes? It's the "One Day..." vs "Day One" idea. You can begin today. Right Now. This moment. Pick something below and run with it. Hold on, wait a sec. Let me give you some helpful guidelines before you do.
Step 1: Measure your distress. Write it down somewhere safe. Include the date and time.
(If you haven't learned this one yet, go back to the Measuring Your Distress video in the ToolBox. That can be your starting point today).
Step 2: Select your change goal and get yourself prepared. For example, if you pick gratitude, make a plan for how you will do this. Will you use an app that will remind you? Will you write down 3 things before bed? Will you plan to share your gratitude for how someone adds something to your life? Get creative if you want to, but make sure you plan something reasonable and accessible for each change you make.
Step 3: Practice, practice, practice. Whatever it is do it at least daily. The more you practice, the more you solidify changes in your brain. Our brains are slow to build new patterns. (Just think about how long it took you to learn to read!) Give yourself enough room and patience to allow your brain to adjust.
Step 4: Measure your distress, write it down. Notice any changes immediately after? Notice any longer-term shifts yet? Remember: none of these is a silver bullet by itself, but each small change builds on the next until all the small changes add up to significant change.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat steps 2-4 until you've add all 7 of these changes into your life.
Step 6: How are you feeling? Measure your distress, write it down. Go back and review your Distress Log to see your progress. If you aren't where you want to be, add some other changes into your life. If you aren't sure what to do, you can always ask a friend, look it up, or speak with a professional like me about other options.