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Ten-Year Mental Suffering Taught Me Ten Lessons to Be Mentally Strong

Ten-Year Mental Suffering Taught Me Ten Lessons to Be Mentally Strong

I never thought of sharing the same class with school juniors in my wildest dreams. I never thought of leaving my college degree after clearing the first year with highest marks. I never thought of visiting the psychiatrists and psychologists for my bipolar syndrome and recurrent depression treatment.

I never thought of giving some thought to ending my life in an unnatural way. I never thought of sealing myself in a room to avoid human interactions. Though my journey was full of unexpected events, it left behind some valuable lessons which I’ll cherish.

Here are ten lessons from my ten-year mentally traumatic journey to become a mentally strong person:

1. Take Some Time for Self-Examination

I was fed up with the hide-n-seek game in my personal life because I was the one who was always hiding away from the embarrassing questions. I was the one who was screaming within without making any audible noise.

I was the one who was hurting myself without showing any signs of pain. Most of the times, I was playing the torture game with no seekers because I wrapped myself in self-made fear. I was so afraid that I didn’t get the time to seek within.

power_of_mind

    I coated myself with thick layers of self-doubt. After going through several internal beating, I realized the importance of self-examination. Disconnect from the outer world to observe your real emotions. Analyze your mental state by just keeping you at the center.

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    2. Make Children Your Mentor

    There was a point in my life when I became over-cautious about other’s opinions. ‘If I smile too much, how people are going to interpret my behavior.’ If I talk casually with them, they might ask me depressing questions.’

    Though I refrained myself from the social gathering to face the awkward reactions, I felt comfortable in kid’s company. I used to laugh at their silly jokes wholeheartedly without any fear of judgment.

    mental_strength_future

      Kids don’t have time for judgment because they are too busy in enjoying the present moment. Spend quality time with children to simplify your life. Take their guidance on how to boost the spirit despite repeated failures.

      3. Stay away from the Comparison Trap

      When I was planning to quit my life, my friends were planning to join a company to settle in life. When my junior cousins came ahead of me on academic grounds, I felt insecure while interacting with them. I became inactive on social media because I felt bad for myself after reading the success stories in my page feed.

      keep_going

        After wasting my quality time in baseless comparison, I understood the relevance of directing all energies on our personal growth. Instead of radiating negative thoughts, recollect the positive memories and have a gratitude list. Devote time on carving your beautiful path.

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        4. Never Display Your Pitiable Side

        Never portray yourself as a pitiable soul. Strip off the attention-seeking attitude. “I feel sad for your current state because you have the potential.” This statement became a routine affair for me. But, I didn’t feel the same thing.

        four_is_one

          Never feel sad about your current state because everything happens for a good reason. I couldn’t picture myself as a writer if I haven’t gone through the traumatic phase of my life. A constant struggle shows your patience to face the odd winds, not your weak side.

          5. Only the Wearer knows Where the Shoe Pinches

          You can’t expect others to experience your mental state. In my dark phase, most of the conversations ended up with this statement, “Yatin, it’s time to get serious in life. Increase your willpower.” At that point, I want to punch all of them right in their face due to frustration. Am I a fool to ruin my life deliberately?

          mental_toughness

            After some time, I realized that it was not their fault. It’s hard to understand how much others are suffering. People can just imagine your mental state, but you are the one who feels it actually.

            6. Choose Your Listeners Properly

            I realized this important lesson when I was interacting with my school friend. As soon I was about to disclose my true feelings, he shocked me with this statement, ‘A drop year won’t affect your growth because you are a bright student. I know you did this deliberately to gather the sympathy from teachers.’ I was on the verge of crying, but I gathered the confidence to reply him with a fake smile.

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            indomitable_will

              It feels good to share the feelings but choose the listeners correctly. Share close things with those who care for you. Don’t break down in front of anyone because people, who take you casually, don’t give a fu*k about your mental state.

              7. Have Faith in Your Work

              Whenever there was a discussion related to career building among my friends and relatives, I felt myself in the freeze position waiting for the right time to take an exit. I didn’t know how to express my nature of work. “How will you generate income?” “Is there any scope?” What else, for sustenance, are you doing apart from writing? My self-confidence hit a major blow after facing these fearsome questions.

              what_you_do

                Today, I proudly call myself as a positive blogger who is on a mission to help people rediscover their source of positivity. I don’t care about those individuals who don’t respect my cause. Do what you love without caring about others. Why? One day, the same people will appreciate your patience and hard work for choosing the unique path.

                8. Let It Be

                Some of my relatives thought I was just wasting my time while sitting at home. As they didn’t know anything about my blogging work, they asked me to stay at their home for mood upliftment. ‘What important work you do at home, apart from just sitting?’, was the usual reply after my refusal to stay at their home.

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                shines_from_within

                  I never felt the urge to explain them the reason for my refusal. To them, success meant visible achievement. The struggle to overcome the mental barriers had no relevance in their dictionary. No use of draining your energy on these individuals. Just let it be.

                  9. Beware of Stress Eating

                  Who faced the beatings of my stress? My digestive system. I didn’t eat to satisfy my physical hunger, but for cursing my fate. Indulgence in high-fat, sugary foods became my silent punishment. Though my mom was concerned about my weird demands, she couldn’t find the exact reason for my changing eating habits.

                  true_mental_strength

                    You won’t gain anything, except more tension and weight, by punishing your body. Keep a track on your eating patterns. Fill your tummy for nourishing your body, nothing else.

                    10. Ask Yourself: At What Cost?

                    With time, I realized a graduation certificate couldn’t decide my fate. I’m not against any college degree. It’s good to have a proof to showcase your expertise, but I asked myself the same question. When I was at the lowest point in my life, I took the tough decision to drop my college degree. The decision took away my four valuable years because I was not ready to face the harsh questions. If I have taken this step earlier, I would have concentrated on other aspects of life.

                    quality_life

                      Before putting your foot in any work, understand the cost of leaving other tasks for the same time and effort. Don’t just do things for the sake of fulfilling the expectations of the society. Don’t do stuff which is expected from you. Focus on those things what you expect from yourself.

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                      Yatin Khulbe

                      Positivity Advocate

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                      Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                      Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                      Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                      Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

                      “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

                      It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

                      You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

                      Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

                      Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

                      Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

                      1. Make a Gratitude List

                      In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

                      Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

                      Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

                      What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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                      The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

                      Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

                      2. Write in a Journal

                      Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

                      All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

                      Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

                      However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

                      3. Meditate

                      Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

                      Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

                      Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

                      Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

                      Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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                      Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

                      Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

                      4. Do Child’s Pose

                      Yoga Outlet says:

                      “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

                      When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

                      It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

                      To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

                      Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

                         

                        Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

                        5. Try Positive Self-Talk

                        Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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                        When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

                        Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

                        When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

                        When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

                        Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

                        6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

                        Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

                        You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

                        It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

                        Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

                        If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

                        7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

                        “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

                        If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

                        You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

                        When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

                        If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

                        Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

                        Final Thoughts

                        If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

                        Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

                        You can invest in yourself via self-care.

                        You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

                        More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

                        Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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