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Taking care of your mind and heart is just as important as caring for your body. To focus on physical health, you might add movement to your day, eat healthier food and spend time in the sun. Caring for your mind and heart takes similar passion and intentionality. Your mind can only grow on what you feed it. By choosing to focus on good, true things, you can develop strong inner positivity and resilience. Here are five quotes about taking care of your mental health to encourage you when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- “The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.” – Shannon L. Alder
If you’re experiencing elevated levels of anxiety, ask yourself where you’re mentally spending most of your time – in the past, the present or the future. People who focus on the past and the future tend to relive cycles of guilt, shame, fear and regret. They become dissatisfied with their present and lose hope for the future.
Instead of living inside your head, turn your gaze outward. Notice the way the light falls on your desk, what the clouds look like today and whether you can hear birdsong. Put down your phone and notice how you feel where you are. This is the practice of being present and it can significantly increase your happiness.
- “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott
If you treated your car the way you treat yourself, it would die of burn-out. Everything you own requires maintenance – from your phone to your house to your shoes. Without upkeep, rest and replacement parts, the items you use eventually wear out. The same thing is true of you.
Your mind, body and heart need rejuvenation. Without rest, you’re not capable of nearly as much productivity, comprehension or joy. This week, give yourself permission to “unplug” and simply enjoy life. Take a ten-minute nap, go for a walk or block off an entire day to connect with your creativity instead of the grind.
- “Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.” – Louisa May Alcott
Cultivation is key to a healthy mind and soul. If you ignore a garden plot, nothing will grow there. Possibly it will be full of weeds and volunteer tomato plants that come from you don’t know where. By contrast, cultivation combines intentional care with a growth beyond your understanding.
Although you can’t always choose how you feel, you can choose how to act. You can additionally choose what voices you listen to, what people you spend time with and what music you let influence your day. You choose what to weed out and what to plant in the garden of your mind.
- “No need to hurry, no need to sparkle, no need to be anybody but oneself.” – Virginia Woolf
In the age of social media, this quote is a reminder that you weren’t meant to be compared to anyone else. You don’t have to attract attention to be special – you don’t have to hurry to get the most out of life. In fact, quiet satisfaction with the everyday is the surest road to happiness.
You can cultivate contentment by refusing to compare yourself and your life with other people. Instead, focus on investing in the things you care about. Do something you enjoy every day and keep track of your successes. Remember that failure is your friend and not your enemy.
- “Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” – J.M Barrie
Kindness is a practical way to affirm the value of people. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or as complicated as driving across the country to care for a sick friend. Kindness should also be internal – the next time you speak to yourself, try to be a little kinder than necessary.
Research shows that being kind can increase your happiness as well as that of other people. Acts of kindness reduce social anxiety and improve your satisfaction with life. Being kind can bring meaning to mundane parts of life like grocery shopping, cleaning, paying bills as well as going to work every day. Kindness is a habit you can cultivate that will become a constant source of joy.
Refresh Your Thoughts
Let these quotes inspire you to take care of your mental health. Focus on the present, give yourself time to rest and give your attention to positive, uplifting ideas. The next time you have a painful or negative thought, try pairing it with an intentional positive one. You can also ask yourself, “What evidence do I have that this is true?”
You don’t need to feel rushed or try to keep up with those around you. Invest consistently in the things you care about and have patience with the results. Choose to be kind to yourself and to others, especially on days when you feel low. You can build a positive mindset and change your perspective on life one day at a time.
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