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4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person:

1. Be Grateful

Research studies have shown that being more grateful can make you feel happier, more positive, and better overall. Don’t focus on the negatives of your mental illness, instead, be thankful for all you do have. You likely have a lot to be thankful for like a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves you. Even as an optimist, you may have a hard time celebrating the small things in life, but being mindful of your advantages helps. 

You can help keep yourself in touch with your emotions and feel happier by noticing when your life is going well. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Overall, having gratitude and writing down your thoughts on some of the things you value and enjoy in your life, you can handle mental illness a little better. 

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

2. Look for Professional Help

If you seriously can’t manage your own thoughts and they’re interfering with day-to-day activities, you should consider looking for professional help. Therapy and counseling can help reduce your emotional suffering and improve self-growth with your mental illness. Try to find a professional who can help you understand your condition and keep your pathophysiological level.

Here are a few other things that can offer you support when handling your mental illness:

  • If you have a hard time taking care of all the tasks you need to account for every day, ask for help from your friends and family. Once you get back on track, you can start doing things on your own; it’s never shameful to ask for help when you need it. 
  • Ask for emotional support. Sharing what frustrates you, venting, relieving stress, and crying are totally normal for people who have a mental illness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help when you need it the most. 
  • Ask for advice from your friends, family, medical professional. Especially if you don’t know much about your mental condition, sometimes it’s best to get advice from the people you can trust. 

3. Focus on Your Strengths

It’s completely normal and only human nature to focus on the negatives in life, overlooking the positives that surround you. However, you can focus on your strengths and not obsessively care about the mistakes you’ve made. Doing this will only help project your life forward and give you the push in the right direction you need. If you find yourself having too many negative thoughts or thinking too harshly of the things you’ve done, you should take the time to pause and consider what you have done right so far. By doing so, you can look on the bright side of life and cope with your mental illness with ease.

“ Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.” – Roy T. Bennett

4. Face Your Problems Head On

If you’re feeling stressed out about your mental illness, it’s important not to sit and play the blame game, but instead, solve the problems you may be having on your own. Doing so will only make you stronger as a result. To solve your own problems, you should first write down all the problems you’re having. Putting your thoughts down on paper is much more manageable than having them circling your mind. 

Next, you should try listing a few solutions to the problems you’re having. Even if they aren’t realistic, just write down everything that comes into your mind, and you can judge the solutions later on. Once you’ve done that, you can start assessing the list you’ve made. Of all the solutions you’ve created on your list, write down the pros and cons of each one. Ask yourself how you want your situation to end and figure out the best way to get there. Remember, you only want to use reasonable solutions that won’t end in failure, or else you’ll only feel disappointed in yourself. 

Now that you have the solution to handle your problem, you should break them into smaller chunks to create a solid plan of action. However, you should also create some deadlines for yourself as well, to keep yourself on track with your plan. If your plan doesn’t work and/or something falls out of place, you shouldn’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, simply try another solution. 

It’s never easy to self-manage a mental illness, especially if you consider yourself an optimist. However, with the help of this guide, you should be able to start taking care of your mental illness and take the necessary steps to make it more manageable for yourself. Now, you should be able to handle anything that comes your way.

How do you handle negative thoughts and make sure you are grateful for being alive? Please comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Alex Moore is a psychology blogger and keen observer of human nature. Through his work, he tries to appeal to people of all types and help them realize that they can all change for the better. You can typically find him contributing to www.schizlife.com.

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