Everyone struggles with their sanity

Mental hygiene: Maintaining mental health

Order is half of life and most people attach great importance to it - at least outwardly. You make sure that the area is always tidy and as clean as possible. Should there be a bit of disorder after all, you can set about tidying it up again. What is completely normal to the outside world, becomes with the own thoughts and feelings but regularly neglected. Here, too, there is chaos, stress and negative factors that can unbalance mental health. Stress, fear, arguments or worries burden us and become more and more of a problem if one does not devote oneself to them. The Mental hygiene starts exactly at this point ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Mental hygiene definition: what does it mean?

One understands by mental hygiene any action taken either to maintain or achieve mental health. Mental hygiene can thus be understood both as a protection and as a countermeasure against existing problems or even illnesses.

This should be achieved by the negative factors that cause disorder in the psyche, just as much attention is paid as the chaos, rubbish and dirt that is in our environment. Put simply: Mental hygiene is a cleansing of the soul in order to let go of all the stress, negative emotions, fear, worries and doubts that can otherwise become a heavy burden.

The concept of mental hygiene was coined by Robert Sommer. His thought: With all the harmful and negative influences that every person is exposed to every day, there is a need to be able to defend themselves. Mental hygiene should not only help to process acute negative impressions and experiences, but also ensure in the long term that they no longer burden and take away a person so much. However, this does not succeed overnight and cannot be achieved through one-off exercises or strategies.

In order to practice persistent mental hygiene, you have to learn to be able to deal with every situation and not to suppress negative emotions, but to process them and thus cope with them. A process that is not always easy, since you can deliberately deal with your own mood has to and repeatedly questions what causes are behind negative feelings. Only then can you start to cleanse your own psyche and thus preserve your mental health.

What are the advantages of mental hygiene?

Countering the negative factors in life - that alone sounds promising and should be enough to get you off the ground Benefits of mental hygiene convincing, but many skeptics initially see it as an esoteric method and doubt its usefulness.

But the many advantages of a stable psyche and mental health speak for themselves: if implemented correctly, mental hygiene not only ensures greater satisfaction with one's own situation, but also, above all, increased self-confidence.

Worries and fears are really overcome instead of just being suppressed and problems are not given the chance to spread to the subconscious in the first place. A great benefit of mental hygiene is also the emerging Resilience. Those who are mentally healthy are not immune to blows of fate, losses and defeats, but they cannot get them down.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Mental illness is still a taboo subject in society

It's no secret that the mental health is just as important as physical. Yet the two are often treated completely differently. Physical ailments are talked about as a matter of course, regardless of whether they are broken bones, a persistent cold or serious illness. But psychological problems? They are still an absolute taboo subject. Hardly anyone dares to talk about it.

Affected people are ashamed and have the feeling that they cannot confide in anyone. A vicious circle that ensures that it gets worse as there is a lack of help and support during the difficult time. Sad but true: Often people even get the feeling that mental illness is either just imagination and the result of a weak character - or those affected would even be to blame for the situation due to their negative attitude.

What it takes isn't just one open discussion, but also apparently a lot of education, because mental hygiene plays a particularly important role in many areas. Everyone is confronted with stress, anger and frustration at work every now and then, but some industries have to struggle with completely different psychological challenges: In nursing, in social professions, in the medical field or, for example, in the fire brigade or the police.

People who use it almost every day difficult situations, illness or even death When confronted, you often hear that you must not take this to heart and that you need to distance yourself. But this is only possible through mental hygiene. Not allowing things like this to happen does not work by itself.

This is also shown again and again in the statistics, which should make you think: Mental illness continues to increase, even at a young age, burnout is hardly surprising. Nevertheless, it remains a taboo subject in society until there is a rethink and mental illnesses are given the same status as physical complaints not only in theory but also in everyday life.

Mental Hygiene Exercises: How To Maintain Your Mental Health

There are numerous factors that harm mental health and thus make mental hygiene even more important. Many of these factors are encountered anew every day, which is why mental hygiene measures should also be integrated into everyday life. The earlier you take action, the easier it is for you to process the negative emotions. Once these have accumulated and dammed up over a long period of time, it becomes all the more difficult. We have eight ways collected that can help you with mental hygiene:

  1. Use relaxation exercises

    The first step to better mental hygiene can be relaxation exercises. Both stress and negative emotions can be processed better this way. Those who come to rest tend to see things more clearly and stop focusing only on the bad sides.

  2. Write down your worries

    When we think about something, we tend to think of the worst possible scenarios and believe that everything will go wrong. When mine writes down his worries, this view weakens and you can often see that you have exaggerated. The notes are also a good starting point to see in retrospect that things weren't as bad as you feared - so you can work on a better basic setting in the long term.

  3. Accept yourself

    Certainly not an easier step, but if you manage to accept yourself, with all your strengths and good points, but also weaknesses and mistakes, you are doing your mental health very good. It becomes easier to lower expectations of yourself and accept that it is perfectly okay not to be perfect or to fail at some things.

  4. Withdraw from the stress

    An effective method of mental hygiene can also be to withdraw from stress for a while. For most people this is difficult to do in everyday work, but such a phase can also take place during vacation. Be careful not to enter stressful appointments or commitments, but just do what is good for you.

  5. Reward yourself

    Unfortunately, you don't always get the praise and recognition from others that you deserve for your achievements. This can lead to frustration and resentment. Counteract this by rewarding yourself when you have achieved something. This increases self-esteem and makes you less dependent on others.

  6. Break the thought carousel

    Constantly devoting yourself to negative thoughts can be very harmful. Therefore, try to break out of the carousel of thought and stop the brooding. The best way to do this is to distract yourself and do something that changes your mind.

  7. Meet up with friends and family

    Contact with people who are important to you is in itself an important factor that can improve mental hygiene. It becomes even more helpful if you talk to the people you trust about your worries and feelings. In this way you can get rid of the burden and receive support.

  8. Follow your creativity

    Not everyone is a talented painter or musician, but it is good for mental hygiene to be creative. In this way, emotions can be expressed and processed that are difficult to put into words or that are otherwise suppressed.

Signs to take special care of your mental health

Finally, we have one more small checklist which you can use to tell whether you should attach particular importance to your mental hygiene. Not only some professions, but also certain personalities tend to suffer from the negative influences of the environment - if you are one of them, it is all the more important that you take mental hygiene seriously. The more often you recognize yourself in the following points, the more it speaks in favor of doing the above exercises, for example do something for your mental hygiene:

  • You take work problems very seriously and deal with them at home.
  • Everything is required of you in your job.
  • You are actually constantly under time pressure.
  • After work you have no energy to get up for something.
  • You often see no point in what you are doing.
  • They have trouble sleeping and sometimes have nightmares.
  • You have the feeling that you are not up to challenges.
  • You have to deal with human suffering on a regular basis in your job.
  • When a change is imminent, you have long been worried about it.
  • If others feel bad, you suffer too.
  • You find it difficult to talk about your problems.

Other readers will find these articles interesting:

[Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens by Shutterstock.com]

★★★★★ Rating: 4.95 / 5 - 7435 ratings.
January 17, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

Continue to the home page