A yellow and white graphic with the words 5 tips to prioritize your mental health

5 Tips to Prioritize Your Mental Health

Are you living or merely existing? This question is essential when it comes to your mental health. Unfortunately, many of us operate in basic survival mode where we happily avoid challenges. Friend, that is not real living. If you want to live a happy life, it takes intentionality.

As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I am keen to assist you to see things from an objective perspective. That is why we are going to discuss five tips which will help you to cultivate peace and clarity in every aspect of your personal and professional life.

First, we will discuss how you handle priorities, which is the foundation for solid mental health because it helps you avoid unnecessary, redundant, and stressful activities.

How to prioritize your mental health 

Tip #1: Get clear on your priorities 

My diagnosis helps me prioritize what matters most to me,” said a mother with stage 4 breast cancer. I was in a small group when I heard these words. Here was this active and vibrant woman awaiting the arrival of her twin boys through a surrogate while already being a mother to a 4-year-old amidst her battle.

It really puts life into perspective, doesn’t it? 

As someone who is recovering from numerous addictions, I know that in order to remain sober and a functioning member of society, I need to work on my spiritual practice every day. That means resisting the temptation to be negative or entitled while maintaining daily conscious contact with my creator, and clear emotional, spiritual, and physical boundaries for myself. 

But enough about me – What are your priorities? 

Are you prioritizing what matters most, or being dragged into things due to fear of rejection? 

For my friend, her priority is her family and health, and she is making decisions that reflect her beliefs. Witnessing the prioritization of others is truly inspiring.

Tip #2: Stop trying to intellectualize away your discomfort

Why can’t I just read books and be left alone?

I sat in silence for a bit. This response came from a woman who was VERY Type A. She was the kind of gal who got her MBA while working full-time and raising two kids. All she wanted to know from me was a list of books that could help her. She would try to discover on her own how to fix her own problems.

I gave her the information, wished her well and sent her on her way. In the back of my mind, I knew she was trying to intellectualize her pain away. This is where you work to understand the math, science and all the facts of your issues without connecting them to your feelings.

This is problematic on multiple levels. Firstly, smart people are really good at intellectualizing away their pain. Secondly, even if a book explains in clear details the problems and its causes, you or someone you know lack the objectivity on ones emotional vulnerability. So, it requires a committee of more than one.

And yes, requires talking about painful stuff with someone besides yourself, but when things get rough in a book, you can close it down and return to your chaotic life without skipping a beat.

Smart people know how to run away from problems like bosses! If you want to heal, it can’t be just you and your book. You need someone to look at you, decode the messages from your past, and detect fact from fiction. It requires bravery on your part to allow someone to do this, but it’s just something to think about.

It takes incredible bravery to open up and be vulnerable, especially in a world that can be full of fear and uncertainty. Remember, your honesty is a true reflection of your strength and courage. By being honest, you are paving the way for others and showing them that it's okay to struggle sometimes.

Tip #3: Examine the real source of your feelings 

Question: Have you ever experienced someone’s words hitting you like a sudden blow to the gut, leaving you feeling emotionally overwhelmed?

The other day, I had the pleasure of meeting the new pastor at my church. As we conversed, he exuded a pleasant demeanor, perhaps even overly so.

In my mind, doubts started to creep in – “Is he being genuine? Does he truly mean what he says?”

Insecurities surfaced. Self-worth came into question.

I found myself not reacting to his words and actions. Instead, his words unexpectedly stirred up suppressed emotions from my past.

Drawing from my journey of healing and recovery, I knew there was more to this than met the eye. Once I returned home, I pondered over the encounter, discussing it with my husband.

And then, as I settled down, tears streamed down my face. It wasn’t the pastor’s fault – something deeper within me was at play.

It’s important to recognize that people don’t intentionally inflict pain upon us. It is our own reactions that stir up unresolved emotions.

So, what was truly happening?

As I poured my thoughts into my journal, a realization struck me. I realized that in the past, I had encountered numerous instances where people smiled but didn’t genuinely listen to me, particularly during times when I wasn’t actively engaged in my healing and recovery journey.

Get clear on what is really going on

Can we blame others for attempting to be excessively polite to someone who didn’t seem emotionally stable? Even I must admit that I have been overly friendly towards those who appeared less “put together.”

Are you currently in a season where you find yourself overly sensitive to situations and people?

If so, I urge you to be patient with yourself. As you continue to grow emotionally, you may encounter events that trigger past experiences.

Resist the urge to run away. Lean into it.

Ask yourself, “What is truly happening?” Only then can you gain a clear perspective of both yourself and others.

Tip #4: Make yourself unavailable for unnecessary drama.

Do you know how to resolve situations without drama, regardless of the 4,330+ different perspectives, procrastination, or denial? Let me tell you how easy it can be.

Yesterday, I was talking with my new friend, Maria. We were discussing different aspects of our professional life. The conversation turned to discussing potential partnerships in business. Being a recovering people-pleaser, I want everyone to like me, regardless of my personal feelings towards them.

Maria asked me, “How do you handle it when someone you don’t like approaches you for a partnership?” I responded, “Quickly and without drama.”

It is vital to understand that many of us come from painful and dramatic homes, where even the smallest thing could lead to significant trouble. Drama becomes the central theme of our life script.

Therefore, it may seem more comfortable to immediately resort to creating drama in difficult situations, but the best option is to minimize or remove drama from the situation altogether. Minimizing drama can lead to improved mental health and peace-filled life.

Get context before making conclusions

While I am on the issue of drama, many of us who come from dysfunctional and pain-filled homes are drawn into dramatic situations. Like a moth to a flame, or a siren’s call, we can’t help but lend an ear and learn all about the misfortunes or scandals of others. Based on this, we want to make snap judgments about other people. Love – resist the urge.

You see, in this world, to get paid, people who want to make money need eyeballs, and eyeballs want something NEW, NOVEL, and SHINY to feast on. Enter DRAMA, CONFLICT, and CONFUSION. Bonus points for getting people emotional and angry about the topic.

Facts aren’t as interesting as knowing the whole situation in scope. Here’s the big idea: If you want to live a happier life, you can’t be easily drawn into situations without understanding all the moving parts and WHY they want your attention.

Too many of us are miserable because we are drawn into dramatic plotlines that:

1. Are not as cut and dry as they seem.

2. Have NOTHING to do with you.

Before you speak, get upset, or voice your opinion, GET CONTEXT before you make any conclusions, or insert your judgment. Know the WHAT, WHYS, and HOWs. Don’t get easily dragged into feeling emotional based on partial impartial.

So before you choose a team or a side, understand their motivations and agenda. You may find that their agenda is not in alignment with your mental health.

Clarity in mind starts with understanding your feelings aren’t aligned with facts all the time.

If you want to live a happier life, you can't be easily drawn into situations without understanding all the moving parts and WHY someone wants your attention.

Tip #5: Align your behaviors to your thoughts 

Through the camera, I saw Mandy shifting uncomfortably in her chair. After a moment of silence, I asked the question again, “If you don’t feel happy, why are you in the relationship?”

I never did get an answer from Mandy; I just saw her weep silently and cut off the video call.

Can you relate to having your feelings disconnected from your behaviors?

Part of prioritizing your mental health requires that your values and behavior are in alignment. The reason is because your body will become sick if your mind is constantly trying to rationalize things that you don’t believe in.

Celebrity Misbehavior

When you start lying to yourself about what is happening in your life, it doesn’t just affect you, it affects everyone in your world. And then you work overtime to cover up your misdeeds. Have you ever met someone who created a disaster for themselves and everyone else yet refused to take personal responsibility?

Recently, a celebrity story punctuated this idea. Look, I don’t like talking about celebrities. Celebrities like people talking about them (good or bad) because it boosts their clout and puts money in their pockets.

So, I will refrain from mentioning names. However, there is a female celebrity who is making headlines. This A List Hollywood woman is:

  • talking about her train-wreck of a marriage.
  • confessing things that everyone knew were suspect.

And despite all the words, fanfare, and drama – THERE IS NO SELF-AWARENESS. She refused to acknowledge how her behavior created drama for herself and everyone around her.

Here’s the big idea: Confession without change is a game.

When you want everyone to know intimate, private details about your life while displaying ZERO humility about how it impacts others – then you know it is all a game.

And in all games, there are winners and losers. This woman’s family is LOSING. Sad.

But that is what addictions (sex, drugs) do to one’s mind – it warps reality. So even when you’re talking, you’re talking about nothing at all…

If you want to live a happy life, it must involve authenticity and alignment. Be the person who says the things the they believe in. Walk your talk. Below is an image which summarizes all the ideas we discussed.

Next, I will share my thoughts on how to prioritize your mental health.

A yellow and white graphic with the words 5 tips to prioritize your mental health

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, the stories and insights shared here underscore the importance of clarifying your priorities and embracing a holistic approach to life’s challenges.

Whether facing a life-altering diagnosis, battling addiction, or seeking personal growth, the common thread is the need to connect with our emotions and engage with others to heal and grow. We must resist the temptation to intellectualize our problems away and, instead, lean on the support of a compassionate community.

Time to put you first

By prioritizing what truly matters and minimizing unnecessary drama, we can find a path to greater mental health and a more peaceful life. So, take a moment to reflect on your priorities and make yourself unavailable for unnecessary drama as you journey towards a more fulfilling and balanced life.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact me. Together, we will work to help you create a life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. 

Are you ready to dig deeper into this issue? Click here to listen to this podcast episode on authenticity or press the “play” button below.