The world has been a difficult place to live in these past few years as we appear to stumble from one national crisis to another. This understandably takes its toll and can also have a huge bearing on our personal lives. That’s why, as we make our way into 2024, it’s important to look forwards and set ourselves some mental health goals to improve our overall mood and mentality.
What are mental health goals?
Our mental health impacts almost everything that we do, and we must give it the attention and respect it deserves. Setting mental health goals allows us to manage stress, anxiety and depression while also improving our happiness and wellbeing.
Examples of mental health goals include:
Boosting or improving your social interactions and network
Making time for mindfulness activities
Making time for your hobbies
Overcoming moments of self-doubt or negativity
Setting small goals
All journeys begin with a first step and the same applies to mental health goals. Rather than focusing on one large goal, consider a small goal instead. Many people struggle to stick with their 'New Year' plans and resolutions because they are trying to change their life with one monumental goal.
The key to successful mental health goal setting and completion is successive, small, achievable goals rather than one big target that may seem achievable at the beginning. Small and achievable goals allow you to enjoy frequent wins and give yourself a sense of purpose and accomplishment, boosting your mental health as a result and helping you towards achieving your main goal.
Being honest with yourself and remove negativeness
All too often we can try brushing off negative and difficult moments in our lives as though they were no big deal. But, while that gets us through in the moment, the emotions we associate with those events can remain unresolved unless we take an honest look at how they unfolded.
Whether that was an altercation with someone at work or freezing up whenever you were put on the spot, it’s important to reflect on how we felt in the moment and why. To overcome the anxiety or depression that followed those moments, try to think clearly and frankly about why they occurred. A healthy habit for 2024 is to start taking stock of events and dealing with them shortly after. This reduces the risk that those feelings will linger and endlessly cycle as we find ourselves in similar situations again.
It’s all too easy to be negative about ourselves, the decisions we take and their outcomes. Being negative about ourselves not only brings us down but can prevent us from achieving our goals as we risk spiralling into a cycle of self-criticism and depression. Rather than focusing on the bad things, a new goal for 2024 can be to drop the habit of judging yourself harshly and start celebrating the good things.
As a starting point, look back on the past year and write down five things you did to be proud of. Then start building some reflection time into your routine for appreciating yourself. Each week or month take a moment to write down some of the things you have done recently to like about yourself.
This could be anything from leaving the house every day, asking for help from the staff in a shop or reaching out to a friend. The more time you take to acknowledge the good things you are doing in your life, the more evidence you have to start appreciating yourself.
Counselling support to achieve your goals
Counselling Service for You provides a range of therapies to help you facilitate positive behavioural change to enhancing your ability to cope in certain situations or maintain relationships.
Reach out today and make a time with us - https://www.counsellingforyou.com.au/bookings-inquiries or call 1300 373 150.