My name is Shree Saini. I am a facial burns survivor, a pacemaker patient from age 12, and Miss World Washington. My desire to pass the message of resilience, hope, and kindness has led me to give hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries on having a GRATEFUL, GIVING, and GROWTH mindset. I recently graduated from the University of Washington while being a visiting student at Harvard, Yale, and Stanford University.
Below are my humble suggestions that I learned in my life to help myself become more emotionally fit. We are all uniquely made and we have different ways to feel better. Here are some suggestions I have for ways to help yourself feel better:
Ask for Help
I encourage you not to hesitate to ask for help. This might include calling family members, seeking professional counseling and/or support groups, joining inspiring groups, reading books or watching inspiring videos.
Remember that You are Not Alone
We all have mental health and sometimes we may experience challenges with it. A-list celebrities, actors, athletes, politicians, business tycoons and others labeled as “famous,” “successful,” and “having it all” experience these challenges too. Please know that if you are facing a mental health challenge, there is nothing wrong with you. You are not a failure. One can be diagnosed with depression just as one can be diagnosed with having heart disease. Sadly, however, society often doesn’t give mental health – whether clinical or not – the same importance as physical health. I strongly believe society should.
Reflect and Change
I encourage you to ask yourself questions such as:
–“Is there something in my life that is bothering me?”
–“Do I feel inspired at work?”
–“Are my relationships healthy?”
After identifying what may be troubling you, I encourage you to work on creating a positive change in your life. Strive to create a life of fulfillment. It may mean working towards a career change where you feel more passionate. I encourage you to go to social events, meet more people and grow your community of people who can be there for you. If you are not sure of what may be causing you pain, seeking professional assistance can be helpful.
[Read Related: The Emotional First-Aid Kit: 6 Ways to Manage Anxiety During the Coronavirus Pandemic]
When you move your body, it can have a positive impact on your mental state. I encourage you to try some physical activity. I have found that there are ways to make physical activity enjoyable and something to look forward to. Perhaps you could listen to music that you enjoy during your workout or enroll yourself in a new workout classes. Your life is filled with limitless potential.
Keep It Simple
If you are feeling overwhelmed by a task, I encourage you to break that task down into small, tangible sections. Remember that it’s totally okay to ask for help. Try not to overload yourself with excessive responsibilities. Allow yourself to relax and recharge. Take breaks and focus on moment-to-moment goal setting. What will you work on this hour and then the next hour?
Create a New Life Experience
I encourage you to pick something you have always wanted to do and work on developing that skill. I have found that doing this can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and help get you on a roll. For example, currently, I am learning how to cook healthy meals. I have been looking up recipes each week and creating a new experience for myself.
Be Intentionally Grateful
If you are reading this, you have a cause to be grateful, as more than 700 million people cannot yet read (UNESCO, 2017). Use your blessings to bless others. Write down all the “small” blessings you are grateful for. I have experienced that the more you write down what you are grateful for, the more you realize your blessings and the more your mind looks for blessings throughout the day.
I have a friend who experienced depression. When my friend was feeling her lowest, she found that volunteering helped her feel better. The task of volunteering helped my friend realize her value and how she can positively benefit the world. I encourage you to donate at least an hour of your time to a nonprofit organization and be the most charitable you can be.
It is completely valid to feel down. When I’m feeling down, I have found that laughing has an amazing way of brightening me back up! I encourage you to laugh. Perhaps you could go online and search for a comedy video or watch a funny movie. I create an intentional inventory of joyful moments in the present as the future comes in each present moment.
Break Cycles of Negative Thinking. Remind Yourself that You are in Charge!
Often, we get into a cycle of negative thinking. Instead, let’s catch ourselves when we get in that trap. The mind is a powerful asset and I believe we can think our way to a more fulfilling and loving life. I have found that when I keep repeating positive affirmations all throughout the day and at night then they become a habit.
Be Around Caring Friends
Friends can help you, rejuvenate you, guide you in your darkest moments and support you through mistakes. Friends can help you grow and give you grace and forgiveness. I encourage you to help people in this same way by being appropriately caring, forgiving and loving. Importantly, please keep self-care in mind.
I am honored to call Brown Girl Magazine’s support. They are deeply caring, thoughtful and inspirational. I encourage you to seek kind friends like these and have deep conversations for a fulfilling life.
With a grateful heart,