As the year draws to a close, we carve out time to reflect on our actions, to consider our successes and the places we went wrong. We can then decide how and where we want to invest our time, money and energy moving forward. But with so many areas for potential improvement, it can be overwhelming to know where to focus our efforts. However, it’s essential we cut through the noise. We can do this by committing to three concrete ways of improving our psychological health, and in doing so, ensuring a major return on our investment for the year to come.
1. Invest in your brain health.
In modern times, we are prone to go from one quick-fix to the next, making a series of poor decisions without questioning why we become trapped in these damaging patterns. It’s easy to forget that our experiences, emotions, and decisions are a reflection of the health of our brains. This is the year to go to the source and to work on improving our brains. When we do this, we’re intervening on everything from the quality of our choices to our mood. How do we make a targeted move to support our brains? We give ourselves 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, we eat a diet low in inflammatory products such as added sugars and refined carbohydrates, we exercise, and we engage in mindfulness and meditative activities.
2. Invest in your relationships.
Science has shown us that our relationships are protective of our physical health and our mental health across our lifespan. But, as the distractions of the modern world encroach upon our time, we can forget that our bonds with others require continuous maintenance. Also, it’s necessary to note the vital significance of the quality of our relationships, as having superficial or stressful relationships is unlikely to do us as much good. This is why it becomes important to consciously choose the relationships you want to strengthen, and then commit to keeping them sturdy. To get started, consider calling up someone you care about and letting them know about your intent to improve your relationship. Try asking a friend or family member to coffee or tea, and then make it a point to engage them in meaningful conversation.
3. Invest in your happiness.
It’s a strange thing: Despite everything we have access to, we’re not getting any happier. We repeatedly attempt to find happiness externally through the myriad quick-fix solutions presented by commercial messaging and gain no lasting psychological benefit. Additionally, we can find ourselves postponing happiness, telling ourselves, “I will be happy when” some goal is reached. At the end of their lives, people wish they had given themselves permission to be happier, and there’s no reason to wait until then. This is the year to reframe your internal happiness dialogue. Give yourself permission to look inside and to pursue what brings you joy.
Credit To: Austin Perlmutter, M.D, Top 3 Psychological Investments for the Coming Year, Posted Dec 16 2019
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