Role of Relaxation and Confidence in Mental Health
Relaxation is a state where you feel calm and able to manage day-to-day life. If you have a busy life, this can be difficult. Relaxation has many mental and physical health benefits, and the techniques can be practiced almost anywhere.
What is relaxation?
Relaxation is a state where you feel calm and can manage your stress or anxiety.
How can relaxation improve your mental health?
Relaxation reduces stress and the symptoms of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Relaxation also has other related health benefits, including:
- lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate;
- reducing muscle tension and chronic pain;
- improving concentration and mood;
- reducing fatigue;
- reducing anger and frustration;
- boosting confidence to handle problems.
What are some relaxation techniques?
Relaxation techniques focus on muscle relaxation or breathing. An example is progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense then relax different muscle groups.
Other techniques include:
- visualization, where you create a mental image of a calming place for you;
- deep breathing, where you refocus your attention on your breathing;
Ways to include relaxation in your life
Find a relaxation technique that works for you and make it part of your daily routine, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes a day.
If you’re interested in mindfulness, you may want to use mindfulness coloring books to help you focus on the present moment and take your mind off other things.
This includes an aspect of art therapy, another relaxation technique.
Keeping a healthy work-life balance helps with relaxation and managing stress.
Why Confidence and Mental Health are Linked
Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.
When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us better able to deal with life’s ups and downs.
When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us.
Doctors have two theories about why a person who has low self-esteem is more likely to have depression.
The first thing is called the vulnerability model. This model suggests that low self-esteem is a risk factor that can potentially cause depression.
The other model is the “scar” model. This model states that depression causes low self-esteem by leaving a permanent “scar” in a person’s overall sense of well-being that’s hard for them to bounce back from.
Most researchers tend to think the vulnerability effect is more likely. According to experts, the effects of low self-esteem on depression are twice those of depression on self-esteem.
The researchers decided that low self-esteem was likely a trigger for depression. They supported the vulnerability model because they found that if a person didn’t have a significant sense of self-worth, they were most likely to be depressed.
The research also supports the idea that low self-esteem as a young person can have significant effects on a person throughout their life, including in their mental health.
Ways to improve self-esteem and become confident
Here are some other simple techniques that may help you feel better about yourself.
Recognize what you’re good at
We’re all good at something, whether it’s cooking, singing, doing puzzles, or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we’re good at, which can help boost our mood.
Build positive relationships
If you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions.
Try to build relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.
Be kind to yourself
Being kind to yourself means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical.
Think what you’d say to a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.
Learn to be assertive
Being assertive is about respecting other people’s opinions and needs, and expecting the same from them.
One trick is to look at other people who act assertively and copy what they do.
It’s not about pretending you’re someone you’re not. It’s picking up hints and tips from people you admire and letting the real you come out.
Start saying “no”
People with low self-esteem often feel they have to say yes to other people, even when they do not really want to.
The risk is that you become overburdened, resentful, angry, and depressed.
For the most part, saying no does not upset relationships. It can be helpful to keep saying no, but in different ways, until they get the message.
Give yourself a challenge
We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. But people with healthy self-esteem do not let these feelings stop them from trying new things or taking on challenges.
Set yourself a goal, such as joining an exercise class or going to a social occasion. Achieving your goals will help to increase your confidence.
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