Creating and maintaining a healthy mindset

Looking at life from a different and happier perspective rather than a negative one will improve your mental health.

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Looking at life from a different and happier perspective rather than a negative one will improve your mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Month is now, which applies to elderly people, toddlers, teenagers, and every human. During this month, we celebrate Mental Health Awareness, in which we educate people on mental illnesses, and congratulate people who have been fighting illnesses. Keeping and maintaining a healthy mindset is crucial to uplifting yourself and the people around you. To look at oneself and be proud of oneself is a feeling everyone deserves to experience, whether you’ve already achieved that feeling, need to regain that feeling, or are on the path to attaining that feeling. There are many helpful habits to gain and maintain a healthy mindset.

There are many people in the world who fight everyday in order to acquire a healthy mind. People fight their own battles and take their time. There are many different ways for people to obtain their goal of inner peace. There are negative opinions about some different methods, like therapy and medication. Many people believe they should get no help, however it doesn’t hurt to get advice from people who have been through it. 

We can start having a better mindset, when we learn how to love others, and most importantly, ourselves. We can start ourselves with positive affirmations daily, reassuring ourselves that we can make it through the day. When you feel confident in yourself you are able to project it upon others. A key thing to remember is that if you cannot love yourself, it’s almost impossible to love others. 

To be happy, one should know what happiness is. To see what a happy and healthy mindset is, I asked someone who was confident in their mental health. I interviewed sophomore Yamir Ortuno from Segerstrom High School. 

The first question I asked was how long has he maintained this healthy mindset.

Ortuno stated, “I’ve had this positive mindset for about 10 months.”

A healthy mindset is one that can be maintained, one that is cared and nurtured for. Once you know how to take care of yourself you will be able to take care of your mind.

Then I asked who or what reason did he make the change to become happier?

“I got cheated on, and I decided to make myself better for what happened,” said Ortuno.

Sometimes these declines in mental health come from traumatic events. However, even if it was painful, we can always heal from what has happened.

In keeping a healthy mindset, I asked what techniques he uses in order to maintain a happy mind.

Ortuno said, “I started getting into things like skating and playing instruments, I also started spending more time with my friends and family.”

It is important to try new things, find hobbies that are fun to you. It’s also good to get strength from the relationships with people you have around you.

In addition to his statement, Ortuno also knows that emotional regulation helps.

Ortuno said, “I think I can; right when I wake up and before I go to sleep I meditate and clear my mind and every time I feel frustrated or something I just breathe and try to relax myself so I don’t say or do something I’m going to regret.”

It is important to have techniques to cope with negative emotions and thoughts. It’s okay to step away for a bit to catch a breath. Catching a breath will most definitely allow yourself to think more freely, and thus leading to a healthier mindset.

Then he was asked if he loves himself.

“Yes I love myself,” said Ortuno.

In simple terms, loving yourself automatically makes yourself a happier person.

I asked to go further into details about ways he learned to maintain a healthy mindset.

Ortuno said, “I’ve learned how to meditate and calm myself by slowing my breathing, I’ve also learned that I need to value my family and life more.”

This is important as one needs to value everything in life more in order to see how important being happy is. By doing this, one can be more empathetic towards people and themselves.

I asked if he gives himself positive affirmations daily.

Ortuno replied, “every time I feel like something is getting hard I always tell myself to keep moving forward and to keep trying.”

Never giving up is key, no matter how bad it hurts, one should never stop going. Getting stuck leaves you in a place of pain.

I asked him what he would say to someone who has a weaker mindset, and what they should do.

“Honestly just to keep pushing forward because life waits for no one. Do whatever you like to do and forget about being embarrassed because you’re probably never going to see anyone again once school is over. Enjoy your high school years because you won’t be able to do nearly as much when you’re an adult. You are loved,” said Ortuno.

He said this in relation to high school, it’s important to be in the moment. It’s important to enjoy right now, and to not worry about the future or the past. You are living now, so worry about now. You are loved, and you deserve to be loved.

In order to get an insight on people who strive to attain a healthier mindset, I  questioned someone who believes they have not completed their journey yet. I interviewed sophomore Julio Cayton from Troy High school. He stated that he has recently battled with a decline in mental health, and is not afraid to share about his journey.

I first asked him how long he has been fighting for a healthier mindset. 

Julio Cayton said, “I noticed I was first affected starting around February, so for about 3 months I’ve been fighting my battle for good mental health.” 

Recognizing the problem was the start of his journey to acquire a healthy mindset. Once you realize you need work, you can start to take action.

The next question I asked was, who or what was the reason that made you want a better and healthier mindset?

Cayton replied, “I wanted a better and healthier mindset for myself, and also so that I could love my girlfriend and family more. I realized how many negative thoughts I had and that would just push people away, I wanted to change that.”

Cayton stated that he needed this healthy change in order to love himself and love others. Having a negative and unhealthy mindset tends to project onto others, and push them away. Cleansing oneself of these problems leads to better relationships.

Another question asked was if he knew how to stop his negative thoughts.

Cayton said, “in the beginning, I never really knew how to stop them. They ate me up, consumed and controlled my daily life. I really needed something to slap me back into reality, and so I started searching for help and asking for help. I found ways to stop them by realizing reality. Thoughts are thoughts, move on and focus on what’s real.”

It is important to keep in mind that we are all human. We all have bad thoughts, but we mustn’t focus on them. We must not let them control or consume us. If we don’t know how to deal with them we can always ask someone for help.

Then I asked if he knew how to control his emotions.

Cayton said, “Again, in the beginning, I didn’t know how to. No, I would say it starts with knowing that not feeling okay is okay. It matters what you do about it. So once I started doing things in order to feel better, I started becoming better.”

In order to exit a critical mode, where either you feel numb, hopeless, sad, or lonely, it is so important to take action. To get better, you have to work for it. It’s not good to mope around and be pitiful. With no pain comes no gain. 

On the topic of love, he was asked if he loved himself.

Cayton said, “As of right now, I would say I don’t hate myself. I do in fact love myself. I love that I’m trying, and I accept the way I look. Accepting things is important to loving things.”

One crucial takeaway here is that accepting things is very key to loving things. In a relationship for example, if you love someone you must accept them for who they are.

I asked him what techniques he uses to attain peace within his mind. 

“I usually look at pictures of my girlfriend, or talk to her. Maybe I’ll watch a show or movie. Then I’ll face the problem and think for a bit. I realize reality, I realize I’m a human. I know that having some thoughts are okay,” said Cayton

I questioned him in regards of any positive affirmations he gives himself everyday.

He replied to this with, “I wake up, and thank myself for waking up. I tell myself that I’m trying, and that it will get better. I remind myself it’s a journey. My girlfriend also made a Pinterest board for me, I read it when I just don’t have any motivation or if it gets really bad to the point where I can’t seem to be positive.”

I asked him, as someone who is still struggling, on what advice he would give to others having the same problems.

“Don’t act upon your negative thoughts. Don’t think because you had a single thought means it’s the end of anything. It’s okay to not be okay. Don’t push others away, realize that your energy affects them and if you’re too negative they will eventually go away. Love others, love yourself. Love is not what you feel, love is what you do in spite of what you feel,” said Cayton.

Struggling with mental health is a very big challenge. It’s not like a broken bone; it’s mental scars not physical scars. However, just like physical pains, we have the ability to heal as humans. We can always find our strength again to fight. We may need help, but it’s always possible to heal. Never give up on the path to success, life was never meant to be easy. Negative thoughts don’t ever define you, negative actions will. You can change, it’s just up to you to put in the work.