12 important tips on how to prevent mental health disorders: Personal Perspectives from a Psychiastrist

  1. Rediscover yourself. “Know thyself”.  Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on yourself. Leverage your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.  You must continue to love, adore, and cherish yourself for who you are. What others think about you is their business and not yours.
  2. Stop your approval-seeking behaviour. Stop asking for the approval of other people before you take any serious life decision. You may consult the necessary people but the final decision should be yours to take because you don’t need anybody’s approval to attain your life goals.  If you seek their approvals and permissions, you will most times get disapprovals which will also come from parents, spouses, men of God. The only approval that one needs is that of oneself. Therefore, learn to depend on our instinct and premonitions. You must always expect disappointment because the journey to the top of the corporate ladder is rough and tough. Frustration, failures, and disappointments are stepping stones toward greater life achievements. This is one concrete reason why you must take absolute responsibility for all your problems. You must take responsibility for all your past choices and decisions and not blame anybody for being responsible for your failures, disappointments, and frustrations.
  3. Learn to set and achieve difficult life goals. Set exciting and challenging goals in 8 dimensions of life – spiritual, physical, mental, social, educational/professional, family, technological, and financial goals. Each goal must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound). You must also have an inner feeling that the set goal is realistic and achievable.  You must also categorise your set goals to immediate goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals. You can read more of these techniques from my online book “How to achieve life’s most difficult goals.”
  4. Always expect failures, frustrations, and disappointments. The journey towards greater success attainment is always rough and tough. There will be many let downs and failures. We need to see blessings in every disappointment. There must be a light at the end of every dark tunnel of life. Disappointments, failures, and frustrations are stepping stones toward greater success attainment.  It is therefore essential that we must acquire stress, change, and time management skills to give us the needed resilience and to also enhance our frustration tolerance threshold. The acquisition of these resilience skills will assist us to balance work and play, balance sleep and wakefulness, balance rest and exercise, and balance time spent indoors and time spent outdoors.
  5. Seek information, education & knowledge. It is often said that “People perish due to lack of knowledge”; and “Seek for the truth and it shall set you free”.  No matter your level of education, you must always strive to acquire more and that is the main reason for the article to further broaden your knowledge on mental health and self-actualisation. Whatever information that you may need in life, just ask for it and it is simply yours. “Ask, and it shall be given to you.”   
  6. Acquire the skills of smiling and deliberate laughing. To further enjoy a well-adjusted quality of life, you must cultivate the habit of smiling and laughing deliberately. Laughter has been said to be the medicine of all ailments. Humour and laughter relax the body by bringing down blood pressure and increases immunity to prevent mild infections.  You cannot be happy and sad at the same time. If you have acquired this skill, you can laugh away from your stress, frustrations, and disappointment that are some of the causes of mental illness. You must do whatever it takes to make you happy every day. In that regard, don’t be afraid to talk to the experts about your condition because a problem shared is half solved.
  7. Cultivate your garden. Whatever field that you have chosen for yourself, develop yourself maximally in the above-mentioned eight areas of life. If you have decided to plant cassava, face your cassava squarely, and get the very best of the cash crop called cassava. Do not be jealous or envious of those sowing cocoa and groundnuts. There are happiness and joy in any field of life that you have chosen to serve God and humanity. When you see others being promoted and becoming successful, be the first to congratulate them and wish them well in their present and future endeavours.
  8. Serve your society with your time, talents, and resources. Your value in life is the commitment you give to your people in your society. You must volunteer to serve in any capacity that you are. When you volunteer to serve in any form, be it in your church, mosque, charity club, or community, that is when you will connect with others in your immediate society emotionally. It will also improve your social network with others in your society. That is also the period you can be a team player. You must give back to society what society gave you materially. This one reason why we all need to belong to various spiritual, social, and academic fellowships, societies, and old school meetings such as Compro Old School Association.   One of the needs of life is that of belongingness, to love and be loved. When we are stressed, we have people around us to turn to.
  9. Meditation, relaxation, and stress management. In the presence of overwhelming stress, what we need to do is to stay calm, relaxed, smile, and give God the glory that we are still alive to tackle the problem. When the body is calm and relaxed, without tension or anxiety, the heartbeats reduce, respiration becomes deeper, the brain cools down, blood runs better to all parts of the body and the muscles relax. Thus, relaxation is the opposite of tension. Relaxation techniques are simple and can be practiced anytime and anywhere, inexpensive, and easy to learn. (Get a copy of my books at the online bookshops – “Relax your mind to achieve your goals” and “Stress management made easy.” To learn simple techniques about meditation, relaxation, and effective stress management. You must learn to sleep for a minimum period of eight hours at night. Just before you sleep and when you wake and get out of bed, you need to carry out the meditation of gratitude. Simply say, thank God for everything.  
  10. Learn a new skill.  To add flavour and colour to your life and make it more exciting and also prevent dull moments, you need to keep on learning a new skill or vocation such as learning how to sing, dance, play a musical instrument such as the guitar or piano. You can also learn a new language or a new sport. You may need to write a book about your story; therefore, you don’t need to let your story or music die inside you.
  11.  Be fit physically. Your physical health is strongly correlated to your mental health. Therefore, you must be physically fit. To be fit physically, this means that you must work-out every day for at least 30 minutes or one hour twice weekly. When you are physically fit, you will have the stamina, endurance, personal power, and resilience to overcome daily stress and insults of life. Additionally, one has to eat well with a good diet to boost one’s immunity. It is also essential that we must avoid salt, fatty food, and alcohol.  
  12. Develop yourself spiritually. We should realise that no matter the condition that we may find ourselves, we have the universal, divine, and supernatural power within our minds, bodies, and souls to achieve any problematic goal for us no matter how difficult if we simply believe in this power within us. As a reminder, “with God all things are possible.” In the same light, we have been repeatedly encouraged, physically, mentally and spiritually that we can do all things with the spiritual strength within us simply if we have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains and manifests anything we desire from the formless realm to our marital world.

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With the declaration of the COVID-19 as an international pandemic, Protostar Initiative has shifted our resources and efforts to supporting the social and mental health effects of the emergency while still achieving our mission.
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With the declaration of the COVID-19 as an international pandemic, Protostar Initiative has shifted our resources and efforts to supporting the social and mental health effects of the emergency while still achieving our mission.
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