Bad mental hygiene creates bad mental habits that must be overcome because they are unnecessary. You can develop good mental habits and avoid the bad ones. Well, it's not so easy but you can kick out craziness from your house and from your mind... Okay, anyway you can avoid "accepting" useless mental patterns and practice thinking right..., but what does that mean and how?
- Don't hold grudges. Develop your "new self image" without those grudges. If you find yourself remembering an old meanness someone did or said. Just go to other thoughts: think about a new thought. More about that follows...
- Don't be set in your ways: "That was then--and this is now." Which means "I can go on to something new, and I don't need to even think about that anymore."
- Don't hold on to junk in your mind! Dump the "junk" out of your conscious thoughts. Cleanse your mind--don't be double minded... Do not waiver or wanderer from your decided goal. How? Read on:
- Don't say I can't forgive. Say "I will forgive that." or "I will not hold onto that old anger anymore." Try to forgive old wrongs quickly by saying "I do forgive that!"
- Declare, "I will not only forgive, but I will forget that!" Believe that you can overcome negative thinking, and then go on as if you do forget it. If it comes to mind say, "Oh well, it doesn't matter anymore!" You'll start to believe it.
- Don't entertain bad thoughts. If you find yourself getting agitated about something, begin to say: "It doesn't matter anymore. I will think about something else..."--and then read something, write a note or a letter. Watch a show on TV into which you can really get involved. Refuse to allow your speech or thinking to be negative and refuse to be taken over by anxiety or anger in your thoughts.
- Reject that thought. You can actually say that to yourself: "I reject that fretful or angry thought!" You can even say "Stop it!" to yourself.
- Command yourself silently to be quiet. When you find yourself talking too much, or thinking and even planning to say things that you will regret later, tell yourself mentally: "Just shut up." Then do something to occupy your mind--and so you will actually change you thoughts to something else.
- Accept your circumstances and yourself, and so don't hate yourself, but then say, "I can and will improve!!!"
- Appear to be less flustered by minor events, fear, or disruptions, and then eventually you can handle major problems as well; so hold your head up, try to smile and soon you will not be as upset. Even if you are it doesn't have to be obvious.
- Expect your mind and mental habits to improve. The mind will attempt to come up to expectations. So expect good things in your mind and in your life, and expect some more progress of yourself. Don't wait, or you may let it slide away.
- Make proactive efforts to follow through on your ideas and make plans. Put your feet under your purposes. Walk in the path. Say, "Hi!" Dial the phone. Write a "Thank You!" Work out problems and differences little by little; it doesn't have to be big changes--it's not all or nothing. Forget all or nothing; just remember to keep your efforts active and see it work out: step by step!
- Don't be hateful to your "enemy" which means: be kind to your enemy! Getting your revenge interferes with your developing peace of mind--using force or getting into fights will not change anger to peace of mind! But, do not try to change other people except by being kind and thoughtful--regardless of what they may say or seem to think! Let them see that you are stable and full of kindness; so do not throw up your hands or slam doors or shout...
- Avoid blaming or saying that others cause your problems but rather take responsibility for anything that you could have handled in a better way. Then set out to handle the present situation better.
- Avoid being down; stop thinking and talking negatively but help paranoid people, or you stop being paranoid yourself as much as possible, and stop laughing off paranoia or stop believing that you have super clear hearing (If only a few words are clear then it very well may be your imagination.) or that you have it all figured out. Realize that you need to change. Make positive efforts to achieve your good goals.
- Examine "hearing of" second thoughts for validity. Realize that if you "think up" and "clear up" what you heard--then you may not have heard it as such. Avoid saying or thinking "I saw that look..." or "I heard that..." These kinds of accusations lend themselves to malicious misjudgment (or common paranoia) and so you should doubt your negative interpretations of what you "heard" or "saw." Keep in mind that accusations cause other people to feel badly, if it is not really true, or was just ideal chatter! Forgive...
- Be fair and impartial in both your abstract and concrete interpretations of passing moods, expressions or subtle actions of others whom you do not trust--or whom you may wish to control (without rights to do so).
- Don't judge people on shallow or prejudicial bases. There is a danger of falsely accusing one who is innocent, but is a disfavored persona non grata to whom one may apply perceptions that are based on hearsay or personal bias as against a personally unacceptable or unwelcome individual. "Judge not so that in turn you will not be judged..."
- Avoid disorganized thinking by not allowing your thoughts or speaking to meander or ramble. Stay on the subject--or get back on topic. Discipline yourself to be "on point" and narrow your subject to be realistic; not too idealistic and don't be at all fatalistic!
- Don't allow yourself to make faces, to frown of grimace at people--or even go flat as if you are so very tired. So try to relax more often; smile more even when you don't feel much like it.
- Avoid untimely laughing and "cursing" for no reason or publicly talking to yourself--or uncommunicative mutterings or giggling by yourself in public--but if you should do so, then casually see whether anyone is watching or paying attention to you and say, ""Pardon me! I just thought of something..." and chuckle a little, but don't bother to tell it or explain it!
- Realize that you may be able to assume your attitude and control your view point and the outlook which makes a real difference and that sarcastic frowning, cynical pronouncements and fatalistic declarations are "bad mental hygiene" and is a kind of "craziness," which is self-defeating and is a bad mental habit--so brighten your outlook and so lighten your load.
- Develop good habits by being out going and not so much re-active as directly involved to achieve something and stay engaged.
- Give a little of your time and some funds to help the more needy of people that would use and seem to desire help; this will help your mental habits to be positive, and your self-fulfilling good purposes can become a new way--new good habits! Think it through, and keep the plan--not just one day at a time, but one hour at a time! Just like a diet or an eduction; you may see very little change in a day or even a year; so keep on doing the steps for the rest of your life...
- If you are depressed, in a black funk or losing your will to keep trying--make a "todo list" and pick something easy to do first--then something a little harder--to build up your enthusiasm and feeling of success and achievement.
- If you are alone and lonely-- it should help your mood--to get out among people:
- get a book at the library; buy one at a used bookstore or thrift store.
- do some light and sensible socializing, especially if you're not up to it--so do what you can to be personable.
- Strike up some fun and fairly serious conversation (not dominating it) some place, instead of messing around by yourself all day long--get out and about!
- go to a coffee shop; or to the donut, bread or pastry bakery; try an eggs and waffles place;
- get a light lunch at a "deli" with tables or at a salad bar, burger or sandwich shop;
- buy an apple or a banana at a farmers market;
- purchase one or two small items that you can use at a variety store like a "dollar store."
- Call a family member or a friend, but be cheerful and positive minded. Plan for holidays and such with them or any such event.
- Be generous and be grateful for what you have for opportunities...
- Lower your stress by starting an exercise program like walking at a shopping area or a market or a park; get fresh air and improve you blood pressure. Vigorous activity can make you feel lively and boost your mood and help ease the tensions of your day.
- Learn to play a guitar quickly and learn something new every day or every week. Make a list of things you want to do before you get "too old" to get out and about (learn how to swim, go fishing or learn a craft).
- Go to community college or teach yourself so you get the thrill of learning something new and share it with others too.
- Avoid dishing out insults--like "I bet you were pretty when you were young!"
- Make sure people are willing to chat and to accept your talk, so you can joke and tease with people in a check-out line and whoever is working the register in the store or cafe, etc.
- Never expect any object in return--when you give and bring a little bit of light into someone's life--that would be bad mental hygiene for you.
- Don't be "jealous" when you select and give a small gift to someone who needs cheering up--like expecting thanks, begging for compliments, or for hugs or kisses--but only visit a person that is worse off than you (like at a residence-home for the elderly) so that it will help you to feel an accomplishment.
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