Part of the college experience is pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, testing new boundaries and pushing past your limits in so many different areas and ways. Unfortunately, many of us forget that there is one area where we have the tendency to push ourselves too far... often well into (or beyond) the breaking point. Take a realistic look at your own life and honestly answer the following question: "How much are stress and anxiety impacting your academic performance? How about your personal life and relationships?" More often than not, the answer is simple: "Too much!"
While there is no way to totally, 100% eliminate all of our sources of stress, that doesn't mean that we're helpless in our quest to minimize the negative impact that stress has on our minds and lives. It all begins with a dedication to our individual "Mental Hygiene."
MENTAL HYGIENE DEFINEDMental hygiene is a bit like dental or personal hygiene - it's regular, habitual "maintenance", not of the teeth or the body, but that elusive wonder known as your mind.
While lowering stress is vitally important as a student, mental hygiene is more than "just" stress reduction. It also takes into account other equally important areas like:
- Dealing with guilt and other negative emotions
- Adopting a positive mental attitude
- Understanding the importance of goals and big-picture thinking and
- Monitoring your mental input and output
Now that you know what mental hygiene is, how would you rate yours on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst, and 5 the best?
Which aspects of mental hygiene are the hardest for you to manage? Which are the easiest?
For tips on how to manage your stress and improve your mental hygiene read 15 Great Ways to Get A Grip...