During this stressful period, head of ‘The Resilience Project’ Hugh van Cuylenberg shared some great advice with 3PM Pick Up’s Monty and Bec Judd on how to make sure we look after our mental health.
“It is unprecedented times… we are all on the mental health spectrum so we move up and down this scale, which a psychologist told me the other day is called a ‘happy scale’, and when something traumatic happens, we drop down the mental health spectrum”, he explained.
“There are things we can do which make sure we don’t drop as far down the spectrum and also bounce back quicker, which is to practice gratitude, empathy and mindfulness and it’s never, ever, ever been so important as it is right now”
Hugh recommends practicing gratitude, which is “paying attention to what you’ve got”, not on what you don’t. “So much has been taken away from us recently but we still have things to be grateful for” he told us.
Strategies for this could be to write down something that went well for you today and ask yourself and others questions such as: “What made you smile today?” and “What made you laugh today?”.
Hugh also suggests that we “do things for other people” and embrace empathy because it literally releases a hormone in your brain called ‘oxytocin’ that makes you feel happy!
Lastly, the idea mindfulness was brought up as a tool that we can use to “make us feel a lot less anxious” by spending time being “okay with what’s happening now”.
So, if you feel yourself sliding down the happiness scale, don’t forget to practice gratitude, empathy and mindfulness!
For more, grab Hugh van Cuylenberg’s book: ‘The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness’.