Research has shown that some people are biologically more susceptible to the chemical imbalances that precipitate mental illness. No one is immune however, and there are certain practices that everyone can undertake to keep themselves mentally healthy and prepared for life's adversities.

Just as our bodies sometimes suffer from mild illnesses, so too do our minds. Low periods are perfectly natural as everybody's feelings and energies ebb and flow. Sometimes it is helpful to bear in mind some small motivations that can help you turn something that seemed like a disaster into a more transient issue.

You are searching for a balance that makes you happy and free to enjoy your experiences - it doesn't really matter how you get to that point.

  • Sometimes we put undue pressure on ourselves: perhaps you blame yourself when situations are simply a result of circumstance, or dwell too much on the things that you don't like about yourself. These behaviours and negative thought patterns cause you more stress and make everything more difficult to cope with. Be gentle with yourself... and when negative thoughts surface be firm and make them fleeting.
  • However hectic your lifestyle, you need to rest: make constructive time for yourself to properly unwind, doing something you enjoy.
  • Looking after yourself physically also helps you mentally. Strength within your body will make you more resilient and positive.
  • Think about your life: What do you enjoy? What are your greatest achievements? Who do you like spending time with? Remembering the important things in your life can help you think about where you are and where you want to go next - this can help you notice and seize the opportunities that will take you there.
  • Realise that you can only control so much: our lives are as much about chance encounters as the careful plans we make. Opening yourself up to the world around you will draw new experiences into your sphere.
  • Surround yourself with a good support network. This can include friends, family, colleagues... anyone in fact. Developing strong, reciprocal relationships will enhance your experiences and provide you with enjoyable company.