“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation”-—- Glenn Close.
Mental health is not merely a diagnosis, it involves your overall psychological well-being. This encompasses how you feel regarding yourself and others, and your capability of dealing with your everyday difficulties.
The daily bombardment of tangled thoughts and circumstances can cause you to seek isolation from these internal and external stimuli. However, this isolation can be the driving force behind your misery. Below is a compilation of mental health advice from top psychologists that can help you deal with mental health.
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We tapped 15 top practicing psychologists for their top 3 tips for achieving better and stable mental health by asking a question: If you have to list the top three powerful mental health tips, which are the most effective ones that you would qualify for the list?
This is what they have for you;
1. DR. CRAIG MALKIN
Dr. Craig Malkin is a clinical therapist, an author, and a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical University. He is the author of Rethinking Narcissism and a co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Dr. Malkin is also a frequent contributor to Psychology Today and has been helping people, families, and couples for many years. He is also the co-author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a New York Times blockbuster.
Here are the 3 good mental health tips from Dr.Craig Malkin:
Tip#1 Manage stress-Do yoga, deep breathing, mindfulness, run, fast-walk, anything to lower your stress levels and activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers the fight or flight response. No one changes in an emergency. When we’re anxious, we fall back on old reflexes, guided by fear and stark black and white rules about what’s safe and dangerous, perfect, and worthless. When we’re feeling calmer, our thinking is more flexible and creative, and we can see problems—and ourselves—in a new, often brighter light.
Tip#2 Get connected –Loneliness, research tells us as is a bigger killer than heart disease or smoking. If you’re isolated, take risks and meet some new people or reconnect with old ones, and if you’re having trouble doing that, get help breaking out of your shell. It could save your life.
Tip#3 Boost your emotional intelligence-Being aware of which feeling you have when and deeply feeling them. Connects us more clearly to our needs and often hellos us take action on our behalf. Avoiding emotions often distorts our sense of self and wreaks havoc with closeness. Get to know your feelings and you’ll live a more vital fulfilling life.
2. Julie de Azevedo Hanks
Dr. Julie De Azevado Hanks is a psychotherapist and clinical social worker. She is also a life coach and works as a private consultant from time to time. She is the originator of an outpatient treatment facility in Utah that focuses on common mental health issues. Dr. Hanks, who is the author of The Gravity of Love, is a frequent contributor on TedX talks, where she most recently spoke about motherhood as a relationship, not a role. She is a proponent of love as a useful foundation for good mental health. When she’s not teaching or writing, Dr. Hanks is an accomplished performing songwriter.
Here are the 3 tips from Julie de Azevedo Hanks:
Tip#1 Every day reflect on the question, “What do I think, feel, want, and need?” If you can answer that question, you’ll be better able to get your needs met.
Tip#2 Balance time nurturing relationships with time alone. Don’t neglect either one.
Tip#3 Don’t take on other people’s issues as if they were your own. If you do you are telling them you don’t trust them to deal with their own life.
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3. Dr. Katherine Ramsland
Dr. Katherine Ramsland is a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University and has appeared on more than 200 crime documentaries and magazine shows. She’s an executive producer of Murder House Flip, and has consulted for CSI, Bones, and The Alienist. The author of more than 1,000 articles and 68 books, including How to Catch a Killer and The Mind of a Murderer, she spent five years working with Dennis Rader on his autobiography, Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer. She currently pens the “Shadow-boxing” blog at Psychology Today and teaches seminars on extreme offenders to death investigators and homicide detectives.
Here are the 3 tips from Dr.Katherine Ramsland:
Tip#1 Maintain a regular exercise program.
Tip#2 Develop a daily attitude of gratitude.
Tip#3 Engage in satisfying work or hobbies orient you toward the future.
4. David D.Burns
David D. Burns, a subordinate teacher emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is a well-known voice in psychiatry circles around the world. He is the author of the bestselling titles such as The Feeling Good Handbook, and Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Dr. Burns’ research tries to find the link between emotions and thoughts to establish where negativity comes from first.
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Here is the tip from David D.Burns:
Many published outcome studies indicate that two-thirds of individuals struggling with mild to severe depression recover in four weeks if given a copy of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Here’s my tip: Read that book and feel terrific!
5. Julia Rucklidge
Dr. Julia Rucklidge is a professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury. Dr. Rucklidge directs the University of Canterbury’s Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. She focuses her expertise on psychological wellness and nourishment. Her research domain involves the role of nutrition and diet in the treatment of various kinds of mental illnesses ranging from stress to depression to ADHD. Her most recent work details how various nutrients (or the lack thereof) can affect our mental health.
Here are the 3 tips from Professor Julia Rucklidge:
Tip#1 Eat real nutrient-dense food and stop eating ultra-processed food.
Tip#2 Move every day – walking, yoga, cycling, swimming.
Tip#3 Be socially connected.
6. Stephen Hinshaw
Stephen Hinshaw is Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley, where he was Department Chair from 2004-2011, and Professor of Psychiatry and Vice-Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychology at UC San Francisco. He has authored over 360 articles and chapters plus 12 books, including most recently Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness (St. Martin’s, 2017), which received the Best Book award in Memoir/Autobiography from American BookFest in 2018. His international awards include the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science (2016), the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (2017); the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research (2019); and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association (2020). His work has been featured regularly in the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and many more.
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Here are the 3 tips from Stephen Hinshaw:
Tip#1 You can’t get help unless you talk about it–with friends, family members, and mental health professionals. We can’t continue to let the shame and stigma that still cling to mental illness prevent treatment-seeking. Evidence-based treatments can and do facilitate recovery…and at the same time, they reduce stigma.
Tip#2 Do everything you can to reduce silence and stigma, by confronting those who still demean mental disorder as ‘weakness’ or those who seek care as ‘not strong.’ In fact, the real strength lies in openness and prevention.
Tip#3 It’s not striving for accomplishment versus self-care–it’s both in combination. And remember, most “adult” forms of mental illness emerge in childhood or adolescence. Let’s get ahead of the curve through early recognition and treatment.
7. Dr.Randy Arnau
Randy Arnau is a clinical psychologist and life coach for a happier more fulfilling life. His philosophy combines happiness, fitness, and motivation as a three-pronged approach to better mental health and wellness. Dr. Arnau focuses on teaching people how to make themselves happy through diet and nutrition, exercise, and staying motivated. His work revolves around both physical and mental health, particularly when it comes to achieving the ideal balance to stay happy, healthy, and motivated.
Here are the three tips from Dr. Randy Arnau:
If I had to pick three of the most important things for mental health, I would say the following:
Tip#1 Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep negatively impacts mood, attention, performance, and chronic inadequate sleep is related to increased risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Tip#2 Practice Mindfulness meditation on a regular basis (you can find apps for this or free scripts on Youtube).
Tip#3 Practice gratitude by journaling about things you are thankful for. Studies have shown this to be related to decreased feelings of depression and anxiety and greater happiness and life satisfaction.
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8.Dr. Glenn Wilson
Glenn Daniel Wilson is a renowned clinical psychologist who focuses on character and demeanor estimation, brokenness and deviation, sexual fascination, and brain science. He has published a number of studies detailing how the mind works during various activities, what causes certain personality traits, and the science behind eating disorders. Some of his most popular works include The Psychology of Eating, Profiling a Killer, and a series of lectures on the Gresham College website titled Personality and the Brain. Dr. Glenn Wilson gives excellent advice on self-managing your moods.
Here are the tips from Glenn Daniel Wilson:
My 3 tips for self-management of mood:
Tip#1 Get outside and exercise in natural surroundings as often as possible. Find excuses to be out in “the savannah” – trees, flowers, water, fields and hills (playing golf, walking the dog, or just walking). This may be more difficult in winter than summer but it is even more important because sunlight is in short supply.
Tip#2 Replace anger with laughter. There will always be negative events that we cannot control (accidents, political developments, annoying people, etc.), and one of the best defenses is to build your sense of humor. If necessary, top up with a video of something like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (or whatever tickles you personally).
Tip#3 Avoid over-commitment. Your time is precious, so don’t get bulldozed into doing things you that waste it. Learn to decline requests politely but assertively and be particularly on guard against “distant elephants” (diary dates that seem unimportant because are a long way away).
9. Susan Aposhyan
Susan Aposhyan specializes in your Body-Mind psychotherapy and maintains a private practice. She is the author behind Natural Intelligence: Body-Mind Integration and Human Development. Dr. Aposhyan’s work is widely recognized by psychiatrists around the globe and has recently featured in the Mediterranean Region Counselors Association news feed. Her psychotherapy research focuses on early motor development, neuroscience, and physiology in relation to each other. Dr. Aposhyan is empathetic about creating mindfulness from within as a form of mastering sensory awareness.
Here are the 3 tips from Susan Aposhyan:
Tip#1 Learn to feel your emotions manifest as sensations in your body.
Tip#2 Begin to check in with your body, scan through and notice sensations—top to bottom, superficial and deep. Do this in moments of relative calm and in moments of intense emotionality. Over time you will develop a sense of how your emotions manifest in your body. Track when your heart area feels more open and more constricted.
Same as above, check-in with your heart area when you are calm and when you are emotional. Notice shifts of feeling more open and feeling more constricted.
Tip#3 Listen to the subconscious commentary in your head and practice speaking kindly, respectfully, and accurately to yourself. When you notice yourself saying harsh, disrespectful, or untruthful things to yourself, respond, and correct them. “That’s not true. I’m doing my best. I’m doing well enough . . .”
Dr. Paulo Graziano is a clinical psychologist and an associate psychology professor at Florida International University. As a researcher, Dr. Graziano has made significant strides in uncovering the onset of various mental health issues. His research focuses on areas of Developmental psychopathology the individual differences of early regulatory processes, particularly how they influence cognitive, behavioral, and social-emotional development during growth. Dr. Graziano also studies the parental and environmental factors that act on the impact of various regulatory processes pertaining to adaptive functioning.
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Here are the 3 tips from Paulo Graziano:
Here are my responses, most of them being parenting issues given my expertise.
Tip#1 If you are a parent, simply finding a little bit of time every day to spend time with your child on something they want to do and during this time being positive with him/her without bombarding them with questions and criticisms can go along ways to strengthening your relationship (which buffers children from a lot of mental health issues). Also, if you do not find you have 5-10 minutes to spend with your child every day, then reconsider having other children as the parenting challenges would only increase with multiple siblings.
Tip#2 As a parent, develop a good relationship with your child’s teacher. Even if you do not have time to volunteer, send lots of positive messages to the teacher (even when they may not be doing everything you are wanting them to do) and indicate that you are on the same team and are willing to do what it takes to help your child at home.
Tip#3If you as a parent recognize that you are anxious or have perfectionist tendencies, take care of yourself by going to therapy and dealing with your anxiety rather than modeling such anxious behavior or accommodating your child’s behavior which can promote their own anxiety.
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11. Dr. John E. Mayer:
Given the demands of today’s world, John Mayer, Ph.D. is solution orientated when caring for those in emotional/behavioral distress.Dr. John Mayer is a practicing clinical psychologist, author and consultant. A native Chicagoan, he received his doctorate from Northwestern University Medical School. Dr.Mayer has been providing therapy for over 30 years with the enthusiasm, passion and energy that drew him into this field. His personal, approachable and accessible manner has consistently resulted in exceptionally high ratings in such services as Yelp, etc.Dr. Mayer is still an avid athlete and resides in Chicago, Illinois. He has received many honors in his career (Named one of the 2000 outstanding scientists of the 20th century~honorary diplomas~wrote a book for the United Nations).
Here are the 3 tips from Dr. John Mayer:
Here are my 3 tips for good mental health:
Tip#1 Strive for a balanced life. Physically-mentally-spiritually-socially-personally-familiarly.
Tip#2 Strive for open(transparent), direct, honest and sharing communication in all your relationships and social interactions. Master the art of communication and perfect your delivery when you communicate.
Tip#3 Lower your expectations, But keep your standards HIGH!
12. Natalie Feinblatt
Dr. Natalie Feinblatt is a clinical psychologist and a strong proponent of seeking therapy as a way of dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and addiction. She has accomplished a lot with her approach, which helps patients feel centered and grounded. Dr. Feinblatt advises therapy as a means of dealing with some challenging mental health issues, but also as avenue to better mindfulness, long-term sobriety, self-love, and inner peace.
Here are the 3 tips from Natalie Feinblatt:
Tip #1 Acceptance- I interpret the Buddhist saying, “Pain is mandatory, suffering is optional” to mean that all lives involve pain. Sure, some seem to have more pain than others, but no one gets a pain free life. However when we refuse to accept pain then we create additional suffering for ourselves. So you can either accept the pain and deal only with that pain, or deal with both the pain and the suffering you cause yourself by refusing to accept it. I know I’d prefer the former. And just because you accept something doesn’t mean that you like it, agree with it, approve of it, or even understand it. Acceptance just means that you are accepting reality on reality’s terms and not fighting against it.
Tip #2 Willingness- Be willing to educate yourself on your mental health issues. Be willing to seek professional help for those issues. Be willing to think outside of the box as to how to best cope with the challenges life is putting in front of you. And if you’re not willing yet, try to be willing to be willing.
Tip #3: Support- Most people with mental illnesses cannot fix them all by themselves. They need the support of other people to overcome their challenges. This might look like help from a mental health professional, it might look like peer support from others who face the same struggle, it might look like both. Connecting to supportive people is a huge part of healing.
13. Amy McManus
Amy McManus is a Licensed Psychotherapist and owner of Thrive Therapy in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles). She helps smart, motivated adults learn to manage their anxiety and improve their relationships—whether it’s winning the breakup, dating again, or creating a healthy and supportive partnership. McManus clients learn innovative techniques to manage the overwhelm that is endemic to life in the modern world so they can build careers and relationships that nourish their soul and free them to live their best life!
In addition to classical “talk therapy”, Amy McManus have special training in Attachment-Focused EMDR, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and in Couples Therapy, which she uses both with couples and with individuals who are working on their relationships.
Here are the 3 tips from Amy MacManus:
Here are my top 3 tips for mental health (okay, there are 4—I couldn’t help myself!):
Tip #1 Get enough quality sleep: Without a good night’s sleep, you will much more easily feel sad, angry, depressed, lonely, hopeless, and frustrated. You will also be much more likely to lash out or to withdraw in silence instead of being able to communicate in a healthy way.
Tip #2 Know that it’s not about you: If someone else’s words or behavior upsets you, try to remember that their behavior and words are much more likely to reflect who they are and how they show up in the world than they are to be about something you did or said.
Tip #3 If something almost works, don’t just try to do more of it.
- If yelling at your partner almost gets them to change what upsets you, but not quite— don’t just yell more.
- If drinking some wine almost erases that bad day at work, but not quite—don’t just drink more.
- If falling apart so your partner will comfort you almost feels good, but not quite—don’t just fall apart more.
Tip #4 Treat yourself with respect: If someone makes you feel bad when you are with them, don’t keep trying to change their mind about you—just leave.
Donald Meichenbaum is the creator of subjective conduct change and made improvements to social psychological treatment (CBT). Some of his most recent work includes a study that explores a cognitive-behavioral approach in the treatment of mixed anxiety and depression. In 2015, he was voted as one of the most influential scientists of the century by the Psychological Association of Western New York, Dr. Meichenbaum’s work is renowned in psychiatry circles all over the world.
Here are my three tips.
Tip #1 The ability to spot HYPE in the field of psychotherapy. Be a critical consumer.
( See Meichenbaum and Lilienfeld Professional Psychology 2018, 49, 22-30)
Tip #2 The quality of the therapeutic alliance in individual therapy and the level of cohesion in
group therapy are the best predictors of treatment outcomes
( See Nissen -Lee et al Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 2017 24, 48-60 Love yourself as a person and doubt yourself as a thera[pist)
Tip #3 Your treatment approach should be strength-based.
( Visit www.Melissainstitute.org/scientific-articles-by-author—SCROLL to Don Meichenbaum)
15. James Franklin
Mental health expert James Franklin is known for his unique way of handling mentally disturbed patients. He is working privately and Franklin has dedicated his life to uplift people and help them to return in their lives.
Here are the three tips from James Franklin:
Tip #1 Track appreciation and accomplishment with a diary.
Tip #2 Lift intellectual prowess by getting yourself two or three bits of dull chocolate at regular intervals.
Tip #3 Feeling on edge? Bring an excursion through a world of fond memories and do some shading.
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