I grew up listening to Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s call in radio show.  As a teenager, I’d tune in on Sunday nights and listen to Dr. Ruth answer all manner of sexual questions.  One main point in each answer was clear.  You must take responsibility for your own satisfaction.

It’s not a huge leap to apply her attitude towards our mental health.  Too often we look for others to solve our problems, provide fulfillment or soothe us when we’re stressed and anxious.  If we’re constantly looking for others to solve our problems and manage our mental health, we’re likely to spend a lot of time frustrated, stressed and anxious.

This is not to say that we should isolate ourselves from others or that positive relationships are not essential to happiness and well being.  It is simply to put the control of your happiness and relationships in your own hands.  Rather than be a victim of circumstances, get active in solving your own problems.

You may have learned early on that you are helpless to change your circumstances.  Early trauma or a controlling environment during childhood can lead people to more passive styles of engaging with problems.  If this is the case for you, now might be the time to re-evaluate whether you truly are still helpless.

Some ways to take control of your well being include:

  • Take an active, rather than passive, approach to solving problems.  Don’t expect others to provide solutions or simply wait, hoping the problem will go away on its own.
  • Manage your environment.  Surround yourself with people and activities that support a healthy mindset and body.
  • Engage in healthy daily habits, like balanced eating and getting enough sleep.
  • Notice when you are stuck in negative thoughts or when your body is tired, tense or run down.  Once you begin to notice these times, you can determine how to manage them.

There are many ways to take control of your well-being.  Although there are circumstances and events which you are powerless to change, you can change how you respond to them and how you take care of yourself during difficult times.