Mental wellbeing - Häme University of applied sciences
Mental wellbeing
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Mental wellbeing

MENTAL WELLBEING AND RESOURCES

Well-being is a very personal experience. It is worth stopping to think about what brings good well-being and joy to life. When identifying the factors that produce well-being, efforts to promote it are not “unaddressed”.

Read more on mental health:

https://mieli.fi/en/mental-health

If you have mental health problems, contact student health care professionals or study psychologist. Read more:

https://mieli.fi/en/home/mental-health/seeking-help-mental-health-problems

Stress is a familiar thing to all of us. It is part of normal life and tells of a person’s innate ability to react to and adapt to changing circumstances. However, if prolonged and intense, stress can become a threat to health and well-being. So it can’t be completely eliminated from life, but it’s good to learn to regulate excessive stress.

Positive stress
A small amount of stress is part of life and can also help with accomplishment and motivation for tasks. If you find it difficult to take on tasks and need a positive kick to your studies, positive stress can help. Positive study stress can be increased, for example:

  • Reflecting on one’s own strengths and making better use of them in studies
  • By reflecting on things that are important to you and setting goals
  • By talking to others and collaborating
  • Developing time management skills
  • Stress recognition

Stress is caused by a reaction caused by an involuntary nervous system that prepares the body to fight, flee, or paralyze in a threatening situation. This can result in, for example, increased respiration and faster heartbeat. Many identify their own state of stress precisely from physical symptoms.

In addition to physical symptoms, stress can also manifest as thoughts such as worries and worries. When stressed, it can be difficult to focus on the essential and the moment.

QUESTIONS TO HELP IDENTIFY STRESS:

Does my life seem to be in balance?
Is my time enough for the essentials?
Are there feelings of tension or restlessness in my body?
Do worries interfere with my concentration?
Can i sleep

Stress management
Practicing relaxation techniques can prevent and relieve physical stress. The natural environment also has many of the stress-relieving effects found. You can find the exercises on the Relaxation and Awareness Skills tab.

You can try to prevent study stress yourself by using good time and taking care of a healthy lifestyle.

Support and help
If your own resources are not enough, you can also get support for stress management. Support for study-related stress and coping problems can be obtained from the services of a study psychologist. Support can be, for example, structuring a stressful study situation and finding new ways to manage stress.

If the situation is particularly stressful, stress is present in several areas of life and help is needed quickly, you should turn to health services.

Read more:

https://www.yths.fi/en/health-information/mental-health/stress-management/

Stress management tips

Social anxiety is somewhat familiar to all of us. For some, it is mild and manageable, while for some, it can become a cumbersome, life-limiting thing. Social anxiety is common and natural: more than 70% get social anxiety sometimes and according to some studies, up to 30% of students struggle with performance anxiety.

Social anxiety is also not always seen from the outside. Anyone can be anxious, be it outgoing and enjoyable or shy and self-indulgent in nature. Learn more about an individual’s sociality and teamwork skills from the social wellbeing tap page.

Sometimes tension can be alleviated by knowing that tension is common and that others have it too. You can read more about the social anxiety on the FSHS website https://www.yths.fi/en/health-information-resource/social-anxiety/

Identifying and encountering social anxiety
Social anxiety often manifests itself as physical symptoms: the sound trembles, the breath feels blocked, the face is red. Physical symptoms are a stress response caused by the involuntary nervous system. Some have been helped by relaxation methods such as diaphragmatic breathing and progressive relaxation. You will find instructions for both on the tab: Relaxation and Awareness Skills.

In addition to physical symptoms, tension can also include various thoughts, such as fear of tension appearing outward, uncertainty about ourselves, or the assumption that others will judge us negatively. As a result, there may be a desire to avoid situations in which these perceived negative feelings and thoughts occur.

Support and help
If your own means are not enough, it is a good idea to seek help for social anxiety before it begins to limit your life too much. Anxiety that hinders learning can be discussed with a study psychologist. Support can be obtained both face-to-face and online.

Social anxiety can sometimes affect the ability to learn, which may require special teaching arrangements.

For difficult, multidisciplinary anxiety, you should seek help from health services. Also read about applying for psychotherapy on the HUS Mental Health House website.

Have you faced a crisis?
A crisis means an event that, in one way or another, derails life. It can be a life change such as the end of a relationship or a sudden event like an accident. So there are many types of crises. Some may need immediate support and the opportunity to discuss the event. Some of the crises encountered may only begin to reflect on the mind after a long time.

Read more:

https://mieli.fi/en/home/mental-health/crises

Immediate support

Immediate crisis support can be provided by local emergency services and a national crisis hotline: 09 2525 0111 open 24h

https://mieli.fi/en/home/support-and-help

After the crisis

Crises and difficult experiences can start to bother the mind and you may need treatment even later when the event is no longer acute.

It may be helpful to discuss the event with a professional such as a nurse, study psychologist, or university chaplain.

Are you recovering enough? Can you focus on this moment?

Awareness skills
We may often live our daily lives like with automatic control, in which case we spend much of our time drowning away, for example, in worrying about the past or worrying about the future. We may also be trapped in harmful mindsets, unfavorable patterns of action, and fruitless struggles against internal experiences that we are unable to control. Many also recognize that they are performing, stressing, and rushing too much. Conscious presence, on the other hand, is experiencing the present moment attentively, accepting it exactly as it is.

Awareness skills help to develop a new kind of relationship with oneself, one’s own thoughts and feelings. You can increase your understanding and acceptance of yourself and thereby influence your habits and lifestyles more consciously, based on your own values.

Breaks and relaxation
Everyone needs breathing breaks. After physical and mental activity, the body and mind need time to recover. It is also important for learning to rest and take breaks from time to time. That’s when memory works better, concentration becomes easier, and new things are easier to remember. There is also the term cognitive ergonomics. It has also been found that in a slightly more relaxed state, people think more creatively. So the solution to a complicated task can well be found even with a leisurely evening walk.

Learning to relax can be helpful in preventing stress and relieving tension. For example doing sports or diaphragmatic breathing is an easy way to identify and ease physical stress and tension states. Find the exercises that best suit your daily routine.

Read more about relaxation:

https://www.nyyti.fi/en/opiskelijoille/opi-elamantaitoa/rentoudu-paivittain/

Each of us has the ability and skill to explore ourselves and learn from ourselves. A person who knows himself or herself knows other people better, is able to make more considered decisions and choices, and copes more flexibly with various challenging situations in life. In studies, better self-knowledge can increase motivation and clarify future plans.

Emotions and mood
There is a two-way connection between emotions and action: emotions affect action and what we do affects our emotions. In everyday life, people of reason and emotion are often talked about, but the division is somewhat misleading. Everyone has feelings. The way we respond to them can have a big impact on our lives and relationships.

BASIC FEELINGS ACCORDING TO EKMAN (1992):

Pleasure
Fear
Anger
Disgust
Grief
Astonishment

In addition, there are many emotions that are mixtures of different basic feelings. All emotions have evolved for some purpose: so no emotion is in itself evil or negative. However, emotions can lead to behaviors that can be annoying. A long-lasting and very powerful feeling can also be stressful.

You can try to monitor the relationship between moods and activities yourself by keeping a mood diary. This is easily done today with the help of mobile applications. According to research, a person’s well-being and interpersonal relationships are promoted when he or she is able to face his or her own feelings constructively, even those that are felt to be missed. For example, everyday worries can be tried to write up in the evening before going to bed. Very strong and rapid emotional reactions, on the other hand, can be consciously practiced to recognize and change them slowly. Sometimes encountering and dealing with particularly challenging emotions may require professional support, such as psychotherapy.

Compassion
Compassion means that we treat ourselves kindly and fairly. Practicing self-compassion helps reduce harmful and unreasonable self-criticism and the embarrassment of one’s own mistakes and failures.

Self confidence can be awaken by asking:

Do I demand more of myself than I would demand of others?
Do I pay as much attention to successes as to failures?
Do I remember being grateful to myself and others?
Is self-criticism more helpful or detrimental?
What would I like someone else in this situation to tell me, what kind of support or feedback would I need to get ahead?

Similarly, compassion for other people is a fair and gentle attitude towards fellow human beings: friends, family members, fellow students, teachers, or more casual acquaintances. At best, compassion for others can broaden one’s own thinking and increase self-understanding.

Values ​​and choices
Everyone has values. Values ​​affect the small and big decisions we make over the course of our lives – whether we are aware of them or not. However, those who are aware of their own values ​​can make more conscious choices that lead to a more meaningful life for themselves.

Some common values:

Health
Surroundings
Family and friends
Creativity
Learning something new
Helping others

Questions for identifying your own values: 

What is especially important to me?
What is valuable to me that I want to cherish?
What do I want to work for?
What motivates me and pushes me forward in life?

Values ​​are realized in deeds. For example, if learning something new is valuable to yourself, you should consciously strive to do things that promote it: read books, take online courses, talk to other people. Similarly, actions that take values ​​away can be avoided. Failure to do so and prolonging the decision can also be such acts. Since there are only a limited number of hours in a day, it is worth considering your own time management in addition to values ​​and actions. Values ​​can also change over time. Sometimes a life revolution or crisis can put values ​​in a new order.

Strengths
Everyone has strengths. However, according to research, only a small proportion of people know how to name their own strengths. Strengths can be useful when we consider our own direction and how to make everyday life more meaningful. Strengths can also help with study and career considerations. Strengths can also help, for example, in writing a CV.

A person who knows their strengths can make more informed decisions about whether they prefer to make choices in life that support those strengths or those that challenge them to go into an area of ​​discomfort. It is often important to find a balance between both extremes: on the one hand, to support strengths, on the other hand, to develop and reinforce other traits in itself.

Questions to identify your own strenghts: 

In what situations do I experience success?
Where do I find useful and helpful to others?
Where I have had good feedback from others?

More about strengths

Read more:

Emotional skills

Self compassion

Are you considering the direction of life? Does everyday life feel gray?

The joy and meaning of everyday life can be found in small moments. The human mind is inherently tuned to negative and various threats. Therefore, we may notice more easily the unpleasant twists and turns of life than successes and small glimpses of light, and life is easily filled with stress, worry, or a sense of insignificance. Sometimes, too, the persistent pursuit of a good and happy life can inadvertently take us in the exact opposite direction: the demand for “perfect happiness” or “life change in one fell swoop” can in itself prevent us from enjoying the good moments of everyday life.

DETERMINING GOOD MOMENTS IN EVERYDAY LIFE HELPS:

Reflecting on and recording the day’s events. You will learn to recognize the kinds of things that bring you joy and a good mind. They are not always obvious in advance.

Trying gratitude. For example: where have other people helped you this week? What kind of kind deeds have you seen people do to each other?

Avoiding comparison. It is said that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes it’s true, but comparison can also discourage and take away the joy of the good moments of your everyday life. Then you should ask yourself whether it is useful to compare, or whether you prefer to focus your energy on your own life and its possibilities. When surprised by the desire for comparison, it’s also good to remember that most people face problems in their lifetime, and not everything shows up.

Action instead of waiting. Prolongation or insignificance can be crippling in hours and can easily be caught. What kind of little thing could you do now that would somehow activate you: physically, mentally, or socially?

What if everyday life feels constantly heavy?
The long-lasting feeling that everyday life is drilling that lacks meaning can predispose to depression and exhaustion. There can be found online programs which can help you assess your own situation and distance yourself from the depression and find a meaningful direction. The online programs can be completed independently or with the support of a HAMK study psychologist, contact if needed. Longer-term support is provided by municipal mental health services, which are free of charge.

HÄME UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES