Our Top 5 Mental Health Quotes

Published 16 April, 2024

There are hundreds of quotes online surrounding the topic of mental health. Although they’re great to read and can be really inspiring, there’s so many that a lot of people just don’t know where to start…

Luckily for you, our health and wellbeing experts here at Xyla have come together and agreed on a list of their top 5 mental health quotes.

1) “Change what you can, manage what you can’t.” — Raymond McCauley

You will experience a variety of challenges during your lifetime. Some of them you will be able to control and others will be outside of your control. It is important to manage what we can to reduce any negative impact on our health, such as increased stress and worry. It’s also important to think about how we respond – sometimes the way we think about a situation can change how much of an impact it has on us.

There are many things in life that we have no control over, from the weather to the energy prices to what other people think about us. These situations can make us feel anxious and uncomfortable, because we have limited control over the outcome and sometimes, we can feel like there’s no solution. In these circumstances, it is important to think about how we can manage the situation and how we respond to it. We can use techniques such as mindfulness, rhythm breathing, writing our thoughts down in a diary, or speaking to someone about how we’re feeling. This can help to manage our stress and anxiety, helping us to think more logically about the situation at hand and how to overcome it.

However, there are some things that on a first glance we may not feel we have much control over, but with a closer look, we can find a solution. For example, our deadlines at work, relationship difficulties, our mood, or our health. Sometimes these factors feel out of our control, but we do have some element of control over them. We can actively problem-solve our worries!

To do this, try to brainstorm as many possible solutions to your problem, even the arbitrary solutions can turn out to be the best ones! Then you need to pick one of them and try it out. It may be a case of trial and error – the first solution you try may not solve the problem, but the next one might. Keep going until you find a solution that works for you, and perhaps you could share what you’ve done with someone else. It helps to share our achievements and your solution could help someone else too.

2) “A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Do you struggle with getting enough sleep, or even falling asleep in the first place? There are many ways in which you can improve your sleep quality and sleep quantity. One way in which you can improve our sleep at night is to be active during the day. Daytime activity can help alleviate tiredness during the day, reducing the need for taking a nap and make you more likely to drift off to sleep at night, because the body needs to rest.

Also, being active in the day means you will be burning more energy and are more likely to spend less time tossing and turning – therefore, falling asleep quicker and easier. Physical activity can also help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which is a common reason why you may struggle to sleep – thoughts and worries can keep you up at night.

In terms of what activity you should be doing, it is most helpful to do some low-intensity exercise before going to sleep, as it can help you to fall asleep quicker and spend longer in deep sleep as opposed to doing high-intensity exercise before sleep.

3) “Deep breathing is our nervous system’s love language.” — Dr. Lauren Fogel Mers

Breathing is essential to our survival, in an emergency situation one of the first things to assess is whether someone is breathing. This process is fundamental to our survival as it delivers oxygen around the body. When we’re stressed or anxious our breathing tends to become quicker as we prepare for action. By deliberately slowing the breath, its possible to calm the nervous system and relax the body.

This doesn’t need to be done in any special way or whilst sat in a specific position, but you might find it helpful to use a count of around 4-8 seconds for the in breath and same for the out breath. Your breathing will also naturally slow during the night when you sleep, if you find you struggle to drift off try taking deep breathes and counting to yourself. This can be beneficial for focusing the mind away from thoughts and worries and for relaxing the body, so it is primed for sleep.

4) “Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.”―Bill Phillips

Stress is commonly mentioned in conversation as a negative thing. If someone says that they’re stressed, our initial thought is that they must feel tense, anxious, or strained. However, stress is a natural response that helps us manage and respond to a difficult situation, providing the body with energy to run or fight off a physical danger. Stress can be used to our benefit to help us move forward during adversity. Therefore, how we decide to respond during times of stress in day-to-day life can dictate whether stress is a help or a hindrance.

Stress boosts our cognitive function, it can help us concentrate, improve our cognitive performance, and be more productive. If we think about our stress response as helpful, it can help us get through a tough situation, reducing our anxiety and make us feel more confident. When our heart is pounding and our breathing rate is increasing, we can think of our body as preparing us to rise to a challenge. Studies have shown that the way we perceive stress can reduce the negative implications of stress on our health! If we view stress as helping us to overcome a challenge, it can lessen the constrictions of our blood vessels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications that can occur from experiencing stress for long periods of time.

Additionally, hormones that are released during the stress response, adrenaline and cortisol, initiate these physiological changes. However, what isn’t often discussed, is the release of oxytocin during stress. Oxytocin is nicknamed the cuddle hormone, because it’s released when we hug someone! This hormone encourages us to be social and therefore, the stress response encourages us to seek support, whilst also working as an anti-inflammatory helping to strengthen our heart. The more we seek out social support, the stronger our oxytocin response becomes. Therefore, if we view our stress response as helpful to give us energy to handle our challenges, it can reduce the negative impact on our health and improve our outreach for social connection in order to manage our stress.

5) “Self-care is how you take your power back.” — Lalah Delia

The term ‘Self-care’. What does this mean? We often hear about self-care on adverts that are encouraging us to indulge in a sweet treat or to sell us a spa day experience. When we talk amongst friends, we often associate self-care with pampering ourselves, face masks and a relaxing hot bath. But self-care in the literal sense, is about caring about ourselves, our physical and mental wellbeing. Self-care can be keeping up with our medications. Self-care can be taking some time away from our laptops or phones. Self-care can be taking some time alone to go for a walk, to paint or to watch your favourite film!

Todays society is typically very stressful. Mental Health UK states that 1 in 5 workers in the UK have felt unable to cope with pressure and stress at work. Burnout is the term used to describe physical and emotional exhaustion at work, leaving an individual feeling tired, helpless and overwhelmed. Burnout can have an effect on work performance, but also physical and mental health too.

Studies have shown that engaging in a self-care routine can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, improve our concentration and our mood! Self-care has even been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. Taking some time out of you day to focus on yourselves can provide you with some amazing mental and physical benefits. Try thinking about what you enjoy doing, and what you could do to unwind. Self-care doesn’t have to be reactive – you don’t have to wait until you’re stressed or feel burnout to start a self-care routine. You should keep a good level of self-care to help reduce the amount of stress that you experience or for burnout to begin in the first place.

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