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By Lina Martinez

When most of us think of “danger” we immediately imagine physical threats to our wellbeing. Things like falling down the stairs at home, having a bad reaction to a certain medication, getting bitten by a wild animal, getting mugged in a bad part of town, or being involved in a car accident.

These issues are real, and it’s certainly important to be mindful of them, and to be aware of professionals such as Payer & Associates - Car Accident Lawyer who can help if the worst does happen.

But with high rates of depression among people in even the most affluent societies, it’s equally important to watch out for psychological threats to your wellbeing, and to know how to avoid them.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your own sense of wellbeing in an often stressful and depressing world, and to hang onto a feeling of happiness and contentment.

Surround yourself with the kind of people you want to be like

Many success and productivity gurus make the point that you become like the people you surround yourself with the most, and it’s a sad fact that being surrounded by negative people takes its toll on your mental health and wellbeing.

On one hand, you might find yourself adopting more of the mannerisms and attitudes of those negative people, and then wake up one day feeling disappointed in the person you’ve become.

On the other hand, even if you don’t end up mirroring those negative sorts, you’ll find that the constant aura of negativity can really bring you down and colour the way you see the world.

A great protective strategy is to surround yourself the most, with the kinds of people you most admire and want to be more like.

Make time for proper sleep and nutrition

As busy twenty-first century folks, we’re often rushed off our feet at all times day and night by the requirements placed on our time by society, work, family, and so on.

In order to keep up with their busy schedules and still enjoy some decompression time at the end of the day, many people opt to cut their sleep short and take the path of least resistance when it comes to things like nutrition.

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s essential for anyone who cares about their mental health in the long-term, to make the time for proper sleep and nutrition. Both of these things have a tremendous effect on the body, and sleep deprivation and nutrient deficiency can skew hormone levels, lead to organ damage, sluggishness, and a general sense of dread and misery.

Practice detaching yourself from your thoughts

Ancient stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius made a big point about the fact that our miseries in life are largely to do with our own thoughts about the situations we experience, rather than the situations themselves.

There’s a lot of wisdom to that. Often, negative self-talk is at the heart of chronic negativity and sadness. A great way to overcome this is to practice detaching yourself from your negative thoughts by taking up a mindfulness meditation practice.

It’s also a great idea to begin practicing positive affirmations, and challenging our negative perceptions of things.