Mental health tips for a better PhD experience

Thank you very much Catherine that you discussed personal issues on this blog, this may inspire others to seek catharsis and gives me the chance to share while I am overseas. I learned personally much from your wise opinion and advice. I have no doubt that you will be a famous and successful Dr. soon. No one of us is strong in all aspects of life!! This is part of our nature as a human being. I don’t like mathematics and numbers; so I studied mental health which more about communication, while my wife enjoys solving difficult maths formulas ( she is wonderful maths teacher).

I think that without unpleasantness, no one will value happiness. Please imagine if you got a PhD without effort, it would not make sense. We will enjoy the success more after beating the challenges. This will increase our self esteem later on. We may share in the future how to solve health problems of other people. Our research findings may make a difference. We may lead research themes or projects later on. I think Dr. will be the first step of how to learn in a better way!!! I think the PhD will be a step to achieve our dreams….

As mental health nurse  I am able to give some tips related to writing during a PhD which may be useful to all colleagues:

1- Try to create motivation to yourself to finish your project. For example,   imagine that you are receiving your PhD certificate with all your friends clapping hands and you receiving wonderful congratulations.

2- Try to nurture yourself after each time you write something. For example, say “I will do my favourite activity if I write something” and if you don’t write, please don’t punish yourself.

3- Cheat your unconscious. For example, always say in a loud voice “I love writing and I very much enjoy writing in my project”. Try to talk daily about positive issues in writing to those around you.

4- Try to write upon your bed or desk positive words that your unconscious will read many times daily.

5- Try to listen to why other people like writing and how they deal with the PhD blues.

6- Try not to touch your project until you are in a good mood. Your unconscious will combine happiness and your project. If you don’t feel happy please try to fix your mood and come back.

7- Try to ask yourself, “what is my best manner to write?” For example, in summer I enjoy writing while I am naked on my bed!!!

8- Ask yourself “When I am more productive in writing? during morning, evening or at night?” Write according to your productivity.

9- 60% of academic achievement is based on psychological well being and the environment surrounding the student. Please try to solve any social difficulties to be able to focus on the academic issues only.

10- Try to do regular exercise, meditation, sleep 6-8 hours and eat healthily.

11-  Daily positive imagination is very important; try to taste the sweetness of success. After doing it many time you will feel the taste more and more.

12- Most of our internal dialogue is negative. This may be shocking; we should work hard to change our mentality and think in positive ways. For example: try to listen to your internal dialogue while you open your eyes and get up from bed, you may tell yourself that it’s too cold outside and I would like to stay in bed more…… but ohh I have much to do today…. ohhh.

13- Try to focus on positives only in your life and your project. if your mind focuses on something you will see it more.

14- We should try to put goals in our life to beat the boredom. It should be clear in your mind why your need the PhD challenge? What will a PhD add to me? Write it down by your bed or on your desk.

I hope some of the above may be useful. I love positive psychology  and I would like to thank Cath for opening this door of discussion.

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