Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental health is essential for realizing our potential, making smart decisions, maintaining healthy relationships, and learning how to navigate life’s ups and downs. While we’re constantly reminded of the importance of physical health by the media, mental health often falls by the wayside. One in four people are affected by neurological or mental disorders during their lives. Even if you haven’t experienced depression or anxiety, paying attention to your psychological well being could improve any situation, whether it’s personal or work related. And with these seven tips you can definitely improve your mental health.
1. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Make sure you’re in the habit of saying thank you. Write down and think about what you are grateful for in life. Focusing on what went wrong will only manifest negativity, while keeping a journal of moments you are thankful for can improve your well-being. Keep a gratitude journal – you’ll find that optimism, happiness, and even social situations come more easily. Be kind to yourself and others and you’ll see a distinct difference in how you approach life.
2. GET CREATIVE
Cook a new recipe, take an art class, draw, or try a DIY project. Studies have shown that even the act of witnessing creativity (going to a concert, visiting an art museum, etc.) have a positive effect on a person’s psychology. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something creative and embrace the process. Remember – it’s not about the end result here.
You don’t need hours on end at a gorgeous yoga retreat to block out all thoughts, but all of ten minutes of quiet to yourself. There are plenty of ways you can meditate from watching videos to downloading an app like headspace. Meditation can help alleviate stress, boost creativity, increase your ability to focus, and improve your social life. Try working meditation into your morning routine for a positive, relaxing way to begin your day.
4. Focus on Fitness
Exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle with numerous benefits. Take time out of your busy schedule and go for a jog, visit the gym, or complete a fitness video at home a few times a week. Moving those muscles can help reduce anxiety and depression, so even if you only have 15 minutes, take a walk and breathe in some fresh air.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
The number one way to begin to surround yourself with positivity is to make the decision, right now, that you are going to raise your standards.
Maybe you’ve just gotten used to having certain people around or are worried about moving on. Don’t let fear ruin your life. When you actively choose to surround yourself with people who make you happy and who share your ambitions, it elevates the standard of what you will or won’t tolerate in your business and your life. Your goals and dreams are worth it – once you believe that, you’ll be unstoppable.
6. Eat well for mental health
Eating healthy food promotes the growth of “good” bacteria, which in turn positively affects neurotransmitter production. A steady diet of junk food, on the other hand, can cause inflammation that hampers production. When neurotransmitter production is in good shape, your brain receives these positive messages loud and clear, and your emotions reflect it. But when production goes awry, so might your mood.
Sugar, in particular, is considered a major culprit of inflammation, plus it feeds “bad” bacteria in the GI tract. Ironically, it can also cause a temporary spike in “feel good” neurotransmitters, like dopamine.
7. Do not feel low:
Depression is a problem that has a solution. It is not a mark of failure or a punishment or a weakness. The fact that depression is a psychological disorder can take some of the pressure off your mind and emotions. There are treatments that effectively relieve symptoms and empower you to manage depression over the long term—once you get connected with a knowledgeable source of support. And depression isn’t your fault because of something you did or because of who you are. You are still you, and depression doesn’t alter your worth or how deserving you are of compassionate care and a better life.
8. ASK FOR HELP
Some people feel most comfortable talking to close friends or family when they are going through a depressive episode. But some people actually feel more comfortable talking to someone less familiar, such as a general practitioner or a stranger on the other end of a helpline. No way is right or wrong as long as you’re taking the step to ask for help.
Do not hesitate to seek help from. Talk to a friend, a parent, or a therapist. The simple act of speaking out loud can help you gain some perspective. When you understand what’s bothering you, you’re already better equipped to solve the problem head on. If you go to a doctor for physical needs, why should your mental health be left untreated? Trust us, visiting a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it means you’re proactive.