Five Little Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health
Don’t wait for a mental crisis. Start today!
What comes to your mind when you think about mental health? A lot of people, when they think about mental health, they think of disorders and diagnosis. Yes, these are a part of it and professional help is needed for it, but that’s not all it’s about. Mental health is much more than diagnosis. It is also about your overall psychological well-being, such as the way you feel about yourself, how you engage in positive self-talk, how well you manage your feelings, and the way you deal with everyday challenges.
While there are a lot more, here are five things you can do to boost your mental health:
1) Engage In Positive Self-Talk
How we think about ourselves can influence the way we feel about ourselves. When we view ourselves negatively, we end up viewing our life experiences also negatively, so as to confirm that notion. We should use words for ourselves that encourage positive self-worth and power. For example, after giving an exam that went bad, instead of thinking, “I will never succeed. I always end up doing this to myself.”, you can talk to yourself like this: “Just because the exam went bad does not mean I will not succeed in life. May be something better is meant for me.”
2) Move Your Body
Moving your body does not necessarily mean going out for a run or for a work-out. Sure, that is also very helpful to boost your mental health as it releases positive hormones called endorphins and releases aggression. But simply moving your body can also help channelize the negative energy stored in the body in a healthy way. Try to take walks in nature. Exposure to sunlight helps the body in producing Vitamin D, which increases Serotonin levels in the brain. Spending time with nature also reduces stress levels.
3) Take Breaks
When it feels like it’s getting too much, try to take out just ten minutes to pause and take a break. For these ten minutes, do anything except what was stressing you out. Sometimes, just closing your eyes and taking deep breaths can work wonders. For each breath, count to four when you inhale, and then another four when you hold your breath, and then another four when you exhale. This helps in stepping away for a moment, in thinking rationally, and to avoid reacting from an emotional place.
4) Write Down Three Things You Are Grateful For
Research shows that gratitude has a direct link with positive feelings and happiness. Writing down what you are grateful for by keeping a gratitude journal or a list helps improve mental well-being. But this practice needs to be regular in order for it to show a long-term benefit.
5) Do Something For Others
Doing something good for other people has an impact on how we feel about ourselves. It can be a way to boost our self-esteem. Being helpful to others will help you expand your own life.
With that being said, these were just a few little things you can do to boost your mental health. Refer to more articles to read on more things you can do to help yourself. There’s no doubt that these improve resilience and emotional health.
Remember: Don’t wait for a crisis please to start practicing. Start today. This is because when you feel stronger, it is best to form these habits then so that when there’s a crisis you and your body will know how to react and use these well when you need them the most. They’ll be like superpowers then!