Therapies — 06 April 2018

Though mental health often goes unnoticed or is misunderstood, the health of the mind is just as important of the rigor of the body. From starting the day off on the right foot to hanging out with a furry friend, learn how to boost and improve mental health with these 17 tips!

How to Stay Mentally Healthy 
1. Start the Day On a Positive Foot

Rather than waking up and surfing through social media feeds, do something more positive for your mind and body. For instance, write in a gratitude journal, practice energizing yoga in bed, or tackle a morning workout.

2. Then Brew Up Some Coffee

Or perhaps brewing up some coffee is needed before any sort of productivity begins from tip #1… Nonetheless, coffee consumption boosts energy and mood levels and has shown to stave off depression!

3. Forgive

Whether you regret not studying hard enough for that chemistry test or not excelling in your presentation, learn to forgive yourself; and equally as important, learn to forgive others. People who are more forgiving are suggested to have more satisfaction and improved mental health compared to people who hold grudges.

4. Find Strength in Numbers

People who maintain strong relationships and social connections tend to be healthier than those who lack a support network. In fact, a 75-year old study advocates the biggest predictor of happiness and fulfillment in life is not based on monetary value, but love and the quality of close relationships.

5. Challenge Yourself

Embark on a challenge you have been contemplating, but hesitant on following through with. While there will surely be hurdles to overcome, the sense of fulfillment will be nothing short of (absolutely) worth it.

6. Go Off the Grid

Living in such a technological world certainly has its perks, though sometimes disconnecting and going off the grid is exactly what is needed to improve mental health. Challenge yourself to a digital detox and use this disconnected time to focus on the present moment and connect with the mind, aiming to reduce negative judgments and cultivate positive thoughts for a more optimistic, healthy outlook on life.

7. Tickle Your Funny Bone

The best medicine is not found in the medicine cabinet… Laughter is the best medicine, as it can instantaneously bring joy to your life and lower feelings of stress and anxiety. Increase humor by smiling more, thinking more positively, unleashing your inner kid, and watching funny YouTube videos or movies.

8. Take Daily Mental Breaks

In such a fast-paced society, it is easy to get wrapped up in our daily to-do lists. But grant yourself at least a 15-minute mental break throughout a chaotic day, as it can calm anxiety and offer a spiritual, emotional, and energetic reset.

9. Talk It Out

Rather than suppressing thoughts and feelings, talk it out with others or simply write it down in a journal. Also allow yourself to cry out frustrations and sadness, as unleashing and dealing with such emotions can emerge more joyful feelings and improve mental health.

10. Or Walk It Out

A 30-minute walk can be exactly what you needed to instantly boost your mental health. Research shows walking in or outdoors can boost mood, reduce stress and depression, and improve creativity, along with these 21 proven health benefits.

11. Volunteer

Give back and gain more! Whether you volunteer at a local food pantry or humane society, contributing any selfless time enriches the meaning of life.

12. Be Selfish (Sometimes)

While volunteering and being helpful is commendable, sometimes being selfish to your own personal needs takes precedency. For instance, if you feel pressured from your boss to take on a fifth project for the month, allow yourself to appropriately turn down the task, as the added stress may not be so good for your personal well-being at this time.

13. Seek Out Professional Guidance

Seeking out professional guidance is not a sign of weakness, but rather an ode of personal strength. Do not be discouraged or afraid to seek out such advantageous help when or as needed.

14. Switch Up Routine

Though our daily routines keep our days structured and efficient, monotony can start to impact your mental health. Switch up routine by testing out an innovative workout class, taking a new route to work, eating at a new restaurant, or even requesting different hours at work.

15. Value Your Health

Rather than resorting to alcohol and other drugs for self-medication and self-harm, value your health and explore alternative avenues. For example, make it a point to exercise more regularly and cook more at home with wholesome ingredients. Respecting and honoring the total health of our body is key in supporting a healthy mind.

16. Hang Out with Your Furry Friend

Did you know you could instantly improve mental health by hanging out with your furry friend? Research has shown playing with dogs can increase the brain’s levels of the dopamine and serotonin, hormones associated to pleasure and tranquility. But the benefits are not only one sided, as the companionship leaks onto your canine friend.

17. Sleep

There is no denying a bad night’s rest can shake your day’s mood… But a lack of sleep can cause negative feelings and insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is strongly linked to depression. Adults are encouraged to sleep seven to nine hours on a nightly basis, which may be facilitated by sticking to a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, turning off electronics, relaxing leading up to bedtime, dismissing caffeine, taking control of hunger, and confronting underlying health conditions. 

This piece by Balance Team was first seen on ‘On The Table‘. 

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