6 Habits to Better Your Mental Health
It's time we start taking our mental health seriously. Being intentional about valuing your mental health will help you connect deeper with others, reduce anxiety and boost your confidence. There are no downsides.
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to make simple improvements to your mental health, just a couple of habit changes can yield big results. Try adding these things to your daily routine.
Make relaxation a routine.
Very few things in life are promised, but stressful times are unfortunately guaranteed. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed or stressed out. However, you can control how you respond to the strain. Implementing relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help you manage stress.
Meditation is a popular way to relax as it can help reach a state of calm, decrease stress and improve your mood. Some people even use music to guide them through their meditation sessions. If meditation isn't your thing, deep breathing, reading or taking a bubble bath are also popular relaxation techniques. No matter how you choose to relax, just make it a habit.
Including gratitude in your life is a way to create a positive outlook on your life. More than that, it has tangible benefits for your mental health, including reducing stress, lessening depression symptoms and boosting your mood.
Gratitude is a simple concept, but sometimes difficult to keep up with. In 2023, take time for self-reflection and share your gratitude with the people around you. If you like to journal, regularly write down a list of things you're grateful for.
Value social interaction.
Sharing our time with others is sometimes just what we need to boost our mood or change our perspective on things. By making time for friends and family, you will decrease feelings of loneliness and ensure you have an emotional support system at your fingertips. If you can't regularly meet in person, text messages and zoom calls are all meaningful ways to connect with others without actually seeing each other.
The other side of valuing social interaction is knowing when you've had enough. Boundaries are an essential part of mental health that help you from pushing yourself too far. Feel empowered to say no or move plans around when your body tells you to.
Be open and share.
When you feel overwhelmed or stressed it is a good habit to be open and talk to those close to you. If you don't feel that is possible then reach out to get professional advice. Asking for help I'd not a sign of weakness, just the opposite...it shows great strength.
Make yourself laugh.
Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. When you're feeling stressed or down, do things that will make you laugh to reduce anxiety and stress. Watch your favourite TV show or movie to give your mood a boost. Or find the source within yourself. Sing while you're in the shower or dance while cleaning your home. Dancing reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
Take care of your physical health.
Mental health is directly tied to physical health...one cannot flourish without the other. The three main areas to target are sleep, nutrition and exercise.
Sleep: The state of your mental health is influenced by the sleep you get. If you don't get enough sleep, your brain doesn't have the chance to rest and recover. Sleep deprivation makes it harder to regulate your emotions and cope with stress, which can amplify the symptoms of existing mental illnesses. Being intentional about prioritizing your sleep is a simple way to value your mental health.
Food and hydration: Giving your body the nutrients and hydration it needs to function is another essential part of mental health. In addition to eating well-balanced meals, try adding foods to your diet that boost happiness. And make sure you drink enough water; hydration is linked to decreased risk of anxiety and depression.
Exercise: Being active is another way to boost your mood and make you feel good. Adding exercise to your routine gives you a chance to bond with others, reduce anxiety and boost your confidence. It doesn't have to be heavy lifting or intense workouts; regular walks or bike rides can also boost your mental health.
Improving your mental health is a journey...it doesn't happen overnight. You can make lasting tweaks to your well-being by intentionally adding these and other habits to your daily routine. Be creative!