There is so much more to mental health than just being a diagnosis. It’s about your complete well-being – your overall physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s how you feel about you and others. It’s your ability to handle your emotions and daily challenges. Sometimes, caring for your mental health may mean seeking out professional help, it may also mean finding ways to become better on your own. Shifting negative habits to positive ones can definitely build strength, improve your mood, and provide more happiness and enjoyment in life.
Ways To Improve Your Mental Health
- Say Or Think About Something Positive. Studies have it that the way you think about yourself has a huge effect on the way you feel. If you perceive yourself and your life negatively, you may end up looking at your past experiences as circumstances that will destroy your life. You must practice telling yourself positive things, in thoughts or words. For instance, do not say or think that you’re not good enough that’s why you won’t get the job. Instead, tell yourself, “Maybe it wasn’t really what I expected it to be, but it doesn’t mean I’m going they’re not going to hire me.” According to Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. “A better way of using positive thinking is to focus on yourself – not your abilities or accomplishments – and to work toward an appreciation of you for just being who you are.”
- Focus On The Present. Being mindful of the present and one thing at a time enables a person to release the negative feelings from past experiences that pulled him down to frustration and sadness. Be aware of the present moment and forget about everything that happened before that moment. When you wake up, feel grateful about yourself. Take a shower and feel good about the way the water touches your body as if getting rid of the negativity and starting anew. Eat a healthy meal and feel good about it. As you go out of your home and to a new day, appreciate the sunshine, the flowers, the neighbors, and the smell of life around you. Be in the present and just be happy.
- Be Thankful For Something Every Day And Write It Down. Thankfulness has long been proven to have a close relationship with improved emotional and mental health. Keeping a daily journal of the things that you are thankful for is one of the common ways to effectively achieve contentment and long-term happiness. Make this a habit.
- Practice A Regular Physical Routine. When you exercise or engage in regular physical activity, you will feel more energized for the rest of your day. Exercise releases toxins and mood-enhancing endorphins, which reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. If you’re a busy person and can’t find the time to do an everyday regimen, then try walking to and from the office, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator (these you can regularly do). You’ll see a significant difference if you do a routine for thirty minutes or more. In addition to that, “Exercise is well known to stimulate the body to produce endorphins and enkephalins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones which can make problems seem more manageable,” according to Sarah Gingell Ph.D.
- Give Back Or Pay It Forward. To show your gratefulness, you can always ask help from your friends and share food with the underprivileged. Do an act of kindness to someone – to a child, a family, or a stranger you just crossed paths with. Help an old woman cross the street. Give your extra food to the child sitting outside your daughter’s school. There are many benefits you can reap from being helpful, mostly about self-esteem and empowerment.
- Nourish Your Mind And Body. Improving one’s mental health includes nourishing your body and your brain with healthy food. Serotonin from carbohydrates pacifies the mood. According to Jonathan Rottenberg Ph.D. “The chemical most often mentioned as imbalanced is a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is hypothesized to be low in depressed people. Fortunately, like the diabetic, the depressed person can take a drug like Prozac that corrects this imbalance and raises serotonin to normal levels.” Proteins contain dopamine and norepinephrine that help wake up the soul. And fruits and vegetables are abundant in nutrients that keep every cell of the body feel alive. Eating right also rebuilds the integrity of the brain cells that are essential for better cognitive function.
- Step Away For A While. When work is too much, and family life is taking a toll on your health, take a step back and relax. Listen to music while taking a shower. Get a relaxing massage. When the hubby is off to work, and the kids are in school, sit in a quiet place and meditate. Do some breathing exercises – controlled breaths that make you feel that you’re also slowing down with your life. These things will do wonders. You’ll see.
- Begin Today – Not Tomorrow. If you take great importance in your mental health, don’t put off making positive changes tomorrow. Do what you can today. Start with what’s most important to you. If you feel the need for help from others, then tell a friend or a close family member so that someone can help you up when you drop a foot and tend not to follow through. Just slowly but surely, stave off the negativity and bring in the positivity in your life. Improve your mental health and be truly happy.