Staying Sane: 12 Tips for How to Improve Mental Health
Every year, one in four people experiences mental health problems. These could range from depression and anxiety through to conditions such as bi-polar and schizophrenia.
Mental health problems can occur at any stage in your life. They can be brought on by a traumatic event, or they could be caused by a natural change in your brain chemistry. For some people
But if you experience mental health problems, what can you do to improve your mental wellbeing.
In this article, we’ll look at 13 tips for how to improve mental health. Some of these tips are quite small and are easy to integrate into your lifestyle, while others may take more effort to implement.
1. Get Some Exercise
Getting your body moving and your blood pumping is a great way of fighting off mental health problems such as stress and depression.
When you exercise, your body produces endorphins. These feelgood hormones are useful in the fight against stress, and they’re great for counteracting hormones such as cortisol which is released during stressful times.
If you’re not someone who is very active, try starting off with some gentle and manageable exercise, just enough to get your heart rate up. Then, work up the amount of exercise that you do gradually.
Get into a routine of often exercising if you can. Try and set aside time each day to go for a walk or short run. Once you’re used to exercising more often, you can then start to increase the intensity of the activity. You may want to think about taking up a sport or joining a gym.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is an important function of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not getting enough sleep, then it can have a serious impact on your stress levels and your mental health in general.
It is recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. This means making sure that you get to bed early enough.
If you are someone that struggles to sleep, there are things that you can do to improve your sleep routine.
Firstly, look at the comfort of your bed. You may wish to buy a latex hybrid mattress for extra comfort.
If you are someone that uses smartphones or looks at screens late into the evening, you should stop this. Don’t look at a phone screen for an hour before you go to bed as they emit blue light which can stop you from falling asleep easily.
Finally, change your routine. Take a bath or meditate in the time immediately before you go to bed.
3. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Happy
Although simply being around people who make you smile and who care about you is not a cure for depression and anxiety, sometimes laugher is good medicine.
Try and spend as much time as possible with people who have a positive outlook who care about you.
Spending too much time around the wrong people can be detrimental to your mental health. If people around your say or do things that make you feel unhappy or cause you to worry in any way, it may be time to review your friendships.
4. Start Keeping a Journal
One of the best ways to connect with your emotions so that you understand them better is to keep a journal.
Writing down how you feel about something can be therapeutic. It allows you to externalize all of your feelings and thoughts. Often, when we keep things locked up inside our mind without speaking or writing things down, they can manifest as mental health problems.
You may be surprised to learn about yourself when you read through previous entries that you’ve written, and you’ll reach more of an understanding of who you are as a person.
5. Take Up a New Hobby
Igniting new passions is a great way of improving your mental health. Think about taking up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do.
Choose something that you can do on a regular basis. Consider picking a hobby that will bring into contact with new people so that you can make new friends.
Think about your mental health when selecting a new hobby, and make sure that you choose something that will help you.
6. Talk About It
Often our mental health problems can be dramatically reduced if we talk about them. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved.
If you are going through a stressful or emotionally trying time, open up to someone that you’re close to will give you the opportunity to work through some of the issues that you’re facing.
If you don’t have any close friends and family that you can turn to, there are professionals out there that can provide you with excellent support when you need it. A therapist will be able to use advanced techniques in their sessions to help you work through the issues you’re facing.
7. Take Up Meditation
Meditation is a fantastic way to relax you and help you to cope with stressful situations. It is a practice where you focus your attention and your awareness. There are several different types of meditation, ranging from mindfulness meditation through to transcendental meditation.
It can take a lot of practice to be able to meditate effectively, so if you don’t notice any effects straight away, don’t give up. You’ll get there with patience.
You’ll need to find a quiet space with as little to distract you as possible. You may need to sit in a specific posture depending on the type of meditation that you’re attempting. Alternatively, you may be required to sit in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
Some meditation is guided. This means that you’ll listen to someone speaking. In other forms of meditation, you’ll be required to focus on your breathing.
It can be challenging to ignore any distractions; however, with practice, you can develop focus and control through meditation.
8. Look After Number One
Sometimes in life, you may find that you put the needs of others above yourself. By doing this, you may be ignoring your own needs. This can lead to deficits in certain areas of your life, and your mental health is likely to suffer.
Putting yourself first when you need to is not selfish. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you cannot be there for someone else or be attentive to their needs, it just means that you need to be aware of your own needs and it means ensuring that you are taking care of yourself.
9. Speak to Your Doctor
Mental health problems are still health issues, they may not be physical ailments, but they are still important. If you’re having issues with your mental health, you should speak to your doctor.
Your doctor should have a sound understanding of mental health problems, and they should be able to provide you with advice, support, and medication should you require it.
There are two common forms of treatment for mental health problems; these are medication and talking therapy. Many doctors will advocate for a combination of both. This means that you may be required to take antidepressants or other forms of medication while seeing a therapist.
10. Take a Break
If you feel as though life is getting on top of you, you should do everything possible to take a break from your current situation. Regular short breaks are an essential way of helping you to recharge; however, once in a while you should take a longer break.
Having a change of scenery and routine can do you a world of good. If you’re able, get away and do something that you enjoy, or do nothing at all.
11. Set Realistic Goals
If you’re setting yourself unrealistic goals, you’ll continually fail at achieving them. This constant feeling of failure is going to add up, and it will affect your confidence levels.
If you want to make sure that your confidence is allowed to grow, set yourself realistic and achievable goals. You’ll start to feel good whenever you hit a goal.
If you have big goals to meet, break them down into smaller stages. By breaking up your goals, you can build self-confidence and feel good about your achievements.
12. Practice Gratitude
If you’ve got a jaded view of the world, you’re going to feel as though you’re under a cloud all of the time. One way of lifting this cloud is by changing your outlook.
Look for things to feel grateful for. If you can find the good in the world around you, you’ll start to feel more positive, which in turn will lift your spirits.
How to Improve Mental Health
If you want to know how to improve mental health, you’ll have to try a variety of different techniques. Everyone is different, and some people will have better experience following each of these different tips. Try a combination and see what works for you.
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