Struggling with your mental health? Not sure how to improve it? What if I told you it’s easier than you think? In fact, you can improve your mental health in under 1 week-yes really! Read my complete guide on 10 simple ways to improve your mental health to find out how(plus get my FREE downloadable journal prompts for mental health down below.)
- How To Be The Most Confident Person in The World.
- How To Build The Best Self Care Routine That Sticks.
- 13 Self Care Night Routine Things To Do Before Bed.
- 7 Healthy Self Care Habits To Do Every Morning.
- 11 Things You Should Never Apologize For
- How To Journal For mental Health.
- 13 Benefits of Journaling Daily.
- How To Mange Stress In Ten Easy Steps
- Meditation Guide For Beginners.
It is estimated that about 970 million people worldwide are suffering from a mental or substance abuse disorder. Rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide are on the rise. So, it is important to take care of your well-being and that includes mental health.
Mental health refers to your psychological and emotional well-being. It is just as important as physical health. So if you feel like you are falling into depression or are struggling with anxiety, there are a few steps to well-being you can take.
Wondering how to achieve mental health? Here’s how to better your mental health:
1. Unplugging from your phone
What is the first thing you do when you get up? Most people check their phones as soon as they are awake and then spend quite some amount of time browsing through social media sites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Unplugging means that you take a break from your smartphone. Unplugging from your phone helps your body and mind relax, improves sleep quality, and helps correct your neck posture.
Unplugging doesn’t mean that you don’t use your smartphone forever. Try taking 24 hours or the whole weekend off your smartphone every once in a while.
There is a common misconception that meditation is entirely a religious practice but this is not so. While many religions world practice meditation, it has psychological benefits.
The goal of meditation is to focus your attention and eliminate any negative and muddled-up thoughts that may be causing you stress. Meditation helps reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, improve your self-awareness and self-esteem and manage negative emotions such as fear and anger.
Start by doing 15 minutes a day of meditation. It is best to find a quiet place where you can focus. You can then choose what meditation technique to use, be it mindfulness, mantra meditation, visualization, or movement meditation.
Most people don’t quite get journaling. They struggle with the practice and thus aren’t able to maximize its benefits. Journaling helps you manage anxiety, reduce stress, and improve your mood by providing a platform for positive self-talk.
Remember when you used to write down your feelings and thoughts as a teenager? It is no different now that you are an adult. And there are no rules to journaling. Find what works for you.
You can use a notebook or your laptop. Ensure that you journal daily instead of making occasional entries. Write something in your journal on all days, even when you have no motivation or inspiration to.
4. Limit coffee intake
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant. Consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety and jitteriness. Some individuals may also develop some sort of dependency on caffeine.
Also, consuming coffee just before your bedtime may interfere with your sleep. This is why we all drink coffee when we want to stay up all night to complete a school assignment or a work project.
So limit your coffee consumption to less than 4 cups daily.
5. Try Yoga
Yoga might be a scary thing to try as you aren’t familiar with it but don’t shy away from it. First, you need to understand that yoga is not about extreme flexibility. Yoga is about breathing, finding inner peace through meditation, and strengthening the body and mind with basic poses. Forget about those complicated poses you see on TV.
Yoga emphasizes breathing practices and meditation to help calm the mind. It is also a low-impact exercise and affects mood by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is associated with decreased anxiety and better mood.
Start with basic poses (yoga asanas) such as the child’s pose, downward-facing dog, plank pose, cobra pose, tree pose, and savasana.
Besides being essential for cognitive function, socializing is key for mental health and happiness. Human beings are social animals and we tend to function better with social contact and support.
Go out with your friends more, engage your neighbors in brief conversations, call your relatives often and say hello to random strangers.
You’ve probably heard this one over and over again. I will say it again! Exercise is crucial for your mental health. Regular exercise has positive effects on mood, stress, anxiety, and depression. Regular physical activity also improves memory and sleep quality.
Health experts recommend doing moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for 30 minutes daily. If you don’t have too much time to spare, squeeze in 15 minutes daily for exercise.
It is key that you exercise consistently. Focus on activities you love like swimming or cycling so that you can stick to them long term.
Sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Sleep is the brain’s fuel. When you sleep, your body as well as your brain rests and recovers. Often not insufficient sleep results in burnout.
Ensure you sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours. Go to bed at the same time every day. Sleep in a dark room. Don’t drink coffee before shuteye and if possible, don’t eat too close to your bedtime.
9. Set healthy boundaries
Setting boundaries is central to establishing one’s identity and is important for mental well-being.
Boundaries can be either physical or emotional. They allow us to protect ourselves from being manipulated, controlled, or misused by others. Boundaries enable us to separate who we are, our thoughts, and our feelings from others.
Start by focusing on yourself and making your needs, comfort, and safety a priority. Name your limits and be consistent with the boundaries you set. Be direct and clear with what you want with yourself and from others. Speak up when you are not comfortable with something. Lastly, don’t be afraid, to be honest.
10. Help others
Helping others is the art of kindness. When you are kind, your life is richer and you are happier. Kindness is giving without expecting anything in return.
Kindness helps to improve mood, and self-esteem and reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Being kind boosts your dopamine and serotonin, which are chemical messengers in the brain. Dopamine is associated with feelings of reward, productivity, and motivation while serotonin is linked to feelings of happiness, and calmness.
And while at it, remember to take care of yourself. Only then will you be in a position to take care of others. Eat nutritious meals, exercise, socialize, destress, sleep enough, and hydrate.
Your mental state determines the overall shape of your life. It is thus important to keep negative emotions at bay and embrace practices that promote your mental well-being. Remember a healthier mind means a happier life.
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