It’s striking that 1 in 5 people are reported to experience ill-mental health in their lifetime. While when we’re physically ill we take time off from work and go to see a doctor, we are much less likely to treat our mental health in the same way. But our minds need looking after just as much as our bodies and there are many ways that can help decrease the burden on your mind to help decrease your stress levels, boost your mood and your wellbeing. Here are some of the best and simple ways to improve your mental health.
1. Adopt a well-balanced diet.
By cutting down on sugary and fatty foods and replacing them with more fruits and vegetables, you are not only improving your physical health but your brain. Your mind needs the same healthy nutrients as your body in order for it to work in a healthy and effective way.
2. Exercise regularly
It is right what people say that exercise can improve your overall mood. The endorphins you release as you exercise, feed into your emotions and lead to feeling happier. Exercising can help relieve stress as well as improving your self-confidence and, in turn, your general wellness.
3. Laughter is the best medicine
Whether it’s with your friends or putting on a funny movie or comedy show, bringing some laughter into your life can help you restore a positive mood and keeping your mental health in check.
4. Speak to Someone
Just like seeing your doctor when you’ve hurt your leg or you have a fever, you should be treating your mental health in a similar way. If you find your mental health is affecting your everyday life, it is important to seek professional advice from a GP and they can help direct you in your future steps.
Therapy is another option and there isn’t just one form of therapy; each professional adopts different therapeutic techniques as well as taking into account your individual problems and needs. This could be talking behavioural therapy that many chose to take part in, or even hypnotherapy reports success in being able to boost mental wellbeing.
Closer to home, try and open up to friends and family. A problem shared is a problem halved. Speaking to someone who already knows you and being more open about your feelings can take some of the weight of your thoughts and relieve some stress. It can help vent your overwhelming thoughts to boost your mental health.
5. Try meditation
The practice of meditation is known to have a claiming effect as well as giving you the needed break from life stressors. Spahotels claim that meditation allows you to clear your thoughts and focus on something less meaningful such as your breath. Breathing meditation is an effective technique to try daily; close your eyes and focus on your breath’s natural rhythm. By focussing your thoughts on your breath, it can help refocus your mind and you can work on being able to control your thoughts away from the negative.
6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
It’s known that taking drugs or the overconsumption of alcohol can increase your anxiety levels as well as decreasing your overall mood. Deciding to cut down on these can allow you to see things more positively. People are more tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol when they are sad or stressed but this will just make your situation worse. Try and make healthier choices instead of using alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. It’s the same with cigarettes; for some, it may be the first thing one craves after a hard day, but you will only decrease your mood further by doing this.
In a similar way, it is worth mentioning the effects of caffeine. While the effects are less severe, it still counts as a drug. You may use caffeine as a way to help you concentrate but it can leave you feeling jittery and subsequently increase your anxiety. By at least cutting down your caffeine intake, you are working towards feeling calmer and increasing your general wellness.
7. Learn to Say No
It’s a small and simple word, yet we can be scared to use it. Stress and overexertion can cause you to feel burned out and overwhelmed with life. There is nothing wrong to saying no to plans on Friday night and choosing, instead, to stay in and relax alone. While you may think you’re being selfish for cancelling on friends, part of improving your mental health is ultimately focusing on yourself and putting your own wellbeing first. Your friends with understand if you need to take some time to yourself.
8. Sleep more
When life gets busy, we are quick to neglect our sleep. Our sleeping pattern can be easily disrupted by overthinking and life stress. In turn, less sleep can cause your mood to decrease further. It’s important to get enough sleep to help you function properly daily and can help you feel more accomplished and positive. Aim to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to really feel the benefits and boost your mood.
If you’re having trouble switching off for bed, try your best to create a relaxing environment to help calm your thoughts before bed. Light a candle, dim your lights, play some soft music and maybe even meditate in the evening to help you feel settled before trying to sleep.
Taking time for yourself is important when it comes to mental health. To boost your mood, it requires alterations to your life that are manageable yet impactful. By incorporating a few of these great ways into your daily life, you can ensure that you are working on yourself to improve your general wellness in the best way possible.
Liyana Perry is a writer at spa-hotels.ie, she has a passion for writing blogs about natural health and spirituality. She enjoys long walks with a breeze and finding ways to make dessert healthy.