7 Ways To Really Improve Your Mental Health

A strong mind is a happy mind

Oct 12, 2016
Good mental health is essential for realizing our potential and making smart decisions. (Shutterstock)

Good mental health is essential for realizing our potential and making smart decisions. (Shutterstock)

Mental health is essential for realizing our potential, making smart decisions, maintaining healthy relationships, and learning how to navigate life’s ups and downs. While we’re constantly reminded of the importance of physical health by the media, mental health often falls by the wayside. One in four people are affected by neurological or mental disorders during their lives. Even if you haven’t experienced depression or anxiety, paying attention to your psychological well being could improve any situation, whether it’s personal or work related. And with these seven tips you can definitely improve your mental health.

1. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Make sure you’re in the habit of saying thank you. Write down and think about what you are grateful for in life. Focusing on what went wrong will only manifest negativity, while keeping a journal of moments you are thankful for can improve your well-being. Keep a gratitude journal - you’ll find that optimism, happiness, and even social situations come more easily. Be kind to yourself and others and you’ll see a distinct difference in how you approach life.

2. GET CREATIVE

Cook a new recipe, take an art class, draw, or try a DIY project. Studies have shown that even the act of witnessing creativity (going to a concert, visiting an art museum, etc.) have a positive effect on a person’s psychology. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something creative and embrace the process. Remember - it’s not about the end result here.

3. MEDITATE

You don't need hours on end at a gorgeous yoga retreat to block out all thoughts, but all of ten minutes of quiet to yourself. There are plenty of ways you can meditate from watching videos to downloading an app like headspace.  Meditation can help alleviate stress, boost creativity, increase your ability to focus, and improve your social life. Try working meditation into your morning routine for a positive, relaxing way to begin your day.

Meditation can help alleviate stress, boost creativity and increase your ability to focus. (Shutterstock)

Meditation can help alleviate stress, boost creativity and increase your ability to focus. (Shutterstock)

4. GET ACTIVE

Exercise increases endorphins, which enhance your mood. Take time out of your busy schedule and go for a jog, visit the gym, or complete a fitness video at home a few times a week. Moving those muscles can help reduce anxiety and depression, so even if you only have 15 minutes, take a walk and breathe in some fresh air.

5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE

Ever hear the quote by motivational speaker Jim Rohn that says: “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with?” He’s got a point. When you surround yourself with people who uplift, support, and inspire you, you can’t help but want to better yourself. It may seem obvious, but the law of average can really help improve your quality of life and your mental health.

Surrounding yourself with uplifting people will make you want to better yourself. (Shutterstock)

Surrounding yourself with uplifting people will make you want to better yourself. (Shutterstock)

6. STICK TO HEALTHY HABITS

There are direct correlations between eating well and feeling good. Certain foods like salmon, walnuts, blueberries, broccoli, and more can boost brain power and make your system run more efficiently. Treat yourself once in awhile, but make sure you’re putting good, vitamin rich foods into your body every day. And while we’re talking about habits, keep in mind that while cigarettes and alcohol provide short term satisfaction, they can also negatively impact your psychological well being in the long run.

7. ASK FOR HELP

There’s no shame in seeking help when you need it. Talk to a friend, a parent, or a therapist. The simple act of speaking out loud can help you gain some perspective. When you understand what’s bothering you, you’re already better equipped to solve the problem head on. If you go to a doctor for physical needs, why should your mental health be left untreated? Trust us, visiting a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it means you’re proactive.

Simply talking about your problems can gain you some valuable insight. (Shutterstock)

Simply talking about your problems can gain you some valuable insight. (Shutterstock)

REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.

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