When people think about making healthy life choices, they may think about physical health. Getting more sleep, exercising regularly, and having a balanced diet are incredibly important aspects of living a healthy and full life. However, many people neglect taking care of the most important muscle in the body: the brain.
Mental health, simply put, is absolutely crucial to the overall well-being and health of an individual. Not only can mental health involve instances of anxiety or depression, but it also relates to things like goal setting, decision making, creativity, and interpersonal relationships.
Striving to develop a stable and healthy mindset can help improve all aspects of your life. A positive mindset and less anxiety can help you achieve your goals more easily, as well as maintain good relationships with others.
It has even been shown that positive changes in your mental health can improve your physical fitness.
Mental health is exceedingly important, especially in today’s age of social media and online interactions. But what are the best ways to establish positive mental health?
One of the most common ways to maintain mental health is to spend time with a therapist or counselor, learning how to better understand your own brain. There are great online options for seeing a therapist, such as those at MyTherapist, for people with busy schedules.
Beyond seeing a trained professional, there are also little habits you can start to form in your daily life that can be beneficial to your mental health.
Here are some of the best habits we’ve found to be effective at improving and maintaining mental health:
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is an idea that revolves around being able to be aware of and appreciate the current moment. It’s about finding little moments throughout the day to relax, destress, and forget about your current worries. Similar to yoga or meditation, mindfulness is about finding your inner peace and being able to see the bigger picture. While it may be stressful that you have a big project due tomorrow, that doesn’t determine the rest of your life or the entire world. Take some time to be mindful of the present moment, and try to appreciate the life you’re living.
- Get great sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. However, the positive benefits of a full night of rest are immense. Not only will more sleep improve your mood, energy, and creativity, but it will help you get into a healthy routine. Some tips on how to get good sleep: don’t use your phone for about an hour before bed, set a consistent bedtime each night, and make sure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress.
- Take a break from social media. Social media has a tendency to distort the truth about how people look, feel, and act. Therefore, many of the negative mental health outcomes that people see today could stem from an unrealistic idea of who they ought to be. Taking a break from social media is a great way to reconnect with reality and stabilize your emotions and feelings.
- Get out into nature. One of the best ways to relieve stress and leave worries behind is to get out into nature. There are plenty of ways to achieve this, such as hiking, biking, or even just a long quiet drive through some local wilderness. Reconnecting with the natural world can put things in perspective and help keep you grounded.
- Read a book. Similar to taking a break from social media, reading a book is a really good way to stay offline and pass the time while also stimulating your brain. Being transported to an alternate reality through the pages of a good book can do wonders for your mental health.
- Exercise. Physical exercise is a tried and true method of destressing and improving your mood. Getting your heart rate up and lungs working can help release important chemicals throughout your body that improve your mood, creativity, and mental health overall. Beginners may feel better just from taking a walk–exercise can be as strenuous or moderate as the person can handle.
- Start a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is simply a way to write out or express the things in your life that you are thankful for. Expressing these gratitudes helps us to recognize them and not take them for granted. Even something this simple can help improve your mental health over the long run.
- Make time for yourself. This could mean different things for different people, but the main idea is to make sure that you take at least a few minutes out of every day to just focus on yourself. For some people, this time could be spent taking a walk and reflecting on the day; for others, it could mean a face mask and some spa time. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is a sustainable hobby that can help you work through the tough times in life.
Mental health is one of the most important aspects of living a healthy and fulfilling life. Neglecting mental health could lead to negative consequences such as bad moods, ruined relationships, or professional failures.
However, there are many simple and easy ways to ensure that your mental health remains strong. You don’t need to use every single one of the habits above, but try incorporating some of them into your daily routine to see if you observe improvements. Just taking a few moments out of each day to focus on your mental health can be incredibly effective.