There are times when we can all struggle to improve our mental health.
You might feel the gnawing pressure of stress in the back of your mind when you’ve had a tough day at work. Perhaps you’re anxious about something that’s coming in your life, and you’re struggling to sleep because of it.
Although a little emotional disruption here and there is normal, mental health issues can quickly pile up if you don’t have the right strategy to deal with them. As George Vaillant tells us, your mental health is crucial to living a “disease-free” life.
Taking care of your mind is just another aspect of ensuring that you live a long, healthy, and happy life. Fortunately, we have some useful tips that you can follow to boost your chances of better mental health.
1. Open Yourself Up to The Idea of Help
Although mental health issues are incredibly common in today’s society, there’s still a stigma around the subject of mental illness. People who are struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety often have a hard time reaching out for help. Around 75% of Europeans and Americans don’t seek treatment for their conditions.
If you’re in the early stages of a mental health problem, then you might not need to seek out medical attention straight away. Something simple, like building a support network of friends and family around you, could be an excellent way to overcome your issues.
However, if you begin to notice more severe symptoms, such as an inability to sleep, a change in your appetite, or problems doing the things that you used to enjoy, the only way to get yourself back on track is to seek help from a professional.
Specialist assistance can help you discover the treatment plan that’s right for you.
2. Eat Well and Exercise
We all know that eating a healthy diet is beneficial to physical health. The things that you choose to fuel your body with also have an impact on your mental health. Recent studies have proven that there’s a high link between heavily processed and sugary foods and depression.
If you want to be a stronger, more emotionally balanced person, then you need to make sure that you’re giving your body the nutrition it needs, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. What’s more, combining your diet with a good exercise routine will help to improve mental health problems with an excellent one-two punch.
Just like a good diet, exercise is usually associated with a healthy body, but it can make a massive difference to your mind too. High-intensity exercise for just thirty minutes per day helps to release the endorphins that you need to improve your mood.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
There are few things more important than a good night’s sleep when it comes to improving mental health. Just as insomnia can be a sign of a mental health condition, it can also be one of the main factors that cause your emotions to run amok.
A lack of sleep not only makes you more fatigued, and more likely to procrastinate, it also messes with the amygdala – the emotional center of your brain. This means that when you’re affected by stimuli like slight amounts of stress or worry, they feel a lot worse than they are.
Start working on improving your sleep hygiene however you can. Invest in some new bedding or a new mattress if your bed is uncomfortable. Make sure your bedroom is cool, so you don’t spend all night tossing and turning.
Additionally, ensure that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Building up a good routine for sleep is an excellent way to maintain your sleep needs.
4. Develop a New Skill or Hobby
Sometimes, when we’re feeling down, it’s easy to focus on things we can’t do, rather than looking at the things we’ve accomplished. If you think that you haven’t done anything significant to take you closer to your goals for a while, consider learning a new skill or hobby.
One major source of stress is the so-called technostress, which can be a real problem in the workplace, as well as at home. When you feel as though you can’t use a piece of equipment in your office properly, or you’re always struggling with the performance of your home PC, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
While some computers will just be less efficient than others, there are steps you can take to improve your experience with tech. Learning some basic skills, like how to speed up your computer with regular maintenance and de-configuration processes, can make a massive difference to your life.
Not only will it significantly reduce the amount of computer-oriented stress you’re facing every day, but you can also impress your pals and boost your confidence too.
Similarly, you can look at other areas of your life and see what needs improvement. Whether it’s learning how to budget, a new language, honing your time management skills—any tiny improvement you make will gradually decrease the number of stressors in your life.
5. Stay Hydrated
Finally, this tip might seem overly simplistic, but trust us – it’s effective. Hydration can massively improve mental health because your brain is made up of around 75% water. A little hydration can have a significant impact on your concentration, mood, and cognitive functioning too.
According to studies, you should aim for around 2.7 litres of fluids per day if you’re a woman, and 3.7 litres if you’re a man. These figures include fluids other than water, but it helps to carry a reusable bottle of water around with you wherever you go.
Just adding a little more water to your routine could help you to chase away the blues while ensuring that you feel more energetic too!
Ready to Change Your Mood?
Improving your mental health can be a tricky subject. There are people that will need the help of professionals to overcome their issues. However, you can always make a start to improve mental health on your own with a few simple habits, like the ones outlined above. These changes will allow you to make progress towards the life that you want to lead.