It's a common misconception that mental health is just about getting rid of depression, anxiety or other negative thoughts. Mental health is actually much more than that. It's about having a positive outlook on life and feeling good about yourself.
There are many things you can do to improve your mental health and some of them are very simple. Here are some of the tips to improve your mental health:
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is about taking the time to notice your thoughts and feelings without judgment. In doing so, you'll be able to identify what's causing your stress and take steps toward solving it.
Here are some of the tips to practice mindfulness:
Recognize when your mind wanders away from what you are doing
Notice when you are thinking about something else (or nothing at all)
Focus on your breathing and body sensations
Tune in to the sounds around you
Accept your thoughts and emotions as they come up
Let go of any judgments about yourself or others
2. Eat well and exercise regularly
Exercising helps relieve stress by increasing blood flow throughout the body, releasing endorphins (the body's natural 'happy chemicals'), and improving sleep patterns. It also gives you an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air – which is important for reducing anxiety! Eating well is important too – eating nutritious foods will help keep your mind clear and focused, while sugary or processed foods may cause a sudden rush of energy followed by a crash in the mood.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for good mental health. It helps us to think clearly, solve problems and make decisions. Sleep deprivation can make you more prone to anxiety and depression because it affects your mood and makes you more irritable.
Tips for Get Good Sleep
Here are some of the tips to help you get a good night sleep when depressed:
Avoid stimulants close to bedtime. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol should all be avoided at least three hours before bedtime because they can keep you awake for longer than normal.
Set a routine for going to bed and waking up. This will help you feel more comfortable with your sleeping schedule at night.
Get out of your room and into an environment that is less stressful and less dark. If you have the option, try to stay in an area with natural light, or at least a lamp that provides some light.
Avoid watching anything on television or looking at a computer screen right before bedtime. This can stimulate your brain and keep you awake longer than necessary.
Eat a healthy diet high in protein and low in sugar and processed foods. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and flaxseeds, can help your body fight depression by increasing levels of the brain chemical serotonin.
Try taking a warm shower before bedtime. The steam from the water will make you drowsy and help you relax enough to fall asleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, light some candles and listen to soft music or nature sounds at night as these can help relax you before going to bed.
Eat a healthy dinner and avoid too much sugar in the evening. Similarly, try to eat at least 4 hours before your sleep time.
These are some common tips that can help you fall asleep. Better sleep will translate into better mental health, thereby taming your symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
4. Learn new things
Learning new things can help keep your brain active and healthy as you age. There are a number of ways to learn new things, such as reading books or taking classes at the local community college. You can also create your own learning opportunities by using free online resources like Khan Academy or Coursera.
Tips to Motivate Yourself to Learn New Things
If you want to learn something new, here are some of the top tips to motivate yourself:
Be definite about what you want to learn.
Think about how it will help you in your career and life in general.
Make sure that the learning experience is enjoyable and relevant for you, so that it doesn't feel like a chore or a burden on your time.
Be prepared for setbacks and failures along the way - there will be many! But don't let them discourage you from continuing because persistence is the key when undertaking any new endeavor - especially if it's something that requires hard work, dedication and effort!
Connect with others who are also interested in learning new things. This can help motivate you more than anything else!
Find a mentor or teacher who inspires you and motivates you to learn new things.
Read books, articles or blogs about the subject you're interested in learning more about. Watch relevant videos online.
Make time for yourself each day – even if it's just a few minutes of quiet time, meditating, exercising or eating healthy snacks – to recharge your batteries so that when you're ready to learn new things, you'll be more motivated and ready than ever before!
5. Spend time with friends and family
Feeling lonely or isolated can make you more vulnerable to depression. Social connections are an important part of good mental health. Spending time with friends and family can help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and boredom.
Sometimes family members can have toxic influence on your life. Perhaps you don't get along with your parents and siblings. OR, they don't understand your mental health issues and always undermine your problems. So, while family time can be good for your mental health, it isn't always true. Sometimes engaging with unsupportive family members can make things worse for you. Similarly, there are people who many not necessarily have a reliable circle of friends who they can reach out for help.
In both the cases, follow tip #6.
6. Consider joining a support group
Joining a support group is an excellent way to connect with others who have faced similar challenges in life. If you're dealing with depression or anxiety, for example, you may want to consider joining an online support group for people with these conditions. Find a good counseling support services provider online or in your area/city and connect with people who might be in the same boat as you.
Reaching out to for professional help (aka counselor) is always recommended even if you have supportive friends and family. Remember, they lack the needed expertise to address mental health problems. So, they can only help you so much. After a point, for progress and to ensure things don't go south in the long run, you should ideally connect with a mental health specialist and get their help.
7. Learn to manage stress better
Stress is a natural part of life, but too much stress can lead to physical and emotional problems. So, it's critical to not get comfortable with the amount of stress you're dealing with every day and take prompt measures to manage it. Remember, stress is one of the deadliest killers that invite's diseases. It can affect almost every part of your life. And since it's difficult to diagnose, it can remain hidden and do damage on your mind and body without you even realizing it.
Tips to Manage Stress
There are many different ways to manage stress, including exercise, relaxation techniques, and a regular sleep schedule.
Get enough sleep — 7-9 hours daily
Eat a balanced diet
Take time for yourself
Reduce your caffeine intake
Get help from other people in your life, such as family and friends
Reward yourself with a treat or a small indulgence every now and then (like a massage)
Take time to relax, read a book, watch TV, listen to music or just stare off into space
Plan and schedule your day so that it doesn't get too busy and stressful
8. Get a hobby
It's important to have something to do when you're not working or studying. Hobbies can be very good for your mental health because they give you something new to think about when you are bored or stressed out. Hobbies can also help you meet new people and make friends.
Here are some of the common hobbies you can explore:
Watching movies/television series/movies
Playing games on your computer
Collecting items related to your favorite shows, movies, or games
Playing sports: basketball, football, soccer, swimming, or something else
Listening to music
Painting and drawing
Music composition, instruments and performance
9. Set goals and make plans to achieve them
Setting personal goals can be a great way of increasing your sense of achievement and building self-confidence. If your goal is something that needs to be achieved over a period of time, make plans for how you'll achieve it.
4 Step to Goal Setting
The first step is to determine your goals. These can be anything you want them to be, but it's helpful if they are concrete and measurable.
The second step is to create a plan for reaching your goals. Think about the obstacles that will prevent you from achieving them, and then identify strategies that will help overcome those obstacles.
The third step is to write down your plan, so that you can see it in black and white.
The fourth step is to set up a system for monitoring your progress towards each goal. This could be as simple as keeping notes in a journal or using a spreadsheet program on your computer or cell phone.
NOTE: Mental health professionals can help with goal-setting. Also, once you have defined your goals and a plan to achieve those goals, achieving them is easier if you're involved with a group. As a part of mental health support group, the success of achieving your personal growth and healing goals is much higher.
10. Seek online psychologist consultation
If you feel like you are struggling with any type of mental health issue, it is important to talk to someone about it. You can do this by contacting an online psychologist who will be able to help you deal with your problems through therapy sessions. So, connect with a specialist for the best psychological counseling online.
Symptoms of Mental Health Problems
Here are some of the symptoms of mental health problems that call for professional intervention of a psychologist:
Withdrawing from social activities and relationships
Distractibility and difficulty focusing
Loss of interest in hobbies and pastimes
Inability to complete tasks at work or school
Prolonged sadness or tearfulness
Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts
Anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, obsessions or compulsions
As with many things in life, you often have to take steps internally before your mental health can improve. These steps are not always easy, but if you take the time to focus on yourself, you have a good chance of changing things for the better. Be patient with yourself as you work on improving your mental health.