5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
The importance of mental health is clear in MentalHealth.gov’s definition: “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
Mental health awareness can greatly improve your life and the lives of the people you know. There are many factors that contribute to your mental health, including biological factors, family history, and life experiences.
While mental health problems are common, it is also important to remember that people with these problems can get better and often recover completely. Early warning signs include eating or sleeping too little or too much, pulling away from people or activities, feeling like nothing matters, feeling hopeless, severe mood swings, and many more. There is nothing wrong with getting help when you need it. MentalHealth.gov has a page explaining how to get mental health help. However, even those without serious problems can benefit from learning how to improve their mental health. We’ve compiled a list of five simple mental health exercises for you.
5 Simple Mental Health Exercises
1. Take Care of Your Body
A healthy body can greatly contribute to a healthy mind. Proper diet and exercise can even improve your mental capability. On the other hand, if your diet is poor, both your body and your mind can quickly become lethargic. Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, along with a regular workout program, can help improve your physical health, self-esteem, and mental acuity.
2. Listen to Peaceful Music
There is a well-established link between music and mood. The right song can recall strong emotions and memories. Your choice of music, especially in high-stress situations can have a dramatic effect on your mind. Stress and anxiety levels can be markedly reduced by choosing simple, peaceful music in which to listen. Quiet, instrumental music is particularly helpful in keeping your mind from wandering, slowing your heart rate, and even lowering your blood pressure.
3. Spend Time with Positive People
Not surprisingly, negative people have a negative effect on your mental health and positive people have a positive effect on your mental health. That doesn’t mean you have to cut important people out of your life simply because they tend to be negative. However, you should strengthen your group of friends with people who tend to have a more positive attitude. The mindsets of the people you spend time with have a direct effect on your personal mindset.
4. Consciously Relax
With our busy lives, too few of us take time to consciously relax. Despite hectic schedules, crazy time demands, and other outside pressures, you should make time for yourself. Even 30 minutes of alone time at the end of your day can help you decompress and find a better mental balance than you had previously. Adding peaceful music to your alone time can make it easier to reap the benefits of relaxation.
5. Spend Time Outdoors
There’s a lot to be said for fresh air and sunshine. Their subtle effect on your mood and mental health can be quite refreshing. If you combine this one with taking care of your body, you can compound the positive results. Walking or running outside instead of at a gym exerts more effort and increases vitality and pleasure.
These few, simple exercises are far from being the only methods of improving mental health, but they are a good starting point. You should also take time on a regular basis to assess your mental health indicators. There’s only one person who knows how you’re feeling all the time, and you should take time to listen to what your body and mind are trying to tell you.