Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It’s necessary in living a healthy and happy lifestyle, as it affects our thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life. Mental health helps us cope with stress, be physically healthy, foster good relationships, work productively, and increase self-esteem. Since it affects every area of our life, it’s important to learn ways to increase mental health.
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking through problems helps relieve a weight off your shoulders. Whether you talk with a family member, friend, or some other close companion, just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. It might be awkward at first, and it might be hard to come up with the words to describe how you’re feeling, but talking can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
Regular exercise boosts self-esteem and improves your mental health. Exercising also increases your concentration and serves as a distraction from the troubles of everyday life. It doesn’t have to mean going to the gym; exercising can simply be a walk in the park, playing frisbee with a friend, or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Take Small Steps
Don’t make big changes right away and overwhelm yourself. It’s okay to take baby steps on the road to progress. Make small goals to start out. Focus on one thing you can change to help increase your mental health and work toward that.
Start a Journal
Writing helps you collect your thoughts on paper. Try starting a journal by writing three things you’re grateful for and three things you accomplished each day. Find the positive in each day and start good habits to increase mental health.
Find Laughter in Life
Laughter is the best medicine. It’s a quick way to a better mood and helps reduce anxiety. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy movie or check out America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Spend Time with a Furry Friend
Interacting with animals lowers the stress hormone and stimulates feelings of happiness. Having a pet to come home to every day helps decrease feelings of loneliness and they can be great life partners. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or spend time at the local animal shelter.
Enjoy the Sunshine
Sun rays release Vitamin D, which increases positive thinking and decreases mental illness. Spending time in the sun is a healthy way to elevate your mood and have fun while doing it. Just don’t forget to apply the sunscreen!
Take Care of Your Body
Just like exercise can increase mental health, taking care of your body in other physical ways can help mentally as well. Eat healthy, nutritious meals and snacks instead of choosing the sugary options. Drink more water to help your body effectively perform daily tasks. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs as they can be harmful to mental health. Try for an average of seven to nine hours of sleep a night, as lack of sleep can contribute to high rates of depression.
Meet with a Behavioral Health Specialist
Our behavioral health program helps patients cope with current stressors in order to minimize impact on your daily life. Together, we’ll help you reach your goals and develop a plan for success. It’s important to treat both the body and the mind, so reach out to one of our behavioral health specialists today: https://www.horizonhealthcare.org/behavioral-health/.