Mental health refers to the state of mind where a person feels happy, confident, relaxed, and calm. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
There are several ways to improve your mental health. Some include meditation, yoga, exercise, and even talking to friends and family members. In this article, I’ll share some simple ways to improve your mental health. Read on!
1. Do Not Feel Guilty for Taking Time off from Work
If you feel guilty or uncomfortable about taking time off from work, don’t be. It’s OK to take time off when you need it. When you’re not well, you may not be focused, productive, or performing up to par at work. So, rather than making yourself miserable over it, take it easy until you’re back to 100% again.
Meditation greatly helps to relieve stress. By using deep breathing techniques, visualization, and focusing on a single word or phrase, you can reduce anxiety and improve overall mood. There are many different types of meditation, but the most recommended is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Other types of meditation include:
- Breath Awareness Meditation: This technique involves focusing on each breath and noticing thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations while doing so.
- Concentrative Meditation: With this type of meditation, the focus is all on one thought. For example, if you were thinking of something positive, like how beautiful the sunrise was today, you would concentrate on that thought throughout the entire session.
You could also practice mindfulness meditation by simply sitting down and listening to an audio recording of guided meditations.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream, which helps improve moods and reduce stress. While it doesn’t replace medications for treating mental disorders, exercise helps alleviate many symptoms of mental illness by improving moods and reducing feelings of fatigue. It also improves self-esteem and reduces loneliness.
4. Consider Therapy
Therapy is a good option that many people use to deal with certain situations and issues. Some health professionals may suggest trying some intuitive coaching as well which is very beneficial to your mental health. This kind of coaching includes asking questions about your inner world and trying to understand why you do things to support you in making changes in your life.
5. Do Something New Every Week
Try something different every week. Set aside some time to try something new, whether that means attempting a new recipe, learning a language, organizing your closet, or taking up a hobby. By trying out new things, you’ll find out what works best for you and create opportunities to connect with others. Plus, when you take action, you’re less likely to procrastinate.
6. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs worsen mental health problems, make them worse, and sometimes even cause death. People who abuse alcohol and drugs put themselves at risk for developing serious medical conditions, including liver damage and other diseases. In addition, they often don’t deal with these issues properly, which makes the symptoms more difficult to treat.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential to overall physical and mental well-being. Lack of sleep increases the likelihood of depression, impairs cognitive function, and worsens physical pain.
Getting too little sleep can weaken immune systems, increase cholesterol levels, speed ageing processes, and raise blood pressure. On the flip side, sleeping too much could lead to weight gain, increased appetite, impaired memory, and reduced productivity.
8. Share What Matters to You with Someone Who Understands
It can seem overwhelming to share personal struggles with someone, but it will help if you let someone in on your troubles. Talking about what matters to you can make you feel better, even if you don’t solve anything. And sharing your problems helps you realize that you aren’t alone in them.
9. Learn to Say No
Many of us tend to say yes to things — especially when we want to avoid conflict. But saying no increases happiness and reduces stress. Saying no, lets you spend quality time focusing on activities that matter most to you. It’s also a great way to get control over your life.
Sound mental health is an important part of our overall health and wellness. By taking care of yourself mentally, you’ll live longer, happier, and more productive lives. It’s important that we all take care of our bodies, minds, and souls.
Author: Raynne Morriss
Rayanne Morriss is currently working towards her BA from Oregon State University. She loves to write, read, travel, and paint. She enjoys finding new coffee shops with friends and expanding her cooking skills with her husband.