Mental health is something that most people don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about. But if you want to be happy and healthy, it has to be a major priority in your life. The question is, where do you start?
5 Helpful Steps Toward Better Mental Health
Mental health isn’t one of those things that we typically wake up thinking about. Over the years, society has told us that it’s best to keep any issues you’re experiencing on the hush-hush. But that’s actually the worst thing you can do. If you want to enjoy better mental health, you need to proactively put yourself in a position to grow. Here are several helpful tips:
Try Different Modalities
Your mental, physical, and emotional health are all intertwined. And while standard talk therapy is one of the best places to start when experiencing mental health issues, stress, or trauma processing, other modalities can be helpful too. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and give something like energy healing a try.
“Energy healing is a type of healing that uses consciousness as the tool to move and release energy blocks which are present within our body,” Manhattan Mental Health Counseling explains. “Emotions flow and get released when we feel them. When they are painful, we tend to close our energy centers to try to avoid feeling the bad feelings. This traps the emotional energy inside our body.”
You may find acupuncture, hypnotherapy, kundalini yoga, and other modalities helpful in promoting healing as well.
When you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, and severe stress, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. You just don’t feel motivated to do it. However, it’s actually one of the most important things you can do for your mental state.
“The links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better,” Mayo Clinic explains. “Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better.”
Exercise impacts mental health in a couple of specific ways. First, the release of feel-good endorphins in the brain can make you feel happier, healthier, and more carefree. Secondly, it has the practical benefit of taking your mind away from the cycle of negativity that feeds your anxiety or depression.
Use Good Fuel
What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel. We know this to be true in a physical sense, but did you know it’s also true in terms of your mental well-being? What you eat and when you eat can have a big impact on how you feel emotionally.
For example, eating regularly can prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping (which can make you feel tired and grouchy). Likewise, staying hydrated throughout the day improves energy levels and makes it easier to concentrate.
As far as what you eat, giving your brain the right balance of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein will keep you on track. Consuming too many trans fats, processed foods, and refined sugar, on the other hand, makes it difficult to regulate your mood.
Choose Your Relationships
The people you spend the most time with rub off on you. You start to think, feel, and act like them. You even subconsciously pick up things that you didn’t know you were magnetizing, like stress and anxiety.
You can give your mental health a boost by being more strategic with the relationships you choose. Cut toxic people out of your life and be intentional about spending time with positive and uplifting people.
You might not be a writer or self-proclaimed “creative” person, but daily journaling will have a positive impact on your mental health. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or dogmatic. Take at least five minutes per day and jot down some notes about how you feel – good or bad. This simple exercise forces you to process your thoughts in a new way.
Where Will You Begin?
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. These are merely ideas and suggestions. You don’t need to do every single thing on this list. Instead, pick one and begin there. Just remember that action is always better than inaction. If you’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to change, you’re probably going to be there a while. Positive growth usually occurs when you’re being proactive and vulnerable. If you want better mental health, pursue it!