What do you think about when you hear the words “mental health”?
It’s common for people to start thinking of diagnoses, medications, and therapy, which isn’t far off but still not the proper definition.
WHO defines mental health as a state of psychological and emotional wellbeing — not just the lack of mental disorders.
You can live with poor mental health for years without receiving a diagnosis. But, eventually, it can get severe enough, resulting in mental illnesses.
However, things don’t have to get to the point where you’re seeking professional help and treatment. Instead, there are everyday things you can do to maintain a healthy psychological state.
On that note, we’ve compiled for you seven things you can start doing today to improve your mental health.
1. Have a Positive Mindset
It’s easier to view life from a negative perspective when you’re feeling down. You could have a valid reason for your negative thoughts, but it doesn’t change how your thoughts affect your wellbeing.
There’s nothing wrong with being your own critic. It’s good, and it means you’re not living in a bubble.
While you can’t change the harsh realities of life by being negative or positive about it, you can control how your experiences affect you.
Learn to resort to a positive mindset to help manage stress and reduce developing conditions like anxiety and depression.
Avoid negative self-talk because there’s nothing good about it. It’s not just physically and emotionally harmful — it doesn’t motivate you to take action.
2. Interact With Nature
People are naturally inclined to finding peace and happiness in interacting with nature.
You can try gardening as it has therapeutic benefits and can help boost your psychological wellbeing.
You can’t keep a garden?
That’s okay. You don’t necessarily need to have a garden. The psychological benefits link heartily to exposing yourself to any sort of greenery.
All you have to do is make a habit, starting now, of basking in nature, whether it’s taking regular walks at the park or working on your own kitchen garden.
3. Challenge Yourself
It isn’t easy to gauge your true potential if you don’t challenge yourself.
You may feel like staying in your comfort zone is the best way to avoid stressful situations and maintain good mental health …
Yet, it’s not a sustainable solution.
The problem with avoiding challenges is that it lowers your confidence level. So you start telling yourself that you can’t do this or that until you make it a habit of never believing in your abilities.
Keeping up a defeatist attitude can result in an unhealthy mental and emotional state, resulting in:
- Low self-esteem
Now, guess what, when you challenge yourself, even with tiny daily milestones, you’re proving to yourself that you’re capable. This is a huge boost in confidence and self-worth.
4. Start a Regular Meditation Practice
If the problem is in your head, you may as well use your mind power to deal with it.
That brings us to meditation, one of the best, natural ways of boosting mental health.
Meditation teaches you how to control your thoughts and draw on your mind power to focus.
Besides the physical benefits like increased tolerance to discomfort, you also become more capable of rebuffing mental and emotional pressure.
Try to meditate regularly to enjoy consistent mental wellbeing.
Here are some of the benefits of meditation:
- Improves focus
- Improves self-esteem
- Improves memory
- Encourages contentment
- Relieves stress and anxiety
5. Appreciate What You Have
Your heart will find rest in appreciating what you have. We all have something we’re grateful for. It could be your health, money, comfortable life, or friends and family.
Still, even if you feel like you have nothing to be grateful for, be thankful you’re alive. This will change your perspective of life.
Learn to draw strength from what you have by looking at those below you who have less. You’ll develop a sense of gratitude the same way focusing on those with plenty can leave you frustrated.
Remember, appreciating what you have doesn’t mean settling for less. You can have everything, from health to wealth, and still not be content.
Try to make a habit of appreciating small things in your daily life to keep your mind at ease.
6. Live in the Moment
People tend to worry too much about what has passed and what’s to come. They forget that the present is what they have.
It’s hard to follow all the lessons of life but at least try to remember this:
The past is already gone; dwelling on it is not healthy because you can’t change it however much you wish to.
The same goes for the future; prepare for it but don’t stress about it because there’s no guarantee of tomorrow. It’s healthier and more fulfilling to work in the present.
7. Try To Be Socially Active
Humans are not meant to be lone creatures. On the contrary, we derive strength and support from each other.
Do you want to maintain a healthy mental state?
Make connections and foster strong bonds.
Make it a habit to check in with friends and family, as social connections positively affect mental health.
When supportive people surround you, you become more confident and happy. You’re also more capable of beating stress and moving past trauma.
Mental health and physical health are two sides of the same coin. When your body is not okay, your psychological wellbeing is also affected and vice versa.
A balanced approach would be to pay attention to both physical and mental health.
Do you have a series of activities in place to take care of your body?
Why not come up with activities to help your mental health as well?
Try the above tips and create a daily routine for the best outcome.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Harrisonburg to help them with their online marketing.