Poor mental health can affect your thoughts, how you cope with stress, and your relationships. It can also affect your ability to make sound and rational decisions. When you have a negative perception of yourself and your life, you can start to see everything through a negative lens. Stress, strong emotions, and unexpected challenges do happen and will be a part of daily life, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be constant and stay that way.
Your mental health can be defined as your ability to enjoy life and deal with both your positive and negative feelings. And taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. So what are some easy ways to take care of your mental health? Good question, we've put together a quick guide to four small changes you can make to improve your mental health.
1. Enjoyment Activities
As life happens, make sure to set aside time for activities that you enjoy because it can vastly improve your overall mental health. Whether it’s going for a walk, taking a bike ride, journaling, or cooking - doing something you enjoy every day, even for as little as 20 minutes, can help to enhance your emotional well-being, your state of mind, and shift your mental health toward a positive place.
2. Good Ole Sunshine
Spending time outside actually causes your brain to release hormones called endorphins, which is science's biggest endorsement for good mental health. Endorphins not only boost pleasure and reduce pain, but they can also reduce emotional stress and promote an overall sense of well-being.
Try to get outside as often as you can, but at least 2-4 times a week, to breathe in that fresh air and soak in some Vitamin D. This can correlate to the first step in the process (partaking in enjoyment activities), so double this up by taking your activities outside if you can.
3. Social Connection
Humans truly are social creatures, and having a healthy support system can benefit your mental health in so many ways. Friends, family members, or even trusted co-workers can provide you with social and emotional connection to help you stay grounded when life gets chaotic and stressful.
Remember though that your friends and trusted confidants are not your therapist, so while it's healthy to have these people to bounce ideas off of, be sure to keep certain boundaries in place so that you don't wear out your support system with all your mental health needs or with things that should be reserved for your therapist.
4. Caring For Your Physical Body
There is, in fact, a mind-body connection; taking care of your physical health can ease stress and anxiety. Caring for your physical health doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated or time-consuming - but eating right and being active, even just going for a walk, can greatly improve your physical state and therefore improve your mental health.
Small daily lifestyle changes can make a big difference when it comes to improving your mental health. Try some of the recommended tips above, and let me know how it goes. If you need more guidance on how to improve your mental health, consider setting up a session with me.