Just because you don’t have a mental health issue such as chronic depression or bipolar disorder doesn’t mean that you can ignore your mental health. Think of the things you do to take care of your body- grooming, safety precautions such as seat belts or bike helmets, and taking vitamins or other protective measures to prevent sickness. Just like with your physical well being, you need to take precautions to avoid damaging your mental health.
Consider doing the following to improve your mental health:
Take care of your body
Your body and your mind are linked, so good physical health naturally leads to good mental health. It has been proven that exercise helps alleviate depression and anxiety, so be sure to keep active. In addition, do the following:
- Eat well
- Avoid drugs
- Quit smoking
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
Use caution, however; you don’t want to improve your mental health at the expense of your physical health. Be sure to take your personal health record to a physician so that they can read your history and recommend a safe path to taking care of your body.
Have at least one positive relationship
It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, family, or close friend, having people that you can “vent” to is a great way to improve your mental health.
Meditation isn’t just for Buddhist Monks and long haired hippies-it can help improve anyone’s mental health. You don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor and make “ohm” noises; simply looking around and noticing little things in the world is a form of meditation.
Find an outlet
No matter how perfect they appear, everyone experiences stress. Find an outlet to relieve that stress. Everyone’s outlet is different, but the idea is to find something to help you cope with stress. Examples include:
- Watching a funny movie
It may take a while to discover your outlet, but keep trying. If you experience a lot of difficulty finding your way to cope with stress, consult with a doctor or therapist.
Go out with a friend
You don’t just need to vent to your friends in order to feel better; going out and having fun is a great way to relieve stress. Find a friend whose company you enjoy and make an effort to meet periodically.
Feel good about yourself
Remember, you are a unique and special person. You are not perfect by any means, but everyone has positive qualities such as humor or empathy. Think about these positive traits often rather than focusing on your mistakes.
Do something nice
Helping others makes you feel good about yourself, which as you know is a great way to improve your mental health. Volunteer at a food bank or charitable event, help an elderly neighbor mow their grass or shovel their walk, or even just hold a door open for a stranger. No matter how small or large your contribution is, it will make you feel better and improve your overall mental health.
If you are experiencing a deep or long lasting depression, visit a health professional. You might have a clinical mental health issue that needs treatment with medicine or therapy. Even while being treated, you can utilize the above techniques to improve your mental health.