Mental health, though not a new concept, has been in the spotlight for a while. It refers to your emotional and psychological well-being, including how you deal with trauma, your social relationships, and how you feel about yourself. Like physical health, it is an essential component of your overall well-being.
Anyone can experience poor mental health. So it is important to know how to bounce back. This article highlights some manageable tips to employ to improve your mental health.
Why Mental Health Matters
As day-to-day life becomes more challenging, stress and anxiety can affect your quality of life and health. Everyone’s mind and body react differently to emotional turbulence and stressors. So, although you may not prevent daily stressors, it is essential to have a coping mechanism that works for you.
There are some common symptoms associated with poor mental health. Some of them include difficulty sleeping, a lack of motivation, poor concentration and focus, muscle tension, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, depression, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, and stomach or abdominal issues.
Unfortunately, many people, often out of desperation, develop coping mechanisms that are incredibly unhealthy. Some may abuse substances like drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes to alter their mood. Others opt to dull their emotional distress. These coping mechanisms are problematic and can lead to other problems like addiction, obesity, and diabetes.
Tips to Improve Your Mental Health
Living a long and fruitful life requires taking care of your physical and psychological health. When it comes to improving your mental well-being, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution since this greatly depends on your preferences.
If you’re stuck for ways to improve your mental health and are unsure where to start, here are some of our top ideas and inspiration.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought to light several lessons regarding mental health. One is the importance of human connection. Human beings are naturally created to be social beings. As a result, most people who lived far from their loved ones and were in isolation during the lockdown period suffered from poor mental health and reported feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.
A supportive network of friends and family positively impacts your emotional well-being and may improve your mental well-being. It’s easy to put off socializing when you’re busy, but making time to reconnect with your loved ones is essential. Although face-to-face interaction is always the best, speaking over the phone and video calling also works. Hearing the voice of your loved ones and sharing your thoughts and experiences with them can ease feelings of stress and provide a great way to connect.
Learn the Art of Deep Breathing
We’ve all been there when faced with a stressful situation. In this state, it’s often hard to deal with the problem in a way that can bring about a positive outcome. While this is a natural response, managing your reactions and getting your body into a calm state can be helpful. A fantastic way to do this is to practice deep breathing.
In a panicked or stressed state, you may take shallow breaths, which means you are not taking in as much oxygen. However, deep breathing allows you to fill your lungs with oxygen, and your brain reacts by producing fewer stress hormones. You can, therefore, think more clearly and focus when you have fewer stress hormones in your bloodstream.
While it’s beneficial to practice deep breathing in stressful situations, it’s also a good idea to make it a part of your daily routine. Apart from helping to manage your stress, it is also great for your lungs and overall well-being.
Another advantage of deep breathing is that you can do it anywhere, and it can take as little time as ten minutes.
Live and Active Life
Exercise is just as good for your mental well-being as your physical health. Ideally, exercising causes your brain to release endorphins which are feel-good hormones that improve your mood.
Work towards including exercise as part of your routine. Look for a type of activity or exercise that you enjoy, as this way, you are more likely to be consistent.
There are many ways to be active, so if you like variety or are unsure what you enjoy, experiment with different types. Join a gym or a sports club if you play a sport, enrol in an exercise class or follow workouts online from the comfort of your home. There are so many options!
If you spend most of your time indoors, you may benefit from walking your dog or taking a quick walk outside. As meaningless as these activities may seem, taking in the fresh air and being around nature can do wonders for your mental health.
Go on a Retreat
Because of the growing focus on caring for mental health, many professional instructors have designed retreats to help people destress. There are a variety of different evidence-based retreats to choose from.
Some retreats offer a much-needed escape to compose yourself in a tranquil space, while others focus on pampering, like spa retreats. Other popular retreats include yoga and meditation.
If you’re keen on learning how to manage your everyday stress, consider booking a retreat that provides tools to help you manage stress more effectively and teaches you about healthy coping mechanisms.
The state of your mental health affects your physical well-being and the quality of your life. It’s essential to prioritise your mental well-being as much as your physical fitness. You can connect with your loved ones, exercise, do breathing exercises, and go on retreats to help improve your mental health and manage your stressors. Whichever you choose, ensure it brings satisfaction and comfort.
- Nimh.nih: Caring for Your Mental Health
- Mhanational: 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health
- Uhs.umich.edu: Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health
- Healthline: 8 Daily Habits to Boost Mental Health — and Signs It May Be Time to Get Support
- Mind.org: How to Improve Your Mental Well-Being
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