12 Proven Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
We are living in times of stress and uncertainty. So what can we do to make ourselves relax and stop worrying unnecessary? This article helps to guide us through the obstacles life appears to put in our path.
Every day we have the ability to create havoc, worry, and stress in our lives or we can choose peace, tranquillity, and surety that everything is going to be just fine. You see it’s all down to our thinking, our thoughts become our reality. Have you noticed that life has this annoying habit of sending you challenges at the most inconvenient times? When this happens you can look at these challenges as either big problems or an opportunities for personal growth. Even the bible tells us that as one door closes another opens, and whatever your belief is, you may wish take this message on board, as no matter which higher power is listening to you, it tends to give you what you think about most, be it good or bad.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our problems, we think about them constantly we fail to see that there are many other ways to get out of the dilemma we are in. By constantly focussing on what went wrong, or how unfair life is, we don’t give ourselves the chance to see that there are different solutions to our perceived situation.
12 Proven Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
Much of the experiences of feeling low comes from our thinking patterns, if we think negatively we are not going to do anything to lift our spirits, we are only going to pull ourselves down more. Now if there was a magic pill to stop us from thinking negative thoughts then life would be much easier.
From a personal perspective, I remember going through a bad period of depression too. I’d blame it on my age otherwise known as “The Menopause”, aren’t hormones an excuse for everything these days? 😃
Thankfully, I eventually shook it off and have put it all behind me now. A lovely lady I met whilst out walking one day gave me a great piece of advice, she said to me, “Heather, when I get a negative thought I imagine hitting the delete button on my keyboard and it all goes away”, I thought to myself, this was a very smart idea, so I tried it out myself.
This is something I now practice all the time and I can genuinely say it changes my thought patterns very quickly and find I’m more in control over my mood and emotions by deploying simple little mind hacks. I then think of something to be grateful about so if I concentrate on that my mood then changes for the better.
Here are a few easy tips to help lift your spirits.
1 Watch a movie. It can be an old favorite or better still a comedy, laughter, after all, is the best medicine. A good laugh releases endorphins which does wonders for the mind. Curl up on the couch with a nice blanket, some popcorn and in no time you will be leaving your worries behind.
2 Call an old friend and ask how they are. Resonate about what you got up to in the past. Talk about the fun you had together and arrange to meet up soon. Isn’t it sad that our cell phones are overly used for texting nowadays and we often don’t appear to have the time pick up the phone and speak directly anymore? (Arrghhh – don’t get me started!!! 🙂
3. Take up Yoga or dancing. Yoga helps to de-stress the body and mind, it improves posture, body balance, flexibility, and strength. If you don’t like yoga join a dancing class it’s a great way to relax, meet new people and keep your mind focussed on the present moment. There are many choices when considering dancing, like ballroom, tap or if you’re feeling adventurous go for belly dancing. Line dancing is also a fun way to dance and get exercise, it’s something you can do on your own and a form of dancing I thoroughly enjoy myself.
4. Enjoy the outdoors. Take a walk in your local park, appreciate the wonders of nature spend time just watching and observing the flowers, trees, plants, shrubs you’ll be amazed by the display of colors and textures. Take a moment to listen to the birds, when we are always talking and thinking we often miss out on many wonderful aspects of nature.
5.Take a hot bath. If you had a busy day this is a wonderful way to relax and chill out. Light some candles and use some aromatherapy oils in the bath, lavender is always a good choice and promotes a good night’s sleep. If you can get your partner to give you a massage after that you’ll sleep like a baby.
6. Try to de-stress and unwind. When we feel stressed we tend to sleep less often waking up in the wee hours and then finding it hard to get back to sleep. Sleep deprivation causes tension, anxiety and can create continuing sleep problems, it’s also a sign that your body is under a lot of stress. If this is you now, try and get an afternoon nap, even only 20 minutes of shut-eye can help you feel better, another of my favorite things to do.
7. Watch what you eat. There is a strong link between stress and excess food intake especially sugary foods and those high in saturated fat. As tempting as they are they will not likely have any nutritional value and will result in unhealthy weight gain. Think about adopting the Paleo diet, rich wholesome food that our ancestors ate, food that they got from out hunting, gathering, and fishing eating good quality fish, vegetables, and fruits in abundance will do wonders for your well-being and health.
8. Avoid alcohol where possible. This really is no help at all, alcohol is a depressant, it may temporarily lift your mood as it changes the chemistry in your brain but the changes will be short-lived. Too much alcohol will leave you hungover and tired the next day, hardly the solution to put you in a happier place.
9. Practice mindfulness. This is the practice of being fully aware of your environment, your actions, and your thoughts. Try to remain in the here and now and be present in what is happening around you, rather than being preoccupied with what you might have done wrong or what someone else might have done wrong.
10. Play nice music. Sing along to your favorite songs, this is a sure way to raise your spirits. I’m told that singing is a great way to lower blood pressure so if yours is high give it a go, you just never know you might take up singing professionally.
11. Create an environment that supports your mental health. Try to keep your workplace clean, relaxing, comfortable, and quiet. Decluttering is an excellent way of relieving tension, we tend to hold on to too much stuff. I visit my recycling depot every month and I love that feeling of getting rid, cluttered surroundings equals a cluttered mind.
12 Keep a positive attitude. Stay positive and talk to people when they make mistakes or annoy you, communicate with loved ones and let them know how you feel. Forget old negative events that have happened in the past, try not to be too concerned about your future.
Feeling sorry for ourselves I’m sorry to say is not the answer, we are in control of our own thoughts so remember to use that delete button, adopt some of the above methods, and in no time at all you will feel as right as rain.