Mental health is much more than a diagnosis. It’s your overall psychological well-being. The way you feel about yourself and others as well as your ability to manage your feelings and deal with everyday difficulties. And while taking care of your mental health can mean seeking professional support and treatment, it also means taking steps to improve your emotional health on your own. Making these changes will pay off in all aspects of your life. It can boost your mood, build resilience, and add to your overall enjoyment of life. It’s hard to try and do things when you can feel your life start to become imbalanced. The point will be to try and do something and try and do different things, even if it’s to just get through the hard parts without making it worse
There are many different things you can do to improve your mental health, including
- Staying positive. It’s important to try to have a positive outlook; some ways to do that include; finding a balance between positive and negative emotions. Staying positive doesn’t mean that you never feel negative emotions, such as sadness or anger. You need to feel them so that you can move through difficult situations. They can help you to respond to problems. But you don’t want those emotions to take over. For example, it’s not helpful to keep thinking about bad things that happened in the past or worry too much about the future.Try to hold on to positive emotions when you have them. Take a break from negative information. Know when to stop watching or reading the news. Use social media to reach out for support and feel connected to others but be careful. Don’t fall for rumors, get into arguments, or negatively compare your life to others.
- Practicing gratitude, which means being thankful for the good things in your life. It’s helpful to do this every day, either by thinking about what you are grateful for or writing it down in a journal. These can be big things, such as the support you have from loved ones, or little things, such as enjoying a nice meal. It’s important to allow yourself a moment to enjoy that you had the positive experience. Practicing gratitude can help you to see your life differently. For example, when you are stressed, you may not notice that there are also moments when you have some positive emotions. Gratitude can help you to recognize them.
- Taking care of your physical health, since your physical and mental health are connected. Some ways to take care of your physical health include. Being physically active. Exercise can reduce feelings of stress and depression and improve your mood.Getting enough sleep. Sleep affects your mood. If you don’t get a good sleep, you may become more easily annoyed and angry. Over the long term, a lack of quality sleep can make you more likely to become depressed. So it’s important to make sure that you have a regular sleep schedule and get enough quality sleep every night. Healthy eating and good nutrition will help you feel better physically but could also improve your mood and decrease anxiety and stress. Also, not having enough of certain nutrients may contribute to some mental illnesses. For example, there may be a link between low levels of vitamin B12 and depression. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you to get enough of the nutrients you need.
- Connecting with others. Humans are social creatures, and it’s important to have strong, healthy relationships with others. Having good social support may help protect you against the harms of stress. It is also good to have different types of connections. Besides connecting with family and friends, you could find ways to get involved with your community or neighborhood. For example, you could volunteer for a local organization or join a group that is focused on a hobby you enjoy.
- Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life. This could be through your job, volunteering, learning new skills, or exploring your spirituality.
- Developing coping skills, which are methods you use to deal with stressful situations. They may help you face a problem, take action, be flexible, and not easily give up in solving it.
- Meditation: This is a mind and body practice where you learn to focus your attention and awareness. There are many types, including mindfulness meditation and transcendental meditation. Meditation usually involves a quiet location with as few distractions as possible. A specific, comfortable posture. This could be sitting, lying down, walking, or another position.A focus of attention, such as a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or your breathing. An open attitude, where you try to let distractions come and go naturally without judging them
- Relaxation techniques: These are practices you do to produce your body’s natural relaxation response. This slows down your breathing, lowers your blood pressure, and reduces muscle tension and stress. Types of relaxation techniques includes; progressive relaxation, where you tighten and relax different muscle groups, sometimes while using mental imagery or breathing exercises. Guided imagery is where you learn to focus on positive images in your mind, to help you feel more relaxed and focused. Biofeedback relaxation is where you use electronic devices to learn to control certain body functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and muscle tension. Self-hypnosis is where the goal is to get yourself into a relaxed, trance-like state when you hear a certain suggestion or see a specific cue. Also deep breathing exercises, which involve focusing on taking slow, deep, even breaths. Using these techniques can help your mental health.
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