6 Tips for Stronger Mental Health
Self-care is an important tool for building stronger mental health. In today’s busy world, it is easy to get lost in paying bills and keeping up with work or family commitments. Learning how to incorporate a few self-care practices that will help you cope with stress is an excellent addition to a lifestyle that is focused on both health and wellness. But why is this important?
Neglecting mental health can lead to depression, stress and illness and, let’s face it, is not a great way to thrive. At the same time, many people don’t realize that simple practices, some of which they might already do, can have a positive impact on mental health. Adding a little intention to some daily habits can go a long way in building stronger mental health. Here are 6 tips that can help.
Walk Away Stress –
The benefits of working out cannot be stated enough. And while walking is considered a low-impact exercise, it can greatly benefit both your physical and mental health. In fact, studies show that walking can decrease negative thinking, improve self-esteem and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Adding music or walking in nature can boost the effects of this versatile exercise. And if you need motivation, using a fitness app like Yes.Fit can help motivate you with virtual races that you can do at your own pace.
Body Mind Exercises –
This includes practices such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong. Each of these practices uses a series of movements that require mental focus and controlled breathing. They help strengthen your mental fortitude as you condition your body to improve your balance, flexibility and overall strength. If you prefer to not go to a local in-person class, check online for the many virtual programs you can do from the comfort of your living room. Learn a routine and practice at your local park for even more stress relieving benefits.
Meditation is one of the oldest ways known to improve mental strength. With simple practices such as sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes, you can improve your focus and concentration. With just 10-20 minutes of practice each day, you will learn to effectively clear your mind as you enjoy the myriad of other benefits including reduction in negative emotions, improved patience, imagination and creativity, and gaining new perspectives on stressful situations. Beginning with just 5-10 minutes each day by counting your breaths from 1-4 repeatedly is known to help with stress management.
Eat Well –
While eating comfort foods seems to be the way to manage stress, healthy eating is better for both your mental and physical health. When you eat well by choosing wholesome foods and avoiding highly processed ones, you can improve your focus, concentration and attention span and can help you manage stress. A healthy diet improves energy levels and helps you feel all around more positive. On the other hand, an unhealthy diet high in fats, sugars and junk foods can make you feel groggy, fatigued and angry. Studies show that a poor diet can even lead to stress and depression. Begin today to abstain from all fast foods and junk food and strive to incorporate healthy foods to improve your mental health.
Socializing through community, family or friends is an important strategy for improving mental health. It can help ward off feelings of loneliness, and it can also improve your memory and cognitive skills. If you don’t enjoy socializing in groups of people, find an accountability partner to discuss your goals with and confide in when you need to. This can be a friend, family member or coach and should be someone you trust. Many people find friendships through accountability partners they meet through online communities. One example is the Yes.Fit online community that shares goals with each other as they cheer each other on and lift each other up.
Practice Gratitude –
With today’s busy lifestyles, it is common to forget about the wonderful people, moments and situations that we do experience in our lives. Practicing gratitude is an important aspect of strong mental health and is associated with greater happiness, and may even help you attract more positive situations and things to be grateful for. That’s because our minds become wired to the situations we get used to every day. For example, if your mind is wired for stress, then your brain will recognize stressful situations more often than the positive aspects of your life.
But if you decide to practice gratitude on a daily basis, through a process called neuroplasticity, you will soon be able to recognize and see more positive situations and even begin to recognize more opportunities that are presented to you. Begin practicing gratitude with a daily gratitude journal.
Simply write down what you are grateful for each day, and then make a commitment to do this every day. Add it to your morning routine or any other daily habit you already have to help you stick with it.
In your pursuit of health and wellness, incorporate at least one of these tips for stronger mental health. Your mental wellbeing is as important as the physical and can help you live a well-rounded and more joyful life.