What are the various ways in which you can improve your mental health? Rather, have you thought about any 5 ways to improve mental health? Perhaps, it’s about time we paid enough attention to cerebral matters or the gray matter as they say! Flexing biceps and looking smart in glittery gym costumes sporting a chiseled physique can no longer constitute sound health alone. Today, the whole concept around health has changed altogether. Gone are the days where one could simply entertain a parochial or restrictive perception about health or rather what it meant by having good health. Good health today means the mental faculties and physical abilities of an individual being in good shape.
Health can no longer simply function in isolation; it functions on the unity between the mental and physical aspects of an individual. In fact, we are in an age where concerns about mental health are no longer ignored or simply shoved under the carpet. The dominant discussion of this century concerns mental health; about how one can battle stigmas related to beating several mental odds such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
No longer are people shying away from opening up on matters that concern mental health; they are looking out for health, reaching out for counseling and one hardly seems shy to seek assistance when plagued with mental troubles. While surely, the world needs to still sit up and take more serious notice of the concept and talk around mental health, the awareness in this age of social media communication has increased manifold.
That told, what are the various ways to improve mental health? Let’s look at 5 ways to improve mental health this new year:
1. Maintain Healthy, Thriving Relationships
If one were to particularly talk of the United States in the case of mental health, then one would find loneliness to be the giant killer of sorts. In fact, loneliness is the single most powerful factor contributing to mental struggles among people.
It’s not too hard to sense why. Sadly, we are part of this age and culture that thrives on virtual communication, an instance where person-to-person or as they say, heart-to-heart conversations have taken a backseat.
This can never prove any light on mental matters. The more one feels isolated, the more, therefore, one tends to feel anxious and even depressed. Therefore, the key here is to cultivate a culture of thriving, active relationships.
Ensure that there’s active communication in the various relationships you’ve fostered around yourself. That said, one of the best ways to improve mental health is to simply prioritize relationships; surround yourself among people who make you feel good and better instead of contributing to negativity.
Healthy relationships add a lot of value to our life and therefore, our very being.
2. Exercise; Focus On The Self
The key to strong mental health often goes through good physical well-being. It’s like an important safe within can be opened only through a lock on the outside.
If you are exercising well and enough, then it could hold the key to maintaining good mental health. But precisely here lies a concern.
Not everyone among us is a gym freak or actively interested in pumping iron. But, so what? You don’t have to be Jean Claude Van Damme or a Stallone to be in shape. You could simply sketch a routine by doing something active that makes you happy. For instance, some are fond of walking and others, of jogging or cycling. Regardless of what you do, you’ve got to do with mindfulness and with a sense of discipline.
Experts suggest that around 150 minutes of exercising per week is the key to maintaining good mental health.
Where there is complacency, there cannot be any progress. To grow means to thrive and to strive for betterment and for a sense of improvement. You cannot expect to reach heights by simply sitting back and ducking from facing various challenges.
You’ve got to reach out and you’ve got to challenge yourself.
But none of this big pep talk would ever seem meaningful or poignant in the absence of a goal. And it doesn’t have to be purely academic or vocational in nature. Have a purpose. It could be something like having an enterprising plan like traveling to 5 countries on a solo trip. In other instances, it could be about learning a couple of new languages or striving to cultivate the hobby of playing a musical instrument.
Whatever it might be- big or small- strive for a purpose, have a goal and pursue it actively. This is one of the best possible ways to improve mental health.
4. Inculcate The Habit Of Checking In On Yourself
Very often we are so lost in habitually wandering in the outside world; chasing organizational goals, pursuing materialistic interests; that we forget to check on the self. Could it be that in the period of prolonged self-ignorance, we have forgotten about some anxieties or other constraining issues that are weighing heavily on us?
Among the best possible ways to improve mental health is to regularly keep a check on the self.
- Am I still interested in pursuing the goals I was once interested in
- Am I drinking too much or more than what I was used to previously
- Have there been any strange changes to my weight or even my appetite?
- Have the others around me complained regarding some sudden mood or behavioral changes?
5. Practice Gratitude
They say one of the best possible ways to improve mental health is by practicing gratitude. Life, in the end, isn’t simply about doing everything for the self or toward self-betterment. We can try and succeed at accumulating pretty much everything we want but unless we stand up for others or toward a cause, we cannot seek real meaning.
Suggested read: Spread Mental Health Awareness
If you aren’t a giver, then simply feel glad or thankful for all that you have got. Everyone desires a lot but not everyone receives it all!
Unless you don’t practice gratitude, you cannot truly ever realize the worth of what you’ve got. One of the best practices to ensure just this is to maintain a journal. Write about the things you are honestly glad for having. Pay respect to the divine power out there.