Most of us understand that our mental health should be a priority, yet not all of us know how we can approach positive change. Improving your mental health doesn’t happen overnight, it can take a considerable effort, and perseverance. To get started on the right track, follow these five steps.
1. Consider your diet
According to HealthLine, some of the best foods to boost your mood include fatty fish, bananas, berries, fermented foods, and dark chocolate. To lift your spirits, make sure you get plenty of these in your diet.
When you eat healthy, you’re more likely to feel energetic and happy. Consuming too much junk food can have the opposite effect. According to a study from the Mayo Clinic, ‘people who ate a poor quality diet were more likely to report symptoms of depression.’
2. Creative practices
Several scientific studies suggest that being creative can help to improve your mental health. Creative activities can be incredibly therapeutic, these activities allow you to express different emotions, build confidence, and achieve something. There are so many different activities to try, from painting or writing to playing an instrument or baking. Challenge yourself to try something new, to broaden your horizons.
3. Therapy options
If you need support with your mental health, licensed therapists can help. Therapists use a range of different techniques, to help people heal and grow. Some therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy focuses on trying to change a person’s reactions to certain feelings. For instance, CBT can help people to challenge the negative thought patterns they have. Therapists can help individuals with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, or obsessive compulsive disorder.
4. Gratitude journaling
According to research from Positive Psychology, ‘grateful individuals experience more positive emotions, are more satisfied with life, and experience fewer negative emotions including depression, anxiety and envy.’ Grateful people tend to be more forgiving and empathic, they are more able to focus on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negative.
It’s easy to start a gratitude journal. Simply buy a journal, and write down two things that you are grateful for each day. If you need a little inspiration, the ‘Grateful’ app includes prompts and exercises. Writing in a journal is a great way to reduce anxiety.
5. Spend time outdoors
Being in the natural world helps to lift our spirits, many studies show that being around plants can raise our endorphin levels. Challenge yourself to reconnect with the natural world, whether it’s hiking, swimming, camping, or foraging. Allow yourself a break from the world of tech, to relax and experience nature. Whether it’s gardening or relaxing at the beach, there are lots of ways to enjoy the natural world.
To improve your mental health, set yourself a few simple self-care goals. We all have different ways that we like to practice self-care. You might practice yoga, meditate, dance, or learn new healthy recipes. Focus on wholesome activities that make you feel amazing.