General

Oct 12 2022

How to Improve Your Mental Health

A woman sitting alone and journaling to get rid of negative thoughts.

I like to think of mental health as a car. What would happen if you jump into your car every day, zoom across the roughest roads, bump into walls and trees here and there, and don’t bother to clean, refuel, or repair it?

Soon enough, the car will break down. It’ll be chipped and broken in many places. You may have flat tires. You may be missing a headlight or two. The brakes may fail, and you could have an accident. 

That’s precisely how it is with mental health. We tend to take life in strides and overlook the importance of mental health. Soon enough, we get anxious, depressed, or extremely stressed. We have negative thoughts and feelings that affect our productivity and everyday life.

But what would you do if you had a flat tire? You’d take it to a mechanic. In the same vein, if you notice any signs your mental health is dwindling, it’s important to take a step back and learn how to improve your mental health.

Distracted young man stares into space and abandons the piles of book on his table.

Why is mental health so important anyway?

Mental health matters! It affects every aspect of your life: how you think, behave, cope with problems, handle stress, adapt to situations, solve problems, handle relationships, handle money, et cetera. In fact, your mental health has a direct impact on your physical well-being, happiness, and productivity.

Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Every aspect of your life is important and should be prioritized equally. Here’s how to improve your mental health:

Beautiful happy young mulatto girl with curly black hair posing isolated dressed in silk pajamas, making thumbs up gesture and showing ok sign, smiling.

Understand that mental health is as important as physical health

Poor mental health is as bad as a migraine—or even worse. You can take aspirin to relieve pain, but no pill or magic wand can swiftly improve your mental health. To be honest, you have to work at it.

Mental health conditions range from everyday worries to severe long-term conditions like depression or ADHD. And realizing that you’re not alone in this can help you get the help and support you need.

Woman listening to music and having a good time. This is how to improve your mental health..

Take a break from social media

On social media, everyone is happy, flexing, and successful. People present themselves in ways that aren’t always true; It can be stressful when you compare your real life to what you see online.

Moreover, with all the sad things happening in the world, social media can be filled with news that can trigger emotions of stress, sadness, anger, and frustration.

For your well-being, it’s necessary to protect your mental health by disconnecting from social media for a while, so take a break and have a social media detox.

Spend time offline and focus on valuable activities like reading, going on a nature walk, talking to a friend, and eating better. This will help you feel more relaxed, redefine your values, regain confidence, and give you time to understand and handle your emotions.

Joyful black woman holds her journal and pen, smiling.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a state of being thankful for all the good things in your life. Things may not be going the right way, but it helps to keep track of the good things that happen to you, whether big or small.

They can be small things, like having a nice meal, or getting a gift from a loved one, or big things, like getting promoted at work or buying a new house.

Practicing gratitude will help you see your life from a different perspective. You can practice gratitude by keeping a journal and writing every good moment you experience.

For instance, when you have a bad day, you might be unable to enjoy your favorite meal or TV show, but focusing on the good in every situation will help you see and enjoy life differently. 

A man and woman performing yoga.

Take care of your body

Your body and mind are interwoven in many ways. If your mental health is poor, it can tell on your physical health; if your body is not in good shape, it can also affect your mental health.

For instance, have you ever twisted your ankle? Had a toothache? Or a really bad migraine? How did you feel? Anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed, yes?

I was down with malaria a few weeks ago, and, I kid you not, I thought my life would end. Also, in my darkest depressive episodes, it gets so hard to get up every day and brush my teeth or have my bath. My skincare suffers.

The deal is to take care of your body and let it take care of you. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Prioritize good hygiene:

Brush your teeth and have your bath daily. Groom your hair and nails properly. And, most importantly, get a good deodorant and always smell nice.

Good hygiene isn’t only good for your body; it’ll also refine your appearance and boost your confidence in social settings.

  • Sleep well:

Ensure to sleep for 7-9 hours daily. A lack of quality sleep can make you irritable and slow. But having adequate sleep can boost your mood, improve your memory, and keep you in a positive state of mind.

  • Exercise regularly:

Being physically active can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.

  • Eat healthily:

This is your cue to cut down on junk food and embrace healthier meals. Your nutrition plays a vital role in your overall well-being.

Not having enough of certain nutrients may contribute to some mental illnesses. But a healthy and balanced diet will help you feel physically fit, decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress, and improve your mood. 

A smiling dietician with a bowl of fruits on her table. Good nutrition is also one of the ways to improve your mental health.

Seek help

If you feel stuck or overwhelmed, your body is trying to tell you to pay attention to an underlying issue. So, get in touch with a mental health professional, and get the help and support you need

Takeaway

Just as you shouldn’t wait for your car to break down before getting it serviced, you don’t have to wait for your mental health to decline before taking steps to make it better. Make these tips part of your daily life, and you’ll be glad you did!

If you need help connecting to a mental health professional, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of qualified therapists will help you get the help and support you need.

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