If you’re interested in taking care of your health and fitness, it’s important to consider not only your physical health but your mental health as well. Your mental health is shaped by a variety of both internal and external sources, including physical exercise, diet, personal relationships, and more.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how to improve mental health wellness.
How to Improve Mental Health Wellness
Our mental health is something that is intangible, yet plays an enormous role in the quality of life that we experience. Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression can creep in and take up residence in our minds before we know it. Being proactive about our mental health by practicing some of the tips provided below can not only serve to avert a pending mental health crisis but can help us to experience genuine vitality on a daily basis.
Here’s how to improve mental health wellness.
Reduce Exposure to Negativity
There has not ever been a more appropriate time to discuss the benefits of limiting the amount of negative information that you allow into your brain space. The current events over the past several years have resulted in a frenzy of negative information coming through the internet and airwaves. Long before computer programmers coined the phrase, you may remember one of your grandparents promoting the idea of, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
Not only does this idea apply to the way that we feed our bodies, but it also applies to the information that we feed our minds. All of that negativity has to be processed, digested, and expelled. Taking in too much of it in can result in a sort of mental constipation, and can contribute to a decrease in our mental health wellness. Do your best to limit the amount of negative information you are exposing yourself to, and you will already be getting a leg up on feeling better.
Learn To Be Mindful
With how busy modern life is, days and weeks can tend to fly by without knowing where the time went. While we may be required to operate on full throttle during certain periods of life, doing so on a continual basis can result in unpleasant experiences such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. One way to avoid the consequences of running out of gas is to make sure that you are making frequent efforts to fill up your energy tank. Mindfulness techniques provide a simple and efficient way to go about this maintenance. With practice, you can learn how to extract the maximum amount of vitality out of your waking hours.
Increase Personal Control
A good amount of mental stress can come from feeling as though we are not the captain in charge of our ship. Job expectations, parenting demands, school assignments, and relationship maintenance can become so overwhelming that we begin to lose a sense of our own identify and purpose in life. One thing in common that all of those listed obligations have is that they are outside forces. When we let outside forces decide too much of how we spend our time, the satisfaction gained from accomplishments is diminished. Learn how to increase your internal locus of control, and you will experience a renewed sense of empowerment and inspiration.
Set Goals and Achieve Them
There is a saying in the business and psychological circles that, “success breeds success.” What this refers to is the phenomenon of improved mental wellness that occurs as the result of our achieving our goals. If it has been a while since your last goal obtainment, consider sitting down to craft out a few new ones. The goals don’t have to be extravagant, and it will actually tend to work better if you start out with setting some smaller, short-term, goals that can be reached within the next few weeks or months. Once you experience the high of meeting these smaller goals, you will be inspired and emboldened to tackle loftier ones. Make sure that you are setting yourself up for success in goal planning by adhering to the idea of forming SMART goals.
Care For Your Physical Self
Our bodies are the machines that make our thoughts and actions possible. Just like with neglecting maintenance on a car, failing to take care of the body can result in it giving out just when we need it most. Making sure to provide our bodies with good nutrition and an adequate amount of exercise not only results in our feeling more energetic but can also provide a boost to our self-esteem. Getting adequate sleep can increase our ability to think more clearly during the day, resulting in more focus and improved abilities to problem solve. Be sure to avoid over-indulging in substances such as alcohol and caffiene, as well. The withdrawal effects of substances on the body can negatively impact your levels of mental wellness.
Think Outside of Yourself (charity, focusing on others)
It seems like a contradiction, but one of the ways that we can best improve our own mental health is through focusing on the wellness of others. While this may not apply to those who are operating in the helping professions on a daily basis, those who spend the majority of their time thinking about their own problems tend to become increasingly discontent with life. When we share our good traits with others, we create a positive feedback loop. Not only does the person we are helping feel better, but our own self-esteem is boosted through the act of being prosocial. Next time you realize that you are too much in your own head, try turning your thoughts toward how to bless someone else.
When some people think of therapy, they picture it as something that a person engages in once they have reached their personal bottom. While therapy is definitely useful at these dire crossroads, it can also be utilized as a regular resource for mental health improvement. A good therapist is one who will provide you with a sense of relief at being understood, and will create a safe space for you to vent and hash out any problems that you may be encountering. If you are wanting a different perspective on things, or are interesting in gaining new skills or tools for navigating some of life’s challenges, a therapist will be able to assist. Try asking your friends for good references, or read up about a therapist on the internet before choosing one who seems to be a good fit for your individuality.