10 Habits To Improve Your Mental Health
It’s easy to get swallowed up by everything else with how fast life keeps moving, not to mention the hundreds of changes cropping up every week. Yet regardless of how speedy everything is, society still expects you to get back up and go about your day as usual. Besides, because you have to shoulder your tasks while struggling to stay afloat, it’s no wonder your mental health will take a nosedive.
Unfortunately, affected mental health has no cure. Because unlike the common cold (or even food poisoning), there’s no return from it if your mental state undergoes extreme emotional distress. Think of this mishap as your mental state tripping and falling. Although you can still function afterward, the scars left behind will take a long time to fade away completely.
Instead of ‘fixing’ your mind, your best option is to improve it. After all, you can’t expect yourself to heal from any injury with nothing but expectations for you to do it. When it comes to this, the best path you must take is the one where you possess a figurative first-aid kit to patch yourself up. This kit includes empathy, gratitude, patience, understanding, and more. With all of those combined, you’re on your way toward improvement.
Let’s look at some habits you can do to improve your mental health.
Admittedly, technology has come a long way from what used to be dial-up internet connections and bulky communication devices that can barely send a message. Smartphones have come a long way since their introduction as bulky, near-pointless communication devices. They have successfully cemented a spot among other technological innovations we use daily. Yet even though these digital advancements benefit humanity, they’re turning out into more of a double-edged sword.
Considering how versatile a smartphone is, there’s no wonder why many people get enthralled by it. With the vast internet in its arsenal, you can spend hours browsing the web and still have so many things to discover. Although there’s nothing wrong with discovering new things, doing too much of it will only end up disturbing the rest of your life.
Mental health professionals—and even those under mental health internships—can conclude that many mental health issues (particularly depression or anxiety) often result from consuming excessive substances. In this case, online social interactions can seriously impact one’s mental well-being, especially if most interactions have been negative. Be that as it may, many still experience fear of missing out (FOMO) when catching up with what’s latest.
However, because you’re pushing yourself too hard to keep up with other online users, you’re disregarding your physical health every night you stay up late, staring at your phone. If you don’t know it yet, smartphones emit blue light from their screens. While this helps provide clear images, it still disrupts your circadian rhythm because your brain interprets it as ‘sunlight’ with how bright it is, straining your eyes. Thus, it ruins your sleep schedule and eyesight.
Sleep problems combined with your online experience mold you into someone with severe mental health problems. Considering how addiction is right around the corner, advising you to stop with the snap of your fingers won’t be too productive. Instead, practicing mindfulness must be your priority.
Discipline yourself by setting up an alarm that alerts you if you’ve passed your online consumption. Once you hit your daily consumption, spend time doing activities that no smartphone can ever replicate: read books, solve puzzles, learn a new instrument, and learn a new recipe, among others. Lower your daily online consumption until you no longer rely on technology for entertainment.
Although there are all sorts of personality types across the globe, everyone can agree that humans are social creatures. They form bonds they come across and nurture them to the point of familiarity. Introverts can create relationships, too, although not a matter of ‘with who’ but ‘with what’ in their case. Whether it’s an animal or plant life, how they treat them is the closest thing they could have to people.
However, while some people find it easy to initiate a bond with someone else, nurturing it is a whole other story. Because now that you’ve built a relationship, you’re no longer alone. Considering that’s the goal behind forming relationships, you might think this is good. While true, many might consider this a burden—or worse, an opportunity they could exploit.
Typically, these signs of negativity tend to remain quiet. Because relationships involve two or more people, airing out any negativity aimed at the people in the relationship (or even the relationship itself) could break their bond. So, you can probably imagine how stressful it is to bottle everything up inside, especially if this happens while everyone’s living in the same house.
Stay in touch with the people who matter to you. Even sending them a quick message could brighten their day and allow them to remember you the entire time. However, the type of people you’re in a relationship with should be brimming with positivity. Otherwise, your relationship might squeeze more out of you until all that’s left is a shell of who you are.
Relationships should ease away loneliness. They even serve as your emotional support when you need them most. Because loneliness doesn’t disappear with a snap of your fingers, nurturing one’s relationships is a long-term endeavor. Thus, investing time and effort will make them work out for you. In return, you could add more meaning to your life.
Even the most well-oiled machine needs rest to exceed its life expectancy. Who’s to say humans don’t need rest? Considering how hectic one’s life is, it’s bound to get exhausting one way or another. Generally, adults need approximately six hours of sleep to retain the quality of their sleep. Therefore, getting proper rest can help regain their energy, ensuring the state of their mental health.
Getting the right amount of sleep can be challenging when you’re not feeling your best mentally. Worrying thoughts may cause problems falling asleep or may even wake you up in the middle of the night. There’s lots of products out there to help you fall asleep, however stress relieving wearables like TouchPoints may be the answer you’re searching for. This wearable uses science to disengage your stress response and shift you into the calm, rest and digest part of your nervous system. Not only will this stress relieving bracelet help you fall asleep faster, it will also help you stay asleep longer while overall improving your health.
Staying grounded can be extremely difficult, especially for those with busy schedules, but you must learn to remain present at the moment and be mindful of your actions each day. Whether you made failures or achievements, both are crucial as they carry a lesson that could help you somehow. To record each one, writing them down in your notebook is an excellent way to be grounded.
Resting is essential, and so is treating yourself to something special. Even though there’s nothing wrong with finishing your chores, working on them every day without any signs of stopping even once can leave anyone burned out and dealing with fatigue. This combination can easily be your worst distraction, especially during serious tasks.
So, to prevent yourself from compromising on any task, schedule a time block where you’re allowed to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Take a stroll outside, watch a movie, cook your favorite dish—do anything that makes you happy. This way, you’re recharging your energy levels and boosting your motivation to increase your productivity.
With society forming close ties with technology, there’s no wonder why almost everyone can still perform their duties while staying behind a screen. Although convenient, this encourages people to remain stagnant, which deteriorates their health over time, physically and mentally.
Despite how annoying it might be to continue to hear it, exercising is your best option to fight back stagnation. Because the more you move your body, the more parts of your systems open up. While that happens, it relieves stress and helps you manage your anxiety or depression by improving your openness, especially if your chosen physical activity involves team bonding.
Naturally, this habit isn’t for everyone. If they can’t afford to allot time from their schedule, they might dislike exerting themselves too much and wouldn’t want to faint from exhaustion. However, ‘moving your body’ doesn’t immediately mean demanding you get down and complete 50 push-ups and do a 30-second plank. You’re good to go as long as you’re moving your body.
Do basic yoga stretches, take a short walk outside, try out seated exercises—do any physical activity outside as long as your body remains active. By doing this, you can move at your pace without pushing yourself to overexertion.
Considering how demanding life is, you might be unable to find the time to be yourself anymore. As long as you can fulfill your tasks, that should be enough. Yet even though you’re performing as an ideal citizen, you might neglect yourself to achieve efficiency. Always be mindful of your thoughts.
Talk about it with someone close to you or with a therapist. If you’re not comfortable discussing it, you can always write them down in a journal for you to read through in the future. With this, you can even appreciate how you started and where you are currently.
There’s nothing more refreshing than trying out a new dish. It is not uncommon to see food items from other countries nowadays. Besides, only eating the ones you’re used to can seriously limit you from what the world offers. Hence, while keeping your allergies or health conditions in mind, try out that new food place you saw nearby.
Staying indoors and surrounded by technology alone can be extremely taxing, especially if you’re working. Therefore, instead of staying there, go somewhere with natural light. Try standing by a window, taking in the sunlight; looking out at the sky can somewhat soothe your heart and mind. Because sunlight is rich in Vitamin D, it also helps improve your mood.
Although you have these many options at your fingertips, choosing to do any of them depends on you. Admittedly, changing anything in one’s life can be intimidating. Nevertheless, you can’t guarantee whether you’ve wasted your time or not by doing something that’s supposed to help improve your mental health. However, getting yourself out there to try something new is already one step towards improvement.
Why Should You Improve Your Mental Health?
Although your body does all the work, your mind plays a significant role behind the scenes because it’s the one pulling the strings. It can easily affect your physical well-being if something happens to your mind—by extension, your mental health. Thus, running yourself ragged and bottling up any troubles could compromise your overall health, affecting your performance. Therefore, devoting some time to improving your mental health would benefit you in the long run.
Vanessa Rinker is a mental health advocate. She conducts seminars and writes blogs to inspire and help people struggling with their mental wellness. In her free time, Vanessa loves doing yoga and reading books.