Invest in your mental and emotional health by learning the top 11 life-changing ways to improve your mental health today!
Your mental health influences many aspects of your daily life, such as how you think, feel and act. The well-being of your mental health also affects the way that you cope with anxiety, stress, obstacles, and build relationships. Your mental health also determines how well you are to have resilience from hardships or setbacks.
Anyone can suffer from emotional or mental health difficulties. However, not many people make no effort to improving their current situation. But, no matter what you are going through, there are so many natural ways that you can improve your mental health, beginning today!
So what does it mean to be mentally healthy?
Mental health does not simply mean that you are absent from any mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or stress. Being mentally healthy means that you are mentally in the presence of positive feelings and characteristics. Just like physical health, mental health is something that you should not neglect and something that you should put effort into building, improving, and maintaining!
People who are mentally healthy tend to have:
- a sense of fulfillment in their everyday lives
- the ability to have fun and find happiness in life
- the ability to handle stress
- resilience in stressful situations
- adaptability to change
- a healthy balance between their work lives, rest, and personal (play) lives
- the ability to build relationships with others
- security in themselves and self-confidence
These positive elements of mental and emotional health allow you to engage in life to the fullest extent possible through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. They also help you cope with stressful situations or the tough obstacles that life throws at you!
Here are the Top 11 Life-changing Ways to Improve Your Mental Health!
Think of your $5 journal or even the loose piece of notebook paper as your go-to therapist/counselor that doesn’t cost you more than a one-time $5-$10 fee! Use this tool to write about your frustrations, dreams, and your moments of doubt and/or depression. Be 100% GENUINE!
The days of leaving your feelings bottled up are behind you! A simple piece of paper can serve as an outlet for ANY and ALL emotions that you may experience during your life. Use your pen or pencil as a gateway to resolve any inner conflicts or battles that you are going through as soon as it touches the paper!
2. Call a loved one
The simplicity of hearing a loved one’s voice is great healing power in its own! Find someone that you trust or love deeply and who you are not afraid to open up to! As humans, we are naturally social individuals and we all have emotional needs for relationships and positive connections to others!
No matter how much we feel that we can improve our mental or emotional health on our own, we still need the company of loved ones to function and to feel your absolute best!
Face-to-face interaction is always the best option and will give you the stress-relieving, mood-boosting power that you long for. However, in our busy lives, a simple phone call will often do the trick just fine! Reaching out is not a sign of weakness! It will not make you a burden to others, especially the ones that you love and love you in return! Most people are flattered if you trust them enough to reach out and confide in them.
If you feel that you don’t have anyone to talk to, I find that the smallest thing that you do to boost your mood is by simply by smiling or saying hello to a passing stranger. You don’t have to have small talk starting out, but by simply putting yourself out there, you will slowly begin to build the confidence to talk to others and build relationships.
3. Color or do a puzzle
I definitely noticed this when I was working as a preschool teacher in my early 20’s! Something about sitting down and coloring with my students or helping them solve a puzzle was so carefree and relaxing to me! Even with the sound of whining or yelling children in the background!
The simple activity of coloring in an adult coloring book, for example, will provide you with hours of stress-relief and relaxation. It is also an outlet for creative expression as well as a fun, mindless activity that still exercising your brain!
Puzzles are also a great stress reliever as well! As a puzzle is pieced together, stress and external worries decrease as the mind focuses on an activity that is both meditative and gratifying. Not only is the task of putting together a puzzle a wonderful solo activity, but it is also a great way to bring people together and combat loneliness!
In fact, a recent study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information declares that solving jigsaw puzzles is a “low-cost, intrinsically motivating, cognitive leisure activity.” Not to mention, it’s incredibly therapeutic and beneficial for your mental health!
4. Channel your inner child
In simplest terms, have FUN! A child is genuinely happy and not emotionally affected by little inconveniences like many adults. If they are affected by them, they typically get over it, quickly, or find something else to shift their attention and focus on!
Children love to play and fun, and they are genuinely happy with a simple activity such as running around a park or playing a game. When we become adults, we tend to lose that simplicity of that joy and excitement. To help combat this, all you have to do is channel your inner child! Go outside, act care-free, or play a game! If you have children or if you have nieces or nephews, go out and play along with them. Learn to laugh at yourself again and find joy in the simplest activities!
I found this related article written by Steve Tobek to very interesting! It explains how channeling your inner child can be incredibly beneficial for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders!
5. Change your scenery
Now there is nothing wrong this routine! I am a big advocate for having a productive routine for a simple and successful day. However, if you are bored with your same old routine such as work/school, home, eat, sleep, etc. then a change of scenery can definitely improve your mental health in an abundance of ways!
Whether it’s taking a cheap, weekend vacation to a lake, renting an Air BnB with a group of friends an hour outside of your current city, or staying in a hotel to go swimming for the night! Whatever your little or big vacation is, the importance is your getting away and escaping your current routine! This is the perfect way to connect with yourself and with others. Then you are fulfilled and ready to tackle your regular tasks even harder with ease!
Check out this great article on how to travel for cheap in many different ways in your 20s or as a college student!
6. Quiet your mind
This can be a difficult one at times! Especially if you live a busy life running around trying to “do all the things” or even if you are a stay at home parent, your mind is always racing at crazy speeds! It can be hard to find that time to relax and quiet your mind. To be honest with you, this is still a major struggle for me!
But it is so important to find those little breaks in the day and use that as your window to turn your brain off. This can be any time of the day or night! Turn off your phone, computer, tv, radio, etc. and try to relax and shut off your thoughts. I can tend to find the easiest time to do this is when I am driving. I turn any music off or I pause a podcast and I take time to breathe. It is almost like a form of meditation for me!
Some people may need a different environment or certain time of the day to turn off their mind. There are so many ways that you can do this easily and mindlessly! Such as while you’re showering, when you wake up, before you go to bed, while your cooking, taking a walk, during a work break, etc!
But find the time to relax and breathe, turning your thoughts off to give yourself a mental break.
7. Talk to an unbiased professional
Please never feel embarrassed or shy away from talking to a professional when it comes to your mental health and well-being. That is their job and they want to hear from you! Sometimes talking to close friends or family may not work in the ways that you hope. Even though you’re loved ones mean well, sometimes talking to an unbiased professional can make a major difference.
There are so many resources such as counselors and therapists that are available to you. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone because there is NOTHING wrong with seeking help!
Nobody should ever feel like they’re alone! Your mental and emotional health is so important and worth investing in!
8. Go to a dog park
What is better than petting a bunch of dogs?! Never underestimate the healing power that animals can give you, just by spending a little bit of time with them! Whether you have a dog (who likes other dogs) or you don’t have a dog, go to a dog park!
Dogs are the best at giving people some love. And I’m sure if you are a dog owner you truly know that!
Relatedly, in the past, I have also been to a retired horse farm. It was a farm dedicated to helping or giving a home to neglected or older horses that had health issues. Going to this farm was so rewarding and uplifting seeing all of the beautiful horses run around happily without a care in the world, despite their hardships!
Nonetheless, spending time with animals has been found to lower levels of stress and anxiety, and improve your overall mood!
Just like the horse farm, the partaking of volunteering in your community can provide you with so many physical and mental health benefits! I have found that there are 4 main ways that volunteering can improve your mental health!
1. It helps to reduce the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety
Nothing relieves stress more than having a meaningful connection with another person (or animal!) As I also mentioned in #2, the social content aspect of talking or interacting with others has a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. The same goes for when you are working with others in a positive way or by helping others!
2. Makes you feel happy
By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense satisfaction and releases hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins (the happy hormones)! As humans, we are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel, and the happier we can makes others as well!
3. Combats feelings of depression or sadness
By regularly volunteering, you will find yourself surrounded by others who are dedicated to helping others as well! The positive comradery can help fight against feelings of depression and sadness which in some cases is caused by loneliness for many people.
4. It also helps to boost your self-confidence
Doing something good to help another is always going to make you feel good! It provides you with a sense of accomplishment! While volunteering, people tend to often feel a sense of identity and pride within themselves.
Volunteering in a community or for a single individual is a win-win for both parties! Not only are you making somebody else feel great, but it helps you feel better about yourself in the process! The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive outlook on your life and your goals for the future.
There are SO many ways to volunteer! Check within your local community or talk to your local animal shelter to find ways that you can make a difference!
10. Spend time with a person who makes you laugh
Laughter is the best medicine!
Think about something or someone who never fails to make you laugh! Now, make it a priority to spend some quality time with that person. Whether it is a best friend, co-worker, parent, or another relative, find some time to be around them more often. Stick to your plans!
Or make plans with that person to go see a funny movie, play, or stand up comedian. It’s a great way to get out and do something fun with somebody who makes you laugh and feel good!
11. Treat yourself
Last but not least! Find time every single day to treat yourself! Treat yourself to your favorite coffee, a solo lunch date, a message, a blowout, or to those pair of shoes that you have been wanting! Of course, spend responsibly! Don’t use misinterpret the meaning of treating yourself by going overboard on things that you just want.
Reward yourself with little things that make you happy! If you are working hard towards your goals, serving others, or simply need a break from your hectic life, take the time to treat yourself in return. You deserve it! Remember, the process of treating yourself doesn’t always to require money or material items either! It can be anything from going to a walk, taking a bath, taking a nap, reading a book, etc. Find the “treat” that works for you!
Don’t Feel Overwhelmed! Start With ONE of These Tips!
After reading about each of these 11 tips, choose one that you liked and want to apply to your life! You do not need to do all 11 of these tips in order to improve your mental health. Just one of these tips will impact your life in such a positive way! A step in the right, positive direction, no matter how big or small, will make a HUGE difference when trying to improve your mental health and overall wellness!
I hope you found this post helpful!
*I challenge you to share this post with a friend or family member that may need it!!*
Until next time!