Improve your mental health

Improve your mental health

Five habits to improve mental health


Mental health issues affect everyone. It is often neglected and not prioritised as equally important as the physical health of a person. Mental health is affected throughout life, from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. Unfortunately, there are many stigmas associated with mental health, and people often incorrectly assume mental health is only related to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Mental health can be emotional or psychological. In reality, many people are living with a mental health issue that they aren't even aware of. And the impact that stress can have on the body and mental well-being can be damaging. Some of the early warning signs that indicate a person is struggling with a mental health condition include,

  • Lack of energy
  • Mood swings
  • Fighting with loved ones
  • Feeling confused, angry and upset
  • Isolating oneself.

Taking better care of yourself is essential and should be worked on daily.

By adopting these five habits, you can drastically improve mental health and thrive.

  1. Get enough exercise and sleep
    Don't underestimate the benefits of exercise and sleep on your mental well-being. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins, which improves your mood, sleep and reduces stress.
    As little as 30 minutes of exercise can lift a person’s mood and reduce stress. Remember, exercise doesn't always have to be a high-intensity workout.
    Equally, a good night's rest can leave you feeling refreshed in the morning. If getting at least seven hours of sleep isn't possible, try creating a calming and relaxing environment. Meditate to settle the mind. And avoid late-afternoon and an evening caffeine fix.
  2. Listen to the body
    Your body has tell-tale signs which indicate when something is wrong. Remedy this by eating regular nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water. It's also essential to avoid alcohol and drugs, as this can worsen mental health issues.
  3. A support system
    A support system made up of family and friends is important when dealing with any illness. Maintaining healthy and strong relationships can improve your health. Don't isolate yourself from those who care for you most. Being part of a community and asking your loved ones for help when you're struggling, is a sign of strength.
  4. Challenge yourself
    There's always room for growth. One of the most rewarding things to do is to set goals and to work towards achieving them. No goal is too big or too small, if it's important, identify your goal and write it down.
    Working towards your goal will achieve a sense of accomplishment, which will improve happiness and satisfaction.
  5. Be grateful
    When feeling anxious or stressed, it's difficult to remember the good things in life. To be consumed with negative thoughts is easy. One of the easiest ways to practice being grateful is by making a list of what you're thankful for each day. Whether saying it out loud or journaling your thoughts , this practice will show just how much positivity there is in life.

These small habits can drastically improve daily life, but it's also important to recognise when needing help and then to ask for it. With all of the available and effective treatments, thriving in life while living with a mental illness is possible.

  1. MentalHealth.gov. What Is Mental Health? https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health. Accessed on 30 October 2019.
  2. Mental Health Foundation. Fundamental Facts About Mental Health. 2016
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. Sleep and mental health. July 2009.
  4. University of Michigan. Ten Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health. https://www.uhs.umich.edu/tenthings. Accessed on 30 October 2019.

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