How To Improve Mental Health

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Find Some Meaning And Purpose

8 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health

Part of having positive mental health is being able to achieve your own potential, which includes finding things that are meaningful and purposeful to you. This could be starting your own small business, fostering kittens, or having weekly coffee with an elderly neighbor who lives alone. Find what gives you meaning and purpose and itll not only boost your mental health, it could improve your physical health as well by strengthening your immune system and reducing pain and stress.

Talking May Change The Way You Feel About A Situation

Use your own words. Itll make you feel safer and less alone, and that will help protect your mental health and prevent problems.

Talking may also change how you see and feel about the situation in ways you find helpful.

Another possible benefit is that talking may strengthen your relationship with the person you speak with. This will benefit both of you and make it easier for them to turn to you when they need support themselves.

Many of us sometimes use drugs to block out difficult feelings such as sadness, fear or shame.

No one wants to feel bad for some people, drugs and/or alcohol offer temporary relief.

Unfortunately, they dont stop the feelings from returning and may make things worse or create other problems, including damage to mental and physical health, relationships, work, or study.

If you think you may be using drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings, it may help to notice it without beating yourself up about it. Being understanding and kind to yourself is good for your mental health.

A possible next step could be to talk with someone you trust or one of the charities that offer confidential, free information and advice, including how to reduce the harmfulness of using drugs. Have a look at Talk To Frank, for example.

Many charities around the country offer low-cost or free therapy. Here is more detailed information about getting help with your mental health from many potential sources.

For example:

Healthy Bodies = Healthy Minds

Exercise

We know how good it is for our bodies, and exercise is also good for our mental health. Research confirms that exercise is a great stress reliever. It reduces muscle tension, improves blood flow and floods your body with feel-good chemicals. People who exercise often report having less anxiety. Exercise has also been shown to reduce symptoms of mild depression.

  • Tip: Small changes can lead to a big difference. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break. Play outside with the kids. Find activities you enjoy and work them into your schedule. Aim for realistic goalsno one becomes a marathon runner overnight.
Eat well

Eating right is good for your physical health, and evidence suggests that healthy eating can help boost your mental health, too. Choosing the right foods more often, having a healthy breakfast, and eating regular meals can keep your mood and energy levels steady. Certain kinds of nuts, fish, fruits and vegetables also contain ingredients that are good for both mind and body.

  • Tip: For more information on healthy food choices, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating or call HealthLink BC at 811 to talk to a dietician. Its free and available to everyone in BC.
Watch what you drink

Caffeinated drinks like coffee, black tea, and cola can all affect your mental health. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it temporarily gives you more energy, but it can also make you feel nervous, irritable or restless.

Think about why you drink alcohol
Get enough sleep

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What Are The Benefits Of Thought Exercises For Mental Health

Reframing thoughts is one of the building blocks of cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been found effective in many studies.

  • A go-to thought exercise can help one maintain calm during a stressful moment and continue functioning, staving off a more severe reaction like an anxiety attack.
  • Thought exercises can reduce the duration and intensity of anxiety symptoms even when not combined with traditional therapy.
  • When paired with a mental health app, thought exercises can provide a log of one’s growth and changes in mental health.
  • Thought exercises can make us more mindful of what triggers our anxiety, allowing us to make life modifications that help us to experience anxiety less often.

Meditate Or Practice Yoga To Relieve Stress

How To Improve Your Mental Health Infographic.vector.EPS10.illustration ...

These types of activities are effective for stress management. Meditation is a focused form of guided thought. Yoga and tai chi, while movement-oriented, are also proven stress busters.

Other stress-reducing techniques include deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. If you’re unsure of how to get started, take a class and learn how to practice on your own for 30 minutes, three times a week.

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Make Social Connection A Priorityespecially Face

No matter how much time you devote to improving your mental and emotional health, you will still need the company of others to feel and function at your best. Humans are social creatures with emotional needs for relationships and positive connections to others. Were not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Our social brains crave companionshipeven when experience has made us shy and distrustful of others.

Foods That Adversely Affect Mood

  • Trans fats or anything with partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones.
  • Refined carbs .
  • Fatty fish rich in Omega-3s such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna.
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts.
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts.
  • Fresh fruit such as blueberries.

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Mental Health: Keeping Your Emotional Health

Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Theyre able to cope with lifes challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships.

Being emotionally healthy doesnt mean youre happy all the time. It means youre aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether theyre positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings. They can tell when a problem is more than they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor.

Research shows that emotional health is a skill. There are steps you can take to improve your emotional health and be happier.

Tips To Boost Your Mental Health

5 Tips to Improve your Mental Health

1. Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.

2. Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you cant drink coffee because of the caffeine, try another good-for-you drink like green tea.

3. Set up a getaway. It could be camping with friends or a trip to the tropics. The act of planning a vacation and having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!

4, Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.

5. Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Think of something in your life you want to improve, and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.

7. Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.

8. Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality, relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.

9. Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavonoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.

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Breathe In Breathe Out

The same can be said about breathing exercises. Take 30 seconds to inhale and exhale very slowly. Pay attention to how your heart will slow with your breath.

Whether this is the first time youve faced mental health challenges or youre feeling a significant increase in your symptoms during the pandemic, its important to understand that mental health challenges are common and treatable. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our mental health.

Learn more about Community Health Networks Mental and Behavioral Health services.

If youre not ready to make an appointment, take charge of your mental health myStrength. It is a mental health/wellness app bringing you positive resources to improve mental health and overall well-being. Programs through the app are personalized to help you with symptoms of depression and anxiety, track your mood, receive in-the-moment inspiration to calm down, and be positive 24/7. Get started with myStrength.

If youre having thoughts of suicide or are in crisis, call or text IN to 741741 for 24 hour support.

Expand Your Support System

American Psychological Association has laid down a few tips to strengthen your support system. People can call their friends, relatives and parents to connect and share their feelings. Sharing their feelings can make you feel lighter. One can also volunteer for an organisation or join a group of people with similar interests and likes.

Every support group looks different and it takes time to build such a group. Every person can have 1 or 10 people from different walks of life to support them during difficult times.

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Give Your Mental Illness A Name Too

While Lily Burana had always been candid about her depression and anxiety, getting a third diagnosis this spring for A.D.H.D. made it harder to discuss her mental health clearly, she wrote. So Ms. Burana gave the whole bundle a nickname: Bruce. As in Springsteen, a public figure who has been open about his own struggles with mental health. The nickname allows me to efficiently keep people apprised of my status, as in: Bruce has really been bringing me down this week, she wrote. The nickname helps me lighten up about my own darkness.

Be Clear About Compensation

Ways to Improve Your Mental Health [Infographic]

At the time of writing this post, there are more than 9.3 open jobs in the U.S. Aside from the shift in people asking for flexible working employees are also demanding higher rates of pay. According to a survey of the labor market by the New York Federal Reserve, the lowest acceptable wage for those without a college degree in 2021 is around $65,000 a figure that has increased rapidly in recent years.

Making sure you offer competitive salaries and complete transparency around pay reviews can help to build trust and respect. Because money matters have the potential to impact employee wellbeing, its important to provide complete clarity in order to manage expectations fairly.

Checking the current state of salaries for specific roles and sectors that align with your own is a useful exercise. Even when done annually, it provides clarity on the market.

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Relax And Reduce Stress

Find ways to relax

If there’s something that helps you relax, try to find time to fit it into your day. For example, this could be having a bath or going for a walk. If you find it difficult to switch off, you could try some of the tips and exercises in our pages.

Take a break if you need to

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try to take a break. A change of scene can help you to relax and relieve feelings of anxiety, even just for a few minutes.

Do something you enjoy

Try to make time to do an activity you like on a regular basis. This could be something small, like cooking a meal, ringing a friend or listening to music.

Try to manage stress

If you’re under a lot of pressure, you may start to feel overwhelmed or out of control. Stress can also cause physical side effects.

See our pages on for tips on dealing with pressure and coping with stressful events.

Try mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. It’s been shown to help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This means that instead of being overwhelmed by your feelings, it becomes easier to manage them.

See our pages on for more information, including some exercises you could try.

Give yourself some tech-free time

Allow Yourself To Grieve Small Losses

In the hierarchy of human suffering during the pandemic, a canceled prom or vacation or lost time with grandchildren may not sound like much, but mental health experts say that all loss needs to be acknowledged and grieved. We need to give ourselves permission to mourn, Tara Parker-Pope wrote in an article about disenfranchised grief. Once you accept that your grief is real, there are steps you can take to help you cope, she said. Consider planting a tree, for example, or finding an item that represents your loss, like canceled airline tickets or a wedding invitation, and burying it.

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What Makes Mental Health So Important

Mental health helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others, and make choices, explains Alison Seponara, a licensed professional counselor and author of the book The Anxiety Healers Guide.

  • deeper relationships
  • improved self-esteem and confidence

Nurturing your mental health can also help you manage health conditions that are worsened by stress, like heart disease, says Seponara.

Your mental health can impact everything about your life, Adeeyo says, including the ways you view and move through the world and your ability to handle the things life throws at you.

Thats why building habits for better mental health can make a big difference in your day-to-day life.

Pro tip

As you explore new behaviors and begin incorporating them into your routine, aim to frame these changes as self-kindness, not self-punishment. Maintaining a gentle, kind attitude toward yourself can do a lot more to improve your mental health and overall outlook than criticism and negative self-talk.

Work on your mental health from a place of care, Davis recommends.

Not sure where to start? Youll find 8 strategies to promote improved mental health below, along with some guidance on seeking professional support.

Sleep isnt just a nonnegotiable for physical health. It also plays an essential role in mental health.

The quality of your sleep matters, too: Disrupted sleep can contribute to mental health symptoms.

To get enough high quality sleep, try starting with these habits:

Determinants Of Mental Health

How to Improve Your Mental Health – Depression, Anxiety, Stress

Throughout our lives, multiple individual, social and structural determinants may combine to protect or undermine our mental health and shift our position on the mental health continuum.

Individual psychological and biological factors such as emotional skills, substance use and genetics can make people more vulnerable to mental health problems.

Exposure to unfavourable social, economic, geopolitical and environmental circumstances including poverty, violence, inequality and environmental deprivation also increases peoples risk of experiencing mental health conditions.

Risks can manifest themselves at all stages of life, but those that occur during developmentally sensitive periods, especially early childhood, are particularly detrimental. For example, harsh parenting and physical punishment is known to undermine child health and bullying is a leading risk factor for mental health conditions.

Protective factors similarly occur throughout our lives and serve to strengthen resilience. They include our individual social and emotional skills and attributes as well as positive social interactions, quality education, decent work, safe neighbourhoods and community cohesion, among others.

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Understanding Good Mental Health

Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from lifes setbacks and hardships.

Strong mental health isnt just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.

People who are mentally healthy have:

  • A sense of contentment.
  • A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
  • The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
  • A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
  • The flexibility to learn new skills and adapt to change.
  • A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
  • The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem.

The relationship between resilience and mental health

People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible, and productive, in bad times as well as good. Their resilience also makes them less afraid of new experiences or an uncertain future. Even when they dont immediately know how a problem will get resolved, they are hopeful that a solution will eventually be found.

Natural Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Psychreg on Mental Health

Mental health is a complex issue. There is no singular treatment plan that can work for everyone. Each persons needs are unique. Some will require intense therapy, others can make long-term changes with the right cognitive-behavioural habits. Many individuals need medication, while others experience benefits with a more natural approach.

The important thing is to work with your healthcare provider to discover the methods that work best for you. Some people can mitigate mild anxiety or depression with just these things, while others might need medication, psychotherapy, and more. If youre using a natural approach as part of your mental health treatment, here are some of the things that can help.

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