Stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of lethargy and disconnection from the world can get to us all at various points in our lives. Keeping your mental state well is just as important as keeping your body in shape. Staying positive is easier said than done, however, and there are plenty of lifestyle gurus who provide you with different advice. There are ways that can help you keep negative thoughts and attitudes in check which will provide real benefits to your mental health.
Connect with other people
Connecting to people is important for our mental wellbeing. Having a good support network and circle of friends and acquaintances can work wonders for you. Good relationships help in many ways.
When you connect with other people more, it helps you build a sense of belonging and self-worth. Being a part of the wider human family also allows you to share positive experiences with your peers, and you can receive and give emotional support.
You can build relationships with others in many ways. Social media and video calling software have connected us like never before, allowing us to instantaneously talk to people on the other side of the world for free or next-to-no cost.
There are other ways to build more intimate relations with others, though. Making time for the family to eat together is incredibly powerful, as is having a quick chat with your neighbours when you see them. Or you arrange a walk with friends you have not seen in a while or call them on the telephone. Our connections make us Human and give us a great outlet which improves our mental health.
Be more active
Partaking in more physical activity is not only good for your physical fitness. It also helps provide a much-needed boost to your mental health. There is a lot of research which shows that exercise affects your mood and emotions in many positive ways.
Exercise can provide benefits including giving you a more positive outlook and raising your self-esteem. Setting goals and achieving them has a long-term effect on how you deal with life as well. Physical activity has even been shown to cause chemical changes in the brain itself.
You really don’t need to join an expensive gym either: a brisk walk for an hour a day not only burns calories but will lift your mental wellbeing significantly. Dance classes are also fun and have the added advantage of providing you with a social outlet. There are many ways to become more physically active and mentally well.
Learn something new
As Steve Jobs said, “Learn continually – there’s always ‘one more thing’ to learn”. Aside from boosting your knowledge learning new skills provides you with increased self-esteem and confidence and a sense of purpose. You can also connect with others who are on the same journey as you.
You can lean many new skills which will benefit your life and mental wellbeing. You could try learning a new recipe or cooking technique or take up a new hobby like painting or blogging. You could work on a new DIY project or learn how to fix your car. There are plenty of free online tutorials and videos for all of these ideas.
At work, you could look at taking on new tasks such as mentoring colleagues and trainees or improving your presentation skills. This could even open up your job prospects within the company. Or you could sign up for an online course through your local college or even take the plunge and go back to education full time. Find something you enjoy doing and make it part of your life’s journey and it will reward you tenfold.
Give to others
Even small acts of kindness can provide positive mental health benefits. Research suggests that giving to others improves mental wellness by connecting you with others and providing a sense of wellness, positivity, and purpose and self-worth.
You don’t just have to give money to charity to help others though. Simply saying thank you to someone or really listening to friends, family, and colleagues can provide a mental boost. Consider volunteering at a local foodbank, community centre, or church and help others in your local community.
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword at the moment but paying attention to the present moment and our surroundings is incredibly powerful. By becoming more aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and bodies we can understand ourselves more.
Taking the time to be mindful has a hugely positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness gives you a more intimate view of the world around you and how you interact with it. It can help you enjoy life more and can positively impact how you approach challenges.
The path to better mental wellness
The path to better mental health is not easy. By incorporating these behaviours into your life, you will see a boost to your mental wellness, However, you can only do so much. If you are suffering from clinical mental health issues, it is still advised that you seek help from mental health professionals. Look after your mind like you would look after your body.