How to be Healthier Part 3: Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
In addition to taking care of your physical health, it’s also important to take care of your mental health. After all, the way you feel about yourself and others, deal with challenges and manage your feelings can severely impact your everyday life. That said, take the following 5 positive steps to start significantly improving your mental health and wellbeing today.
1. Be Physically Active
Firstly, being active isn’t just great for your physical health and fitness. It also aids your mental wellbeing. From aerobic activity to strength training, any type of exercise can stimulate endorphins and cause chemical changes in your brain, thus boosting your mood. Essentially, try getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day — and your mental health will thank you for it.
2. Eat the Right FoodsDid you know that eating the right food groups can effectively nourish your body and your brain? Try to consume the following, in particular:
- Moderate amounts of carbohydrates, which will increase serotonin (the chemical that has a calming effect on your mood)
- Protein, which increases norepinephrine, dopamine and tyrosine (the chemicals that keep you alert)
- Fruit and vegetables, which are loaded with nutrients that feed every cell
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which contain nutrients that improve your mood and brain health
These food groups will also provide you with the energy you need to take on the rest of the day. Win-win.
3. Spend Time With Those Whom You Love
Surrounding yourself with loved ones can be very beneficial for your mental health, whether this is physically or virtually. Why? Well, it provides emotional support, helps you to support others and gives you a sense of belonging. In addition, being around people, in general, can provide a positive distraction on those days where you’re not feeling especially great.
4. Practise Positivity
Another way you can improve your mental wellbeing is to think positively about yourself and situations. After all, research shows that if you perceive yourself negatively, this can have a detrimental impact on how you feel. Instead, try to put a good spin on any unhelpful thoughts you may have. For instance: “It’s okay that I tripped over my words in that meeting, we all do it” versus “I’m so rubbish because I tripped over my words in that meeting.” Alongside this, practising gratitude can be worthwhile for your mental health. Write down something you’re grateful every day or keep a gratitude journal — and you’re sure to reap the rewards.
5. Try to Live in the MomentLastly, trying to live in the present moment can have a positive effect on your wellbeing, especially if you pay attention to:
- Your thoughts and feelings
- Your body
- The world around you
Also known as “mindfulness,” this practise can help you to understand yourself better, change the way you approach difficulties and ultimately enjoy life more.