Whether you suffer from a mental illness or simply want to maintain good mental health, there are ways you can help yourself. If you have a mental illness, these ways are not intended to replace treatment for mental illness but to be used in conjunction with the treatment plan advised by your doctor. If you don’t have a mental illness, the tips described below will help you be healthier mentally and emotionally.
Shared below are 8 of the best tips to maintain or help regain good mental health. These tips are good stress and anxiety relievers that will add enjoyment to your life simply by following them.
1. Take care of your physical needs. When your life is hectic, it is easy to neglect taking care of yourself. Be sure to eat well balanced meals, drink plenty of water, get enough exercise and enough sleep. Things to avoid are too much alcohol, smoking and drugs not prescribed by your doctor. Drinking too much alcohol, tobacco and drugs not only don’t help, they can make things worse.
2. Learn skills to cope with stress. Stress is part of life and unavoidable. The trick is to learn ways of coping and minimizing it. This can be done in a number of ways and you can incorporate any or all of them. You can keep a journal, spend time playing with your pet, go for a walk in a place that is calming to you, or practice Tai Chi. Find humor where you can to make you smile and laugh. Not only will these help you cope with stress but will also relieve pain, give your immune system a boost and relax you.
3. Set goals you can realistically achieve. Your goals can be personal, academic or professional. Just be sure your goals are not set too high to accomplish. Write down your goals and a step by step plan to reach them. As you progress toward your goal, your self-worth will increase and have a feeling of accomplishment.
4. Connect with positive people. Studies show that people who socialize and have good relationships with family typically have better health. It is important that the people around you have positive attitudes. If you want to meet more positive people, go where they will be and do what they do, such as going dancing, taking a class or joining a club. Being around people you enjoy help enhance your mood and your enjoyment of life.
5. Get enough exercise. Though this tip was listed as part of the first tip, it bears repeating on its own. It is that important to your mental health. The right balance of exercise releases serotonin, which is the hormone that acts as a natural antidepressant. Exercise is good for your body and as it has been said, a healthy body means a healthy mind. With regular exercise, you will have better moods, more strength and energy, improved sleep and an overall sense of wellbeing. It isn’t necessary to have intense workouts. Briskly walking every day, riding a bike and swimming are all excellent exercises you can easily do.
6. Help others by volunteering. When you help others, you benefit from it because of the feeling of purpose you have, improved self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. Be sure you know what your limits are and make sure others know them as well. If you find yourself unable to say “no”, you will achieve the opposite of what you set out to do. Knowing how much you can do and where your limits are will keep you from becoming stressed out.
7. Avoid self-talk that is negative. Keep a positive attitude, especially when you have those self-talk moments. It is easy to put yourself down when you make a mistake or fail to do something you intended to do. Don’t do it. Instead, recognize that mistake can be learned from and something you intended to do but didn’t that day can usually be done another time. Make it a point to recognize what you do right and what you have accomplished.
8. Calm your mind. this can be done in a number of ways, including relaxation exercises, meditation, prayer, or anything else that you find calming. If soaking in a tub of hot water is something you find calming, do it. Keeping your mind calm and quiet gives you a better outlook on life and improves your mental state.
All of these tips are easy enough to do that you can do any number of them or all of them. Even if you choose to do only one of them, you will benefit a great deal from it. The easiest and possibly the best way to get started using these tips is to choose one to start and add another each week until you have incorporated all the ones you wish to use.