Maintaining good mental health is essential for leading a fulfilling and happy life. It allows us to handle stress, overcome challenges, and build meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with mental health and may not know how to improve it. Mental health is trickier to treat than physical health, and what works for one person may not work for another.
However, many methods can be effective in improving mental health. These methods can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall well-being. With the right tools and mindset, you can take control and lead a happier, more fulfilling life. Here are 7 ways in which you can boost your mental health:
- Get regular blood work done: Regular check-ups can help identify any underlying health issues impacting your mental health. For example, if you have anemia or low vitamin levels, these can affect your mood and energy levels. Another common cause of depression and anxiety, for instance, is a hormone imbalance. Women are usually more prone to suffering hormonal imbalances. If you’re a woman, getting female hormone testing could help you understand the root cause of your mental health issues. Men can also suffer imbalances such as low testosterone, which has an effect on their mental health, including depression and low libido. Find blood work near you and get your blood analyzed: this might give you some insight into your mental health.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness: Taking just a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and clear your mind can help reduce stress and anxiety. This can be done through guided meditations, apps, or simply sitting in silence. If you find meditation too difficult, you can “actively meditate” by engaging in a repetitive or low-cognitive task such as coloring or knitting.
- Learn diaphragmatic breathing: This type of breathing can help activate your body’s relaxation response and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It involves breathing deeply into your diaphragm rather than shallowly into your chest. Breathe in deeply, focusing on expanding your belly. Hold your breath for a few seconds and slowly exhale until your lungs are empty. Doing this 10-15 times when you are overcome with anxiety can help you return to a calmer state.
- Spend time in nature and with animals: Studies have shown that spending time outside, in nature, can have a positive impact on mental health. The same has been evidenced by being close to animals. Whether you take a walk outdoors, sit near a tree, or simply look at a beautiful landscape, spending time in nature can reduce stress and boost your mood. If you like animals, petting a dog or a cat or even looking at birds can produce the same calming effect.
- Find a hobby: Engaging in a hobby that you enjoy can be a great way to relax and de-stress. Whether it’s painting, gardening, reading, or playing a musical instrument, having a hobby can help boost your mental health by giving you something to look forward to and a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, as we mentioned before, if your hobby involves a repetitive activity, it can also serve as an active meditation.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can all help improve mental health. By taking care of your physical health, you can also boost your mood and energy levels.
In conclusion, there are many ways to improve mental health. Regular blood work, meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, spending time in nature and with animals, finding a hobby, going to therapy, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are all effective methods. Remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Try different methods, combine them, and stick with what works best for you. Taking steps to improve your mental health is important, so be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and space to take care of yourself.