At some point in your life, your mental health will be less than perfect. It’s something that happens to everyone. Life will inevitably knock you around and you’ll feel discouraged. If your mental health is in the gutter, though, what can you actually do about it? There are some methods I’ve tried to improve mental health.
Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
If you’re living in survival mode, you’ll feel a background sense of tension all the time. No matter what you do, you can’t really switch off and just enjoy yourself.
One trick to try is to get into the habit of consciously relaxing. The idea is to change your body’s state so that you can give it time to recover from the challenges of the day. But how do you consciously relax? After all, if it was easy wouldn’t you be doing it all the time?
Relaxation is actually something that requires your permission first. The reason you can’t relax is because your brain is trying to protect you from some threat that it believes is in your environment. Relaxation actually goes against what it naturally wants to do (which is keep you in a state of alertness).
Find the relaxation method that works for you. You want something that helps you lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces muscular tension. I have done guided meditations that do just that. Also, listening to soothing music can also help. Breathing exercises have been used by many to relax as well.
Connecting With Other People
Many people are their own worst company. Spending time with themselves alone is a disaster – something that they hate. As Sunshine Behavioral Health explains in a blog post, being unable to tolerate one’s own company is leading to a host of addictive behaviors. People are looking for solace outside of themselves and, in many cases, it’s dangerous.
One solution to this is to connect with other people. Spending time with those in a happier state of mind is a great way to improve your outlook and how you view yourself. You’re no longer wrapped up in your mind but making connections with others instead. Find a friend or family member or pet to spend time with. Join a meetup group or sports league, for example, as a way to connect with others. Or it could be as simple as making an effort to call others more.
Try to Be Grateful
Another popular strategy is to focus on things that you can be grateful for in your life. Everybody can find something, even if it is small. Some people write down one thing a day that they can be grateful for. It helps to build a small habit of finding the good.
When it comes to gratitude, be as inventive as possible. Yes, life doesn’t always work out the way that you want it to, but at any given moment, things are usually working in your favor. Your life, for instance, is being supported, you have food and so on.
Take Care of Your Body
What’s happening in the mind is often a reflection of events taking place in the body. If you eat a poor diet and never move from your chair, you’ll inevitably wind up feeling less than your best.
However, if you get up and out, you’ll usually feel better. (That’s why I enjoy the mental health walk trend on TikTok.)
Take care of your body by giving it what it wants. Focus your diet around whole plant foods as this single factor makes a bigger difference than anything else. Get enough sleep during the week and avoid priding yourself on being able to get by on 4 hours a night.