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Mental health is important and, luckily, we live in a time when it is not a taboo topic. We can freely discuss it. Mental hygiene is as important as brushing teeth nowadays and you can browse different ways how to stay mentally healthy and strong.
While therapy is always an option, you may also try some other techniques and natural ways to improve your mental health. There is no shame in looking into different options, trying them out, and seeing which ones work for you. So, here are some suggestions.
1. Prioritize Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep affects your ability to function properly during the day. If you don’t sleep well, your mental health will suffer. Even the government agencies know this and, in the past, they have used sleeplessness as a form of torture.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try eliminating some of the most common sleeplessness factors. Don’t drink caffeine in the evening, avoid using any electronic devices two hours prior to going to bed, and don’t take long naps in the afternoon. Getting a good night’s sleep improves your quality of life immensely.
2. Diversify Your Meals
To improve your mental health, you also need to pay attention to what you eat. Eating healthily doesn’t mean you have to give up all the food you like. If you like junk food or chocolate, eat it moderately.
What is important, however, is to take all the vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients you need to keep your body strong. A healthy immune system is better equipped to combat any diseases and you will feel that impacts your mental health too.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical exercise not only keeps your body strong but also releases a chemical called endorphin. It is a hormone that reduces your perception of pain and triggers positive feelings. Exercising also promotes blood circulation and reduces the body’s physical response to stress.
So, you may not be a fan of the gym and that is perfectly ok. You can try other types of exercising, like dance lessons, yoga, jogging, or brisk walking. Whatever type of exercise you enjoy, you should do it a few times a week to improve your mental and physical health.
4. Spend Time Near the Water
Japanese people, one of the nations with the longest life expectancy, spend an hour each day just looking at the water. Rivers, ponds, streams, it doesn’t matter. There is something biological about it.
A study has shown that our brains are flooded by neurochemicals when we are near, in, on, or under the water. We feel relaxed, our breathing and heart rates decrease, and we feel happier overall.
5. Or Anywhere in Nature, Really
Other soothing activities involve spending time in nature too. As cities get bigger and technology develops, people grow more and more distant from nature. Spending time surrounded by green leaves and trees, looking at the sky, leaving technology at home, etc. helps decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.
You can go on a walk in the forest, alone or with your pet, go cycling, do some gardening, take up bird-watching, or do any other activity that seems pleasing to you.
6. Give Back
Another funny thing about our brains is that we feel better when we give back to the community. A study done on kids shows that they are natural little helpers. It seems that we are conditioned by our very nature to want to help others.
And by doing so, you will feel better about yourself, as you serve the people who have had to face some hardships. Any type of volunteering or activity geared toward the community is beneficial. It allows you to get some much-needed introspection and feel like a part of something bigger than yourself.
7. Pursue Your Passion
When people hear the phrase “pursue your passion” nowadays, most instantly think about turning hobbies into profitable businesses. And if it happens to you, that’s great. But don’t just look at the material side of things. It is perfectly fine to do something for the sheer fun of it.
Take up a hobby you have always wanted. You don’t even have to be good at it. In fact, you can be quite bad at it, as long as you enjoy the activity. Hobbies help you relax and unwind, which is why they are great at relieving anxiety and improving your mental health.
To improve your mental health, you don’t need to be an expert. You just have to know yourself. That happens by exploring and finding things that work for you specifically. And sometimes, you don’t even need to do anything from this list. You may simply go out and spend time with friends and family, and feel your mental health improving instantly.