Top tips to Boost your Mental Health
Good mental health is something we should all be striving for.
The difference it makes to every aspect of our life is incomparable.
There are many different ways to boost your mental health, many are unique to each individual, as what may work best for you, might not be as effective for someone else.
It’s important to try different techniques and use new ideas to help your mental health reach its full potential.
Mentalhealth.org describe good mental health as “not simply the absence of diagnosable mental health problems, although good mental health is likely to help protect against development of many such problems”.
This point helps to highlight the misconception that by simply not experiencing a common mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, or stress, your mental health is at it’s best.
Whilst you may be living a more comfortable life psychologically, it’s important to look at the best ways to boost mental health at all times, not just when we’re feeling low.
Our mental health should receive just as much time, effort, and priority as our physical health; the benefits are endless.
It’s estimated that 25% of UK residents experience at least one mental health episode each year, with 17% of people experiencing anxiety, depression, or stress. In our opinion, this is far too many people who are struggling with their mental health.
We need to remove this stigma surrounding poor mental health and work hard to help people feel more comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings.
Experiencing poor mental health is much more common than most people might think there’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about asking for support. It’s an exceptionally brave step to take towards boosting your mental health and creating a happier, healthier future to look forward to.
What is good mental health?
Characterising good mental health can include your ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty in your life, the ability to learn new skills, the ability to form and maintain positive relationships with others, and the ability to feel, express and manage your emotions whether they’re good or bad.
If you’ve ever suffered from poor mental health, you’ll understand just how difficult life can be. By having good mental health, you’ll feel better in yourself, you’ll sleep much better, you’ll be more likely to create positive memories with friends and families, and generally be able to function more effectively in everyday life.
By taking care of our mental health, we’re consequently also taking care of our physical health. Boosting your mental health now will help you to manage any difficult situations in the future and reduce your risk of developing any long-term physical health issues.
What are the top tips to boost your mental health?
We can’t stress enough how closely linked your mental health and physical health are. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem, help you concentrate better, sleep better, and releases chemicals in your brain that just generally make you feel good. You don’t need to be hitting the gym every day to benefit from the positive impact of exercise. Simply begin with a walk, some gardening, even housework will help you to be more active throughout the day. Exercising to help boost mental health is a tried and tested method.
2.Be in the present:
It’s easy for us to be consumed in our daily lives at home, at work, and neglect taking the time to be aware of ourselves in the present moment. Taking a moment to recognise your thoughts and feelings can help you to gain a more positive perspective of life and stop you from becoming too overwhelmed. Practising mindfulness and meditation with breathing techniques can help you to be more present and feel calmer.
Similarly, to physical health, there is a very strong connection between how good our mental health is and what we eat and drink. You’ve probably experienced a very quick effect from consuming caffeine or sugar for example, but what we eat also has a long-lasting impact on our menta health. Just as we eat well to keep our bodies healthy, our brain also needs a mix of nutrients to function well. Mentalhealth.org describes a well-balanced diet to include “lots of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain cereals or bread, nuts and seeds, dairy products, oily fish, and plenty of water”.
4.Do something you enjoy:
Put some time aside which is dedicated to doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s learning a new skill, enjoying your hobbies, or just relaxing, doing things that you happy is one of the best ways to boost mental health. An activity or hobby acts as a good distraction, relieves you of any stress, and boosts your self-esteem. There are some fantastic benefits of reading and how it boosts mental health, for example, MHFA England state that “reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% by reducing your heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering your state of mind”.
5.Connect with others:
When we spend meaningful time with our loved ones, we have the opportunity to open up and talk about how we’re feeling, but we also have the opportunity to listen and helps our loved ones. Not only does this stop us from feeling lonely or isolated, but by also helping others, it improves our self-esteem by feeling needed and helps to put our own problems into perspective.
6.Take a break:
At the moment, a lot of us are working from home with minimal face to face contact with others. We could be spending most of the day static, in front of our laptops, staring at the screen which is no good for our mental health. Remember to take frequent breaks and give yourself a change of scenery if you can. Make sure you take your lunch break and just remember to break your day up a little bit.