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4 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Today

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A drawing of a blue sky and a white silhouette of a head with a brain with literal labels, such as , "panic", "stress", "anxiety",etc.
Source: The People Speak!

Though your mental health may seem out of your control, there are steps you can take on your own to improve it.

Mental health affects your well-being, therefore affects how you interact with others, treat yourself, and your decision-making. By setting realistic goals, taking a break, and being kind to yourself you’ll see a change in your overall enjoyment of life.

Here are 4 realistic steps you can take to transform your mental health.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Set a goal, no matter how small.

The goal could be as small as becoming consistent with a skin-care routine. When you achieve a goal, there is a release of dopamine.

This neurotransmitter is also known as the “feel-good hormone” which is associated with strong, positive feelings like motivation. When there is a loss in motivation, it is difficult to be enthusiastic about different activities which ultimately leads to a decline in mental health.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “a mentally healthy person sets and aspires to reasonable goals based on a realistic assessment of personal capabilities.” Goal-setting works toward a happier life, therefore, a healthier life.

Goals make it so there is something you could work towards which is crucial when it comes to maintaining mental health.

2. Exercise

Both your physical and mental health benefit from exercise. Exercising releases all the natural feel-good hormones that could help you feel less stressed or anxious.

Regular exercise affects the brain, specifically the parts that dictate how good you feel. Exercise is also an effective anti-depressant without the side effects you may get from prescribed medications.

You will release more endorphins working to energize you while ultimately making you feel more balanced. Relief from stress and tension can be sought from regular exercise as well.

On top of that, exercising could be used as a form of meditation. Your exercise routine could be the escape you’ve been seeking to free yourself from the constant cycle of negativity.

Schedule your workouts when you have the most energy and start easy before you commit to a more demanding one.

3. Take a Break

We live in a world where to be successful, you must multitask. Multitasking leads to exhaustion that could result in you becoming overwhelmed.

Taking a break is basically hitting the refresh button on your life. It allows you to relax and destress which will help get you through the rest of your responsibilities.

By taking a second to breathe or allowing your mind to wander, you’re allowing yourself to refresh which is something your health craves. Prolonged stress could lead to chronic stress which could become a serious health problem.

Put yourself first and take the necessary steps to protect your health. Stretching is an easy and effective way to reduce stress and you can do it virtually anywhere. Take care of your mental health today by taking a break.

4. Do What Makes You Happy

Doing the things that make you happy have a direct positive impact on your mental health.

Enjoying yourself is a great stress reliever. No matter how stressed you were prior to the activity, you are now being briefly distracted from those stressors.

If you don’t paint as much as you’d like to, then you should make a point to yourself to incorporate more painting in your routine.

When you take time to do the activities you love, you’re taking control of your time which has a strong and positive effect on your mental health.

It allows you to regain a sense of control over your life that you may have lost somewhere along the way. If you don’t have a hobby or activity you love, it’s important to search and try everything until you find the one that fits you.

By: Vivianna Shields

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