(AscendHealthy.com) – Good mental health can be a serious balancing act. Staying grounded and level headed isn’t always easy, especially when the rest of the world seems to be falling apart. It’s possible, though, and we have a handful of strategies that might help. Try these tips to improve your mental health.
These 7 Strategies Could Improve Your Mental Health.
1. Seek Positive Outlets
Do you have anything you look forward to? Any creative interests or pastimes that leave you feeling enriched or fulfilled? Times of heavy stress or depression can weigh a person down, so it’s important to have some way of reducing that load.
Creative expression may help. Try painting, whittling, needlework, auto renovation, crafting, picking up an instrument or starting a collection. The choices are endless. Set aside time each week, even if it’s just an hour or two, and dedicate it to the outlet of your choice.
2. Find Perspective
Outlook can’t change everything, but it may help. It’s easy to dwell on all that might go wrong, but when the focus is all on the negative, life can wind up looking bleaker than it actually is. Some of that negativity may stem from social media and social comparison, which can trick people into feeling desperately insignificant, even when they have a lot going for them.
Make a list of everything you have to be grateful for. Do you have a stable job? A roof over your head? Friends, family or pets you love? Remind yourself of all your blessings when the world feels empty, pointless or lonely. There’s so much beauty out there, so much waiting for you to experience and achieve. Why waste a moment of that comparing your hand to everyone else’s?
3. Be Mindful
Stress can take even the most well-intended person out of the moment, leaving them either brooding over the past or fretting over the future. Mindfulness could help rein in negative thoughts and instill a more peaceful outlook. According to the American Heart Association, meditation and other mindfulness practices may also improve sleep, boost immune health, improve cognitive health and reduce pain and inflammation. Not a fan of sitting still? Try yoga or tai chi instead.
4. Take Care of Your Body
There’s a direct connection between physical and mental health. Each of us is the product of the many choices we make regarding nutrition, drugs, nicotine, alcohol, exercise, and all forms of self-care. A poor diet can lead to depression and other issues, whereas the health effects of smoking and similar lifestyle choices might cut into quality of life in other ways. Implement ways to take better care of your physical health, and other areas of your life are also likely to improve.
5. Reach Out
No one can survive this world alone. We’re social beings, and sometimes we need to lean on one another to get through the tough times. If you’re in a dark or lonely place, reach out to someone you trust. Need more? The US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a national hotline that can help people connect with local professionals and support groups. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for a referral.
6. Spread Positivity and Joy
Happiness can be infectious, and sometimes spreading it can be just as heart-warming as receiving it. We each can add to the beauty in this world. Try donating food or clothing to a local mission, paying for the car behind you in the drive-through or planning something special for a friend who’s also feeling down. You might surprise yourself.
7. Have Goals
We all need a reason to get out of bed each day, and if a job you hate is the only reason you’ve got, you may feel like all you’re doing is spinning your wheels. What were you put on this earth to do? What more are you capable of achieving? Remember, work is important — and it should absolutely be a priority — but so should you and your dreams. You might not achieve everything you set out to do, but you might feel more fulfilled for the experiences. Never stop dreaming.
Mental health can be tricky even with all the right tools, but with dedication and enough practice, it is possible to find greater balance. Some of us have it easier than others, and that’s okay. Every one of us is a work in progress. Why not do everything you can to make yours a masterpiece?
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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