When it comes to living your life to its fullest potential, mental wellness is equally as important as physical health. It’s important to know that if you’re struggling with symptoms like anxiety, depression, burnout, or other mental health concerns, you’re not alone. In fact, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. alone – that’s 18.1% of the population. Luckily, there are a variety of simple yet effective ways to improve your mental health.
Not sure where to start? Step one, take a deep breath. Step two, read the five tips below to start working towards a healthier and happier mind.
1. Stay Positive
Being positive doesn’t mean you’re always smiling and in a good mood. It means that you choose to see the bright side of things even in tough situations and have faith that things will be okay even on bad days. What we think has power over how we live each day, and replacing fearful thoughts and negative self-talk with more positive affirming thoughts can make a significant difference. A few ways to add more positivity into your life include limiting your intake of disheartening news and social media outlets, starting each day with self-encouragements or affirmations, and carving out more time to do the things that bring you joy. It’s worth it.
2. Physical Health
Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, and you truly can’t have one without the other. Being physically active on a regular basis, getting enough sleep, and eating plentiful whole foods that nourish your body will boost your mental health immensely. Making the effort to put your physical well-being at the forefront of your everyday life can relieve stress, balance your mood, decrease anxiety, and leave you feeling more energized. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to incorporate better physical health practices into your daily life either. Start by taking a long walk every day or eating an extra helping of vegetables with each meal. Small changes like this can go a long way.
3. Practice Gratitude
Did you know that practicing gratitude has scientifically proven health benefits? Research shows that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression, so take note of the good things in your life. One way to do this is by writing down five things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. This can be as simple as your morning coffee, that funny article you read, or a compliment you got at work. Learning to appreciate the little wins will slowly but surely improve your mental health and overall well-being.
4. Human Connections
As humans, we’re social creatures. This means it is crucial to our mental health to develop strong emotional connections to the people around us. Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done. It’s a great idea to find organizations in your area based on your personal interests or hobbies. Join an intramural sports team, attend a weekly art class or volunteer at a local charity that supports a cause you’re passionate about. You’ll form meaningful relationships with like-minded people who will encourage your improvement and support you when needed.
Meditation is all about mindfulness and embracing the present moment. It teaches you to focus your attention and awareness from within, helping you to let go of anxieties and let thoughts pass without judgment. Meditation can be difficult for some people to get into at first, but there are a variety of apps, podcasts, and other resources that can help you through the process. Even if you only do it for five minutes per day, you’ll quickly begin to see the difference meditation can make.
Are you ready to make a lasting impact on your mental health? Dr. Bharat Sangani can help you start today. Apply to his “Life is a Business” mentorship program now.