Easy and Fun Ways To Improve Your Mental Health
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As troubling events in the news continue to bombard people with negativity, mental health pays a steep price. Unhealthy thought patterns can be challenging to overcome, but diligent attention to your mental health can help weather all of life’s uncertainties. Behavioral Health Providers presents these nine techniques for improving your outlook.
1. Organize your home
Clutter leads to frustration when you lose essential items, trip on things, and waste valuable space. Excess environmental stimuli are distracting and promote anxiety if you can not control your living area. Decluttering organizes your thinking and consequently boosts your mood.
2. Get a pet
Pets can lift your mood when you feel down. For example, taking a dog for daily walks or playing with a cat helps encourage physical activity that releases feel-good endorphins. Pets also ease the feelings of isolation from living alone or working from home. Creating an emotional bond with a pet suppresses the stress-triggering hormone cortisol and elevates mood-boosting oxytocin, serotonin, and other hormones.
3. Learn to cook
Controlling what you eat has valuable benefits to your physical health but can also ensure a positive outlook. Cooking provides a sense of accomplishment through problem-solving, mindfulness, and reward, improving confidence and self-esteem and promoting better mental health.
4. Schedule a dance party
Dancing is an activity that provides numerous physical and mental benefits at once and is an activity you can enjoy solo or with friends. Consider hosting a small group weekly dance party and look forward to an enjoyable activity and companionship that improve your mental outlook.
5. Make music
Listening to music promotes mental well-being by releasing the mood-enhancing hormone dopamine. However, taking music lessons or learning to play an instrument inspires self-expression that triggers significantly more dopamine release. The impact is also evident among singers and increases substantially among chorus and music group members who enjoy the social aspects of making music together.
6. Schedule reading time
Reading can improve your outlook when you experience anxiety or depression due to social isolation. By engaging with the characters in a novel or a storyline, you can escape the stress of your daily life and empathize with others through more meaningful and rewarding relationships.
7. Indulge in a healthy guilty pleasure
Indulging in harmless, pleasurable activities solely because they are enjoyable is a healthy way to rest the brain and boost positive emotions. Binge-watching a favorite television show, indulging in a delectable treat or singing in the shower are excellent ways to practice self-compassion and combat stress for better mental health.
8. Go off the grid
When your computer is not working correctly, you can reset it for better performance. You can do the same for your brain by going off the grid for a period during the day, week, or month to recharge and eliminate triggers that bring you down. Scheduling time away from a daily barrage of stimuli, including ringing cell phones and social media pings, can promote better awareness and improve decision-making by quieting your mind.
9. Take advantage of working from home
When working from home, it is easy to blur the boundaries between your job and personal life. However, this arrangement can be advantageous when you fill the time you no longer devote to commuting with self-care and relationship-building activities such as getting more sleep, enjoying healthy, homemade meals with your family, taking daily walks, and getting more exercise, which have significant mental health benefits.
Everyone experiences mental health challenges at some point, but you can take measures to stay resilient to life’s unpredictability.