Mental health is much more than words used to diagnose someone struggling to deal with the hardships of life. Your mental health includes the way you think and feel about yourself, how you relate to the people around you, and how your emotions are managed during the stress of daily life. It is also important to understand that improving your mental health will not always involve a professional. There are a number of steps you can take on your own to positively affect your mental state.
Researchers explain the thoughts an individual maintains regarding themselves will play a large role in determining the way they feel on a daily basis. People who have negative thoughts about themselves will often transfer this negative outlook to their experiences in a way that confirms their negative thoughts. Individuals with these tendencies should make a conscious effort to practice using positive words when referring to themselves. These positive affirmations will improve the self-image of the individual and change their perception in other aspects of their life.
The link between gratitude and mental well-being has been clearly demonstrated. A gratitude journal or a gratitude list is a proven method of increasing feelings of gratitude. You can also take a moment from time to time to contemplate the things you are grateful for. However, committing these thoughts to paper on a daily basis will provide the best long-term benefits.
Stay In The Moment
Individuals who are mindful of the moment create a mental environment for themselves where they are less likely to be negatively affected by past experiences and emotions. Individuals should begin making use of this technique while engaging in routine activities like eating lunch, taking a walk, or showering. Remaining mindful of the sounds, tastes, smells, and physical sensations of the moment will prevent the mind from wandering elsewhere.
More and more researchers have been able to draw a clear link between the home environment of a person and their mental health and well-being. The home should be clean and free of clutter. This will provide the individual with feelings of peace and calm. This concept is especially important for individuals living in apartments without a lot of space. Studies show that individuals who spent a lot of time in dark spaces are prone to sadness and depression. A home that is dark much of the time should be livened up with a little light.
A final consideration is home security and the possible addition of a home security system. Individuals who feel safe in their homes are likely to achieve a greater state of mental well-being than individuals who worry about their safety while at home. Alarm systems, motion-sensor lighting, and other security measures are available to provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your family are safe in your home.
Enjoy Your Meals
The food an individual eats not only nourishes the physical body but is the fuel for the brain. Serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and tyrosine are all important to maintaining good moods and can be increased by eating healthy carbs and proteins. Fruits and vegetables are important to maintain the health of cells in the brain. And Omega 3 fatty acids are mood enhancers that restore the brain cells' structural integrity.
The negative mood effects of sleep deprivation have been well-documented. Individuals who maintain a regular sleep schedule are more likely to be happy than those who do not. Some habits that can improve sleep quality include restricting caffeinated drinks to the morning hours, only using the bed for sleep, and restricting sources of outside light for at least an hour before bedtime.
The Bottom Line
It is important for all individuals to understand they have the power to build and maintain their own mental health. It is also important not to wait until a crisis or breakdown to take the steps necessary to guarantee your own mental well-being. Choose a tip or two from the article to practice. You can then add more with time. The gradual development of a routine to improve your own mental well-being will pay huge dividends over time!
Article by: Gloria Jenkins
I am writer and consultant from Texas. Before writing I worked extensively with technology companies. Now, since becoming a mother, I have begun writing to spend more time with my wife and kids. I am passionate about social justice, living a healthy lifestyle, technology, and equality.