5 Ways To Boost Your Mental Health
Looking for ways to boost your mental health? This article highlights five science-backed strategies you can use.
Scientists tell us there are certain things we can do to improve our mental wellbeing. These techniques will help you feel more positive about yourself.
They show you how to boost your mental health during the low points in your life. Once you know that, nothing can stop you from getting what you want out of life.
Here are 5 reliable ways you can boost your mental health.
Connect With Others
Look for ways to grow your social network.
Haven’t seen a friend in a while? Reach out and try to arrange a coffee date so you can catch up.
How about your children or other family members? Set an hour during the day where you can talk or play games.
Make new friends. New relationships can form in a matter of months or even weeks. These relationships don’t have to be an all-in, best-friends-for-life type of relationship to provide benefits.
Just talking to a neighbor, a colleague, or members of your church can have a great impact on your mental health. You learn to listen, empathize, and build a strong sense of belonging, self-worth, and value.
Learn New Skills
Learning a new skill or hobby can have a significant boost on your mental health. It’s also an excellent way to meet new people and improve your self-esteem.
It’s nice to have a sense of purpose, other than your work. It gives you something to look forward to each day.
Learning something new takes time but, luckily, technology has made learning more accessible. Here are a few things you might consider learning:
- Sign up for an online course, like learning a new language or a practical skill like programming
- Look for free video tutorials online to help you out with a DIY project
- If you enjoy cooking, find healthy recipes and learn how to make them
- Try a new hobby that challenges and entertains you, like painting, writing, or gardening
- Learn to play a new sport or physical activity
Be More Present-Focused
We’re all guilty of not paying attention to people and things going on around us. We’re always busy with work or scrolling through our social media feed.
Learning to focus all your senses on the present moment can improve your mental well-being. It also boosts your mood and lowers stress levels. Experts call this type of focus mindfulness.
When you practice mindfulness, you enjoy the little things in life. Things like watching a bird soar overhead or taking in the nuances of nature are just two small examples.
When you bring your attention to the present moment, the mistakes of the past and the cares of the future fall away and you can feel more relaxed and at peace. Plus, you start to get a better understanding of what makes you happy or anxious, which is a healthy way to approach life’s challenges.
Get Physically Active
When you do any type of physical activity, you boost your physical fitness, as well as your mental wellness. It could be a short 15-minute walk, an hour of cycling each week, or 30 minutes at the gym. You pick the activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Find some additional ideas here.
In addition, your brain signals the nervous central system to release feel-good hormones known as endorphins. These wonder chemicals trigger a positive response, which boosts your mood. They also reduce feelings of pain and anxiety.
Here are a few tips to help get you moving so you can boost your mental health:
- Look online for free activities catered to your fitness level
- Find local centers where you can dance, swim, or cycle
- Try running with a “couch to 5K” app or podcast
- If you have a chronic health condition or a disability, there are many exercises and physical activities that can be customized to meet your needs
Give to Others
According to research, acts of kindness and giving are great ways to improve your mental well-being. When we help others, our bodies release of another feel-good hormone called oxytocin.
This chemical promotes feelings of empathy and trust. It also makes us calmer, happier, and inspired to do more acts of kindness.
Giving to others could be volunteering at a local shelter or helping someone on a personal level. The point is to offer your time and energy doing something for other people. You’ll feel good about yourself, knowing that you’re the kind of person who values and appreciates others.
In sum, there are lots of ways you can boost your mental health. I’ve highlighted five science-backed strategies you can use. Give them a try and add a few of your own to the mix!