Mental health should be just as important as our physical health, yet it still commonly falls to the wayside compared to the priorities we put on keeping physically fit and healthy. Our emotional health not only directly affects our physical wellness, but it also dictates our psychological well-being, emotional and social awareness, and many other important factors in our life. Our state of mental health influences how we view ourselves and others, how we regulate our feelings, and how we react/act during periods of adversity.
While seeing a therapist or psychiatrist can help maintain your mental health, there are also things you can do for yourself daily that create a positive impact on your emotional wellness. By caring for your mental health as you do your physical health, you can create more harmony, happiness, resilience, and clarity within your life.
We rounded up 8 ways to nurture your mental health that you can take into action today! Check them out:
1: Get a pen and paper out. Write down your goals, ambitions, what makes you happy and what you are grateful for at least once a day. The power of the written word is miraculous and just by writing down what makes you happy can protect your state of mind. By thinking of what you are grateful for and what makes you happy, you will naturally increase your allover happiness and contentment with life.
2: Plan things to look forward to. This could be a vacation, a special girls night, or a relaxing spa day. Planning something that makes you happy boosts your levels of feeling satisfied with your life and can have long-term benefits. This is especially useful if you are going through a stressful time at work or at home, as creating that break from your daily grind can also allow you to take a mental break that will help you boost and improve your productivity and a general sense of being “present” going forward.
3: Try new things or experiment more. Many of us tend to pull away from being creative, especially once we hit adulthood. The pressure of our career, social life, and family life can take up all of our free time in itself, leaving little room for solo creative expression. Expressing our thoughts or emotions through the arts can be extremely therapeutic by helping process repressed emotions or reflecting on how we respond to outside triggers.
4: Keep your relationships a priority. Those who have strong relationships with family and friends have an improved state of mind since human connections are a fundamental social need. You will feel more supported and will positively influence your values such as a greater understanding of loyalty by maintaining close relationships. Relationships are also a wonderful support system. Studies have shown that spending time with a close friend or relative helps reduce stress and is crucial to maintain a healthy emotional state.
5: Take breaks from technology. Social media can do more harm than good, causing us to constantly compare ourselves with others. Make it a point to take a break from technology such as creating boundaries to put your phone away after a certain time each day, or having a “phone-free” day once a week. Taking a break from technology also gives our brain a break from being constantly stimulated by information or images that can overwhelm our thought processes.
6: Create relaxing rituals once a week. Self-soothing techniques such as practicing mindfulness can help improve your outlook on life. Meditation may also be able to be a wonderful complementary practice to therapy, and quite a few therapists are starting to incorporate more meditation techniques in client programs. By creating relaxing rituals for yourself, not only are you creating a habit that you can look forward to knowing that it will help you wind down or relax, it can help your response to stress and improve your coping strategies as well as your problem-solving capabilities.
7: Forgive someone. Studies have shown that those who practice forgiveness feel more satisfied with their lives and have improved mental health. Forgiveness is not about the individual that needs forgiving, it’s about ourselves. It allows us to let go of negative feelings and creates a space to heal and move on from trauma or challenging internal struggles. Forgiveness allows us to let go of the past and live in the present, it allows us to take back our power and clears the air so that we can focus on what is positive in our life.
8: Spend time in nature. Studies have also shown that being in nature such as having a weekend picnic, eating lunch in a local park, or laying on a beach can lower stress levels. Being outside in the sun can also boost your mood since you’ll be getting a natural dose of Vitamin D. Studies have also linked spending time in nature too: improving short-term memory, reducing inflammation, restored mental energy, and improved concentration.
With these 8 easy tips, you can take small steps towards living a healthier and happier life! What can you do today to improve your mental health?
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in psychotherapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic on (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.