World Mental Health Day: 5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Each Day
Throughout our lives, we're constantly told the value of keeping our physical health in great shape. From eating right to consistent exercise, everybody understands the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and chronic disease prevention.
However, despite its equal importance, the same cannot be said for our individual mental health. Perhaps this is why mental health issues are so prevalent throughout our society. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates one in five American adults experience mental illness in a given year and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
The truth is, many people don't prioritize their day to include "exercising" for better mental health. In honor of World Mental Health Day, we decided to take a look at five ways that everyone can work to improve their mental health each day.
We mentioned at the beginning of the blog how much we are told about the importance of making exercise a part of our routine. Of course, exercise is important for your physical health, but routine exercise has also proven to be beneficial for mental health, too. Working out causes your body to release endorphins which help to relieve stress and make us happier! Physical exercise is a great way to fight against common mental illnesses like anxiety, depression and stress.
2. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Our lives are incredibly busy, so maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can be easier said than done. However, if you prioritize sleep, your mental health can benefit greatly. According to the Mental Health Foundation, sleep is just as important for our bodies as eating healthy and exercise, because it allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information. Sleep deprivation has a significantly negative effect on your mood. Going to bed at a regular, healthy time each night will go a long way to helping you feel refreshed and ready to take on each and every day.
3. Maintain a positive self image
It's tough to stay mentally healthy if your own view of yourself is mostly negative. In fact, research has shown that the manner in how you think about yourself can have a significant effect on how you feel. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in reducing your chances of experiencing depression or anxiety, in addition to improving your overall quality of life.
Giving of yourself and of your time can not only positively effect how you feel about yourself, but it can also provide you with a greater purpose. Volunteering can help you meet new people, too, furthering enriching your life as you help those who are in need.
5. Show gratitude
During particularly stressful days, it can be easy to feel down about yourself. Combat that urge by focusing on the things in your life that you are grateful for, whether its simply meditating on them or writing down specific blessings. According to Psychology Today, gratitude has been clearly linked with improved well-being and mental health, as well as happiness.
How do you like to maintain positive mental health? Let us know!