Did you know your mental health can affect your physical health? It might explain chest pain, stomach aches, dizziness, and even more, you feel when experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, paranoia, and more.
There are just as many benefits to taking care of your emotional health as there are to taking care of your physical health, and it’s just as important too. When your mental health is off-balance, you might experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, ulcers, high blood pressure, and other additional physical ailments that can significantly impact your quality of life.
We know how much easier it is to cope with the ups and downs of life and challenging events like the loss of a loved one or divorce when you’re feeling good about yourself. Together, we can walk through 10 simple ways you can boost your mental health and practice sounder stress management. By applying these strategies your days can become easier to stay strong through routine stresses and when significant personal challenges arise.
1. Learn More About Mental Health
I mean, ignorance is bliss, right? Unfortunately, not when it comes to your mental or physical health. A lack of awareness surrounding mental health can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing. After taking a mental health questionnaire, many people are surprised to find that a mental illness may actually cause their symptoms and negative feelings. By knowing what warning signs to watch for, you can better avoid the consequences of an untreated serious mental illness or recognize if you do have one and need to get help. In addition, you can learn techniques that will help improve your mental health.
2. Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine
Getting out of bed can be hard, especially when your serotonin levels are below normal. And although exercise cannot cure depression or anxiety on its own, it has been proven to be beneficial for mental health. Exercising helps the body cope with physical and mental stress, triggers endorphin production, and boosts your confidence and overall well-being. Even walking a few blocks four or five times a week, even if you are not a runner, can make you feel much better and help you combat any mental health issues you may be having. So take those steps, put on your walking shoes, and head outside, even if it’s for five minutes.
3. Invest in a New Hobby
Everyone should have a hobby, whether it’s reading books, collecting coins, or playing sports. A sense of genuine joy comes from doing something you love, a passion that’s all your own and cannot be taken from you. A hobby you enjoy and one that gives you a sense of pride is a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem. Start that new project, pick up the sewing kit, start guitar lessons, or even do yoga this week. It will alleviate your stress or depression, even for a moment while you focus on other activities.
4. Schedule Regular Goals
When you create a schedule and set goals for yourself for the day or week, you will be more in control of your days, and as you are more in control of your days, you will be more in control of your life. When you complete the tasks on your to-do list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will assist in reducing stress and boosting self-confidence. Although this can be hard, start small. Whether that be brushing your teeth twice a day, drinking more water, or studying something you want to learn more about, setting goals will help you stay on track.
5. Make Sleep a Priority
It’s no secret that people who get a good night’s sleep wake up feeling more energetic and productive. Exhaustion can make anything seem worse than it is, and even small problems will feel like mountains. Try to put down your phone for the last hour before you lay down, or pick up a book to read as you go to sleep. Don’t drink coffee or energy in the afternoon, and just try to allow yourself to relax before bed to maximize the hours of sleep you can get.
6. Relieve Stress Through Meditation or Yoga
Stress can be managed effectively by engaging in these types of activities. For instance, meditation involves focusing one’s thoughts. Yoga and tai chi, both movement-based whole-body exercises, have also been shown to be excellent stress-busters. Progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing are also good stress-reducing techniques. In case you don’t know how to begin, you may wish to attend a class and learn how to practice on your own two or three times per week for at least 30 minutes.
7. Be Grateful for What You Have
As with exercise, being thankful for your life is not a cure-all, but it is good maintenance. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in a higher power; it’s still enormously beneficial to make a mental note of the good things in your life and the things you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude by making a list of a few things you are grateful for every day is a great way to shift your perspective. They do not necessarily need to be major things. It can be as simple as seeing a cute dog while you walk to work or hearing a song you love as you drive to the store. Keep tabs of every item that makes you happy throughout the days. Read them when you are feeling lost.
8. Start a Journal
Research shows that the act of writing down something can actually aid a person in coping with issues and concerns. Writing down your thoughts in a concrete form can help you process them in a more productive way. Our fears can be intimidating and difficult to name. It makes us more afraid to think about them, so we try not to. By expressing those thoughts in writing, we force ourselves to confront the fear, anxiety, and pain we’re experiencing, naming those feelings and allowing ourselves to deal with them.
9. Find a Support System
It is important to have a sustainable support system. Whether you just want to feel better or whether you are struggling with something serious, reach out to the people around you. Consider joining a support group or going to workshops. Replace anyone who doesn’t care about your mental health with someone who does. It is not shameful to lean on others and surround yourself with the people you love.
10. Ask For Help When You Need It
Asking for help is a strength, not a sign of weakness. Treatment is effective, and you need to seek it if you want to benefit from it. People who get the right kind of care during mental illnesses and addictions can recover and live full, happy lives.