On average, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. While it might be more common than you think, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore it.
Having a mental health issue can affect your life in many ways, including your physical health. You’re more at risk for developing heart disease or a substance abuse problem if you don’t address your mental health.
It’s always best to see a doctor, but there are other steps you can take. Check out these seven must-know mental health tips to improve your life.
- See the Sunshine
Getting outside to breathe in fresh air and feel the warm sunlight is a great way to get outside your head. Plus, sunshine helps your body generate vitamin D, a key nutrient that helps fight depression and boosts your mood.
- Put Yourself First
Running yourself into the ground and doing what you think others want is a surefire way to end up feeling burnt out. Making yourself a priority is important to keep stress at bay.
That doesn’t mean that you shun your family and friends. Learn how to say “no” to others’ demands in a healthy way and take some time for yourself.
- Give of Yourself
Sometimes, however, the opposite works just as well. If you find yourself feeling disconnected from others or need something to distract you, think about giving of yourself.
Volunteering allows you to connect with a cause you feel positive about. You can meet others who share your values and feel like you’re making a difference in the world.
- Unplug from the Online World
Social media and other online spaces can make the world seem narrow and unfriendly. You’re fed images of people that you think are happier or more successful than you or feel baited into arguments with strangers.
If your online activity isn’t making you happy, unplug for a bit. Use your computer to search for “mental health services near me” and talk to counselors that can help give you perspective on life.
- Get Active
Exercising is another great way to get outside of your head and into the real world. Whether you’re playing a sport or going for a long walk, you’ll focus on things outside of yourself.
You’ll also get the blood pumping and endorphins going even if it’s a walk or a serious sweat session. No matter how easy or hard the activity is, it’s just important that you get moving.
- Be More Mindful
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and noticing the world as it’s happening. It’s harder than it seems, but with a bit of practice, you can learn to be there in the moment instead of worrying about the future or the past.
- Be Grateful
Showing gratitude for even the smallest things helps ground you. Appreciate the details of your life, like having a favorite coffee mug or being able to pet your cat.
More Mental Health Tips
These seven mental health tips are sure to help you feel better and more connected with positive feelings, but there’s no substitute for professional help if you need it. If you enjoyed learning these tips and tricks, we’ve got plenty of others in our health care blog articles!