6 immediate lifestyle steps to improving your mental health

6 immediate lifestyle steps to improving your mental health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans are afflicted by some degree of mental illness in any given year. No family is left untouched by the issue and most of us recognize that our mental wellbeing is something that must be given the due care and attention it deserves. No matter what you consider your current mental health to be, there are lifestyle choices we can make to assist and improve at every level.

Keep fit and eat well

First of all, never underestimate the importance of physical health and diet. Everything is inextricably linked and overriding health and diet issues can impact upon sleep and this in turn can and will have an extremely detrimental effect on your mental wellbeing. If you are on a diet, make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need, and exercise regularly. No matter what your age or physical capabilities, build in a routine which makes time for exercise of any kind, even if it is a walk in the park or on the beach.

Keep occupied and set goals

Next, try to remain busy and, if possible, link this in to the achievement of something. In this case, a hobby, or educating yourself (through the completion of a course, for example) can be effective methods of keeping occupied and recognizing some tangible results, be that through an improvement in a skill or the procurement of knowledge. This can also have a positive impact on your social life through interacting with new and a wider range of people.

Develop social networks and peer groups

Also, be sure to develop a good social network (and this does not mean online – the benefits of downsizing your online presence could easily be a separate point here). Even better if that network includes those whose situation is similar to yours (in age profile, social-economic status, having children of a similar age, or whatever that may be). Of course, having a diverse group of friends is also very rewarding, but at times you need to lean on your peers, and there is no better understanding than when a person is in the same boat.

Appreciate nature

Be acutely aware of the natural benefits of the world around you. Spending time outdoors, no matter what the weather, can be hugely beneficial to your state of mind. Even taking a little time out to notice the nature around you, in the garden or in a local park, can really help to focus the mind on the wonder that is around us, which takes us on to the next point.

Be thankful, and show thanks

It sounds trite, but we all need to be reminded from time to time of the beauty and goodness that is around us, and that, ultimately, we have much to be thankful for. Do not be afraid to offer thanks wherever it may be, be that at home, showing gratitude to a colleague or neighbor, or sending a little gift to say ‘thank you’ as a gesture. Showing kindness is an immensely positive activity and often results in kindness being reflected back. It’s all part of creating a positive environment around us.

Don’t be afraid of saying ‘no’

The last change is the very easy-sounding, yet in reality very difficult activity of saying ‘no’. Ultimately, this is about making your life a little more about the things you really want to do rather than the things you feel you ought to do. Taking back a little control is paramount; a feeling of helplessness in our daily lives is very often a precursor for mental anguish.

Remember, never take chances with mental health and so if you are struggling, immediately contact a doctor or reach out to a friend or family member who can assist you in getting the attention you require.

About Author: Cornelius J. Johnson

Cornelius J. Johnson is a marketing specialist from New York. He enjoys reading and writing on different aspects of entrepreneurship, usually finance and marketing, If you want to read more of his work, you can find it at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, academic writing websites. Also, he tutors at Research Papers UK website.