The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most people to change how they live, work, and interact with others, which has contributed to an overall decline in mental health. Although struggling with mental health is incredibly common, there are also lots of ways to improve your state of mind. These methods don’t have to be complicated or lengthy and you can also come up with your own ideas for techniques that are helpful. It never hurts to try something new even if it doesn’t end up being beneficial. The important thing is that you take steps to feel better and live a happier, healthier life. Here are the top five ways to improve your mental health.
Get Professional Help
If you’ve never tried counseling before, it may be just what you need and MyTherapist is one possible option for you to explore. In therapy, you’ll sit down regularly with a qualified therapist and discuss anything that’s on your mind. Some therapists are trained for treating specific conditions, like depression or anxiety, while others assist with a wider variety of problems. When searching for a therapist, it’s okay to be picky. After all, this will be someone you’ll hopefully come to trust and rely on for advice. Consider whether you want a male, female, or another gender for a therapist, what types of therapy they offer, and what conditions they specialize in treating. If you feel your counselor isn’t helping you improve, you always have the option to switch. You can also choose to go to therapy in person or opt for online therapy. Both can be just as effective and it’s up to you to know which type suits your needs best.
Write Down Your Thoughts
Journaling can be useful for processing your thoughts, retaining important information, and keeping track of any worries. You can write about anything you’d like. Over time, journaling will allow you to gain better control over your emotions. If you feel stuck in your writing, there are several pre-made journals you can purchase that offer prompts to write about. It is also helpful to keep a journal next to your bed. If you can’t sleep at night or wake up with a racing mind, write down everything that may be bothering you. Having your thoughts on paper will allow your mind to relax and those thoughts won’t be roaming free inside your head. Your sleep schedule will thank you for it. The best part about journaling is looking back on old entries and seeing the ways in which your mental health has improved.
Build a Support System
The people you surround yourself with have a major impact on your mental health. This is because humans were hard-wired for close relationships and a strong sense of belonging. Our friends and family members can either build us up or tear us down, so it’s important to find the people who do the former. Look for people you can depend on during both the good and bad times. They should be trustworthy, reliable, and empathetic. If you have great friends and family in your life, make sure to return the favor by being supportive back. Everyone needs someone to go to when life gets hard.
Take Care of Your Body
Your physical health is directly correlated with your mental health. It’s essential that you are staying active and eating a healthy, nourishing diet. Eating should be enjoyable, so make sure not to restrict yourself too much. However, you should still make an effort to eat foods that will boost your energy and keep you full longer. If you experience a lot of anxiety, drinks like coffee might make it worse because of the caffeine. Pay attention to how your body reacts and responds to different foods and drinks and then adjust your diet accordingly. Being active can look different from person to person and the options are endless. Whether you’re going for a light jog, strolling around the neighborhood, fishing, or running sprints, every bit of movement counts. Try out some different activities and stay committed to your favorites. You may even consider joining a sports team, which will also help you build a stronger community with your teammates. Don’t forget to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, which will provide you with enough energy for the day.
How you feel about yourself, life, and others can often be connected with your thoughts. Your thoughts have the power to make your day miserable or turn your day around. The trick is learning how to control them. Mindfulness can be achieved through techniques like meditation but can also be something you practice even during the busiest moments. Work on monitoring your breathing and paying close attention to your body. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, learn to take a minute to compose yourself. Remember that thoughts don’t say anything about who you are as a person. They are fleeting, and you should let them pass without giving them too much thought or worry. The better you get about dismissing negative, unhelpful thoughts, the easier it will be over time.
Improving mental health is a journey and these techniques won’t work equally for everyone. After all, every individual has unique challenges and needs. The best thing you can do is try out some different methods and find what works best for you. Having set routines can greatly improve mental health, so try to turn any helpful tips you pick up into habits. Keep in mind that sometimes feeling better can first involve feeling worse in the beginning. Don’t give up and be sure to lean on the people around you as you work toward a happier mind.