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8 ways to improve your mental health

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How Can You Improve Your Mental Health H

Mental health is much more than the diagnosis. It’s your overall psychological well-being, the way you feel about yourself & others as well as your ability to manage your feelings & deal with everyday difficulties. And while taking care of your mental health can mean seeking professional support and treatment, it also means taking steps to improve your emotional health on your own. Making these changes will pay off in the all aspects of your life. It can boost your mood, build the resilience, & add to your overall enjoyment of life:

Tell yourself something positive. 

Research shows that how you think about yourself can have the powerful effect on how you feel. When we perceive our self & our life negatively, we can end up viewing experiences in a way that confirms that notion. Instead, practice using words that promote feelings of self-worth & personal power. For example, instead of saying, if I say that I am a loser. I won’t get the job because I tanked in an interview,” try, “I didn’t do as well in the interview as I would have liked, but that does not mean I’m not going to get the job.” 

Write down something you are grateful for.

Gratitude has been clearly linked with improved well-being & mental health, as well as happiness. The best-researched method to increase the feelings of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or write down the daily gratitude list. Generally contemplating gratitude is also effective, but you need to get the regular practice to experience long-term benefit. Find something to be grateful for, & let it fill your heart, & bask in that feeling. 

Focus on one thing (in the moment).

Being mindful of the present moment allows us to let go of negative and difficult emotions from past experiences that weigh us down. Start by bringing the awareness to routine activities, such as eating lunch, walking home or taking shower. Paying attention to the physical sensations, smells, sounds, or tastes of these experiences helps you focus. When your mind wanders, you just bring it back to what you are doing.

Exercise. 

          Your body releases the stress-relieving & mood-boosting endorphins after & before you work out, which is why exercise is a powerful antidote to anxiety, stress, & depression. Look for the small ways to add activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk instead of motor bike or car. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on daily basis, & try to do it outdoors. Exposure to sunlight helps your body to produce vitamin D, which increases your level of serotonin in your brain. Plus, time in the nature is a proven stress reducer.

Eat a good meal. 

What you eat to nourishes your whole body, including your brain. Carbohydrates (in moderate amounts) increase the serotonin, a chemical that has been shown to have a calming effect on your mood. Protein-rich foods increase dopamine, norepinephrine, and tyrosine, which help keep you alert. fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients that feed every cell of your body, including those that affect mood-regulating brain chemicals. Include foods with the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in nuts, fish, & flaxseed.) Research shows that these nutrients can improve mood & restore structural integrity to the brain cells necessary for cognitive function.

Open up to someone.

Knowing you are much valued by others is important for helping you think more positively. Plus, being more trusting can increase your emotional well-being because of you get better at finding the positive aspects in other people, you become better at recognizing your own. 
 

Do something for someone else. 

Research shows that being helpful to everyone has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. Being kind, helpful & valued for what you do is a great way to build the self-esteem. The meaning you find in helping everyone will enrich and expand your life. 

Take a break. 

In those moments when the all seems like too much, step away, & do anything but whatever was stressing you out until you feel a little better. Sometimes the best thing to do is very simple breathing exercise: Close your eyes and take 10 deep & long breaths. For each one, count to 4 as you inhale, hold it for a count of four, and then exhale for another four. This works the wonders almost immediately.

Go to bed on time. 

A large body of research has shown that sleep deprivation has the significant negative effect on your mood. Try to go to your bed at a regular time each day, & practice good habits to get better sleep. These include shutting down the screens for at least an hour before bed, using your bed only for sleep & relaxing activities, & restricting caffeinated drinks for the morning.

Start today. 

You have the power to take positive steps right now to improve your resilience & emotional health. Don’t wait until you are in a crisis to make your mental health a priority. Besides, it is easier to form the new habits when you are feeling strong. You can then implement those habits when you need them mostly. Pick something from this article that resonates with you and tries it. After that, try something else. Slowly putting in place habits, routines, & regular patterns will help you feel better through gradual change

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