Having good mental health makes it easier to cope with life’s challenges.
Good mental health also provides some protection against mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorders.
In the same way that you improve your physical health through exercise, you can improve your mental health by performing certain activities.
In this article, I’ll share several of the best activities that you can perform today to improve your mental health.
#1 – Get some exercise
It’s common knowledge that exercise is the best way to improve your physical fitness.
However, most people don’t realise that exercise can also dramatically improve mental health.
Exercise can provide several benefits to your mental health including:
Reduction in stress hormone levels
Stress is the body’s natural response to situations that you perceive as being dangerous.
Unfortunately, if you often experience stress it can become negatively impact your physical and mental health.
Exercise can relieve stress by reducing the levels of the cortisol – the main hormone responsible for triggering the stress response.
By reducing cortisol levels, you can avoid unnecessary anxiety and feelings of depression.
Regular exercise will strengthen your body and make you feel more confident in your own abilities.
This confidence boost makes it easier to participate in social events and live an enjoyable life.
This promotes mental wellbeing and reduces the risk of mental illnesses like anxiety taking hold.
Exercise has been demonstrated to improve sleep quality.
This can promote mental wellbeing and improve your overall physical health.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, start with some low-intensity workouts like walking outdoors, riding a bike, or attending a beginner’s yoga class.
You will be surprised by how much your mental state improves after exercising.
#2 – Spend time with other people
Researchers have discovered that spending face-to-face time with the people you care about can result in improved mental health.
The study, details of which were published in Psychology Today, found that face-to-face time reduces the risk of both anxiety and depression by as much as 50%.
Researchers also discovered that the more face-to-face time you get, the lower the risk of mental illness gets.
Study participants who met friends and family three times a week had the lowest level of depressive symptoms (6.5 percent) after two years.
Make an effort to reach out to the people you love and you will be greatly rewarded.
If you have a shortage of good people in your life, think about joining a social club or sports club.
There are also plenty of opportunities for meeting your people on sites like Meetup.com.
#3 – Write your thoughts down in a journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can be a very liberating experience.
It allows you to confess your fears, ideas, and aspirations without being judged by others.
Getting all of the thoughts in your heads onto paper has been shown to relieve feelings of anxiety and stress.
Some of the ways you can use journaling to improve your mental health include:
- Describing and prioritising any problems, fears, and concerns that you have
- Tracking the state of your mental health from day to day and identifying the triggers that negatively impact your mental health
- Providing you with an opportunity for positive self-talk
- Helping you identify negative thoughts and behaviours
It allows you to prioritise your problems, fears and concerns.
Journaling is also useful for tracking the condition of your mental health, as you can describe how you feel each day.
#4 – Have a laugh!
Laughter is a powerful emotional response to the things we think are funny.
It can also provide a significant boost to your mental health.
Researchers have discovered that laughter provides excellent stress relief and distracts our brains from negative thoughts that are damaging to mental health.
One of the reasons laughing is so effective is that it shifts your focus from any negative thoughts or feelings of anxiety onto whatever you are laughing at.
There are many ways to inject more laughter into your day, including:
#5 – Stop procrastinating
Chronic procrastination is a destructive habit that can lead to poor self-esteem, poor eating habits, a lack of sleep, and mental stress.
If you are a procrastinator, take steps today to get out of the habit and you will quickly an improvement to your mental health.
As soon as you finish this article, write a todo list and get started!
This guide to overcoming procrastination may also be helpful.
I hope you enjoyed reading 5 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Today.
For more tips for improving your mental health, subscribe to my website.