How to be Happier? 10 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health - And Why Mental Health is Important For Overall Happiness and Wellness
Overall mental health and wellness refers to a state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It involves understanding and managing our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in a healthy and positive way. Overall mental health and wellness is essential for our overall well-being, and it affects every aspect of our lives. So, how is overall wellness of the mind achieved? Here are 10 ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing, and why mental health is important for overall wellness.
1. Exercise Regularly: Exercise has been shown to improve mood, cardiovascular health, it can reduce stress and anxiety, and it boosts overall mental health! Not to mention it can increase your energy and stamina, improve brain function, and it can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Balancing mental and physical health is the key to overall wellness.
Tip: Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 4-6 days a week. Figuring out what exercise is best for you can be tough. Take some time to explore different types of movement! Walking, swimming, and yoga practices are a few low impact exercises that we personally enjoy.
Tip: We know incorporating exercise into your routine can be easier said than done, especially making it consistent, it might help to try to do it with someone, even if you each do it on your own time, but checking in with them to have an accountability partner and someone to cheer you along can go a long way.
2.Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Tip: Try a mindfulness meditation exercise such as deep breathing, and implement it into your morning routine! Deep breathing increases oxygen flow to the brain, improving focus and concentration, and lowers stress hormones in the body. Sometimes we want to wait to try a mindfulness meditation when everything is in order and quiet around us, but the reality of everyday life is that it rarely is. Do it anyway. Don’t know where to start? CHOPRA and Calm are two effective guided meditation apps that you can try.
3. Get enough sleep: We know this one may be hard with all the stressors of everyday life, but sleep is CRUCIAL for overall mental health. Getting enough sleep can improve your mood, your metabolism, can reduce inflammation and stress, and it can increase your longevity!
Tip: Create a bedtime routine: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help signal to your body that it's time to sleep. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Personally at Koa+Roy, we love using our Facial Gua Sha and Body Gua Sha before bed. It’s the perfect way to reduce all the inflammation and stress we experience throughout the day.
4. Connect with others: Social connections are important for mental health. Make an effort to connect with friends, family, or community groups.
Tip: Do some research on your local community! Are there any events coming up that you can participate in? If you're local to the San Diego area like us, it won’t be hard to find an event that fits your interests. Have you ever thought about volunteering? As a business focusing on sustainability, we love volunteering at community trash clean ups! I Love A Clean San Diego puts on some great community clean ups in the San Diego area. What kind of events is your local community putting on?
5. Set goals and priorities: Setting goals and priorities can help you focus on what's important and it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Break large goals into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your achievements along the way.
Tip: Get a Goal Journal. Writing down your goals and objectives in a journal can help clarify what you want to achieve and why. This clarity can help you focus your efforts and can help you make progress towards your goals.
6. Practice self-care (This is an IMPORTANT ONE): Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, and don't be too hard on yourself. Self-Care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
Tip: Make time for activities that you enjoy such as reading, gardening, or taking a bubble bath. Or maybe you can use one of our KOA+ROY massage cubes to relax and unwind after a long day! Whatever activity you choose, do it for YOU. Self Care is one of the most important things you can do to achieve overall wellness. Selfcare is not selfish, it’s selfless…
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7. Seek professional help: If you are struggling with mental health issues, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional for support and guidance.
Tip: There are many resources available for mental health. BetterHelp and Talk Space are just a few online mental health resources that you can take a look at if you are seeking assistance. Millions of people around the world seek assistance in mental health. According to a survey conducted by RTI International, in 2021 alone, around 41.7 million adults in the U.S. received treatment for mental health, common reasons being depression and anxiety. You are not alone.
8. Gratitude Practice- Focusing on the things you are grateful for can help improve your mental health immensely. Practice gratitude and positive self-talk. Surround yourself with positive people and influences.
Tip: Make a list of FIVE all the things you are grateful for today. Try to include small things like the extra froth on your espresso, the changing colors of the street trees on your way to work. Focusing on smaller things can help rewire your brain to seek the good in everyday situations and have an overall better day.
9. Limit screen time: Exposure to blue light from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers can interfere with mental wellbeing. Try to limit screen time in the morning and evening, and consider using a blue light filter on your device.
Tip: Try to ignore the temptation to go on your phone when you first wake up in the morning. Constant exposure to blue light, and all the notifications from each social media platform can be overwhelming and can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. Consider limiting your screen time each day.
10. Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet can improve your mental health by providing the body with the essential nutrients it needs to function. A balanced diet can help in maintaining a healthy weight, improving energy levels, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving gut health, boosting brain function, and improving mood.
Tip: Try to include a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are necessary for good health. And don’t forget to listen to your body! Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness signals. Also a good practice is intuitive eating: Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full.
Mental health affects every aspect of our lives. When we are mentally healthy, we can think clearly, manage our emotions effectively, and cope with the challenges of everyday life. By taking care of our mental health, we can improve our overall quality of life, reduce our risk of chronic physical health problems, and promote a happier and healthier society. We hope these tips help you achieve your wellness goals, dreams, and leads you on the path to happiness!
Written by Noel Jensen