We live in a world where mental health breakdown is a norm. Every day, we see people come out to talk about how damaged their mental health is, their struggles with suicidal thoughts, or their battle with certain trauma that wreaked havoc on their mental health.
Your mental health is key to your health and well-being, hence the need to protect it by all means. Protecting your mental health involves shielding it from negativity and adopting effective measures to improve its status. Below, we have highlighted a few ways to improve your mental health. But, before we jump into that, let’s consider what mental health is.
What is mental health?
Many of us are accustomed to the phrase “mental health“, but we don’t know what it really means.
Mental health comprises our emotional, social, and psychological well-being. It influences how we think, react, feel, and act as we go about our lives. But that’s not all.
Mental health also determines how we process stress, relate with our family, friends, and colleagues, and make decisions. Of course, mental health plays a significant role in every stage of our life, ranging from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and aging.
Having understood what mental health is, let’s consider its importance. Why is mental health important? Why do people prioritize their mental health?
Importance of mental health
You often hear people talk about prioritizing their mental health, and you begin to wonder why they do so. Well, people place their mental health above other things because it is important, and here are a few reasons why.
- Mental health helps you deal with the stresses of life.
- Mental health helps you to be physically healthy.
- Mental health is key to a good relationship.
- Mental health boosts work productivity.
- Mental health helps you realize your full potential.
Of course, the importance of mental health isn’t limited to what we have above. The list above is merely an excerpt designed to provide you with a sneak peek of why your mental health should be prioritized at all times. That said, here are a few effective ways to improve your mental health.
1. Talk about your feelings
Are you feeling depressed? Is anxiety eating you up from the inside? Do you feel heartbroken? Rather than keep all these harmful feelings inside of you, why don’t you consider talking about them?
Forget what people say when you speak about your feelings. Engaging in this act isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a sign of taking part in your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. Even if talking about your weakness is deemed a sign of weakness, why should you care? Your priority should be your mental health and not what the world thinks about a certain action.
That said, if you are feeling down, depressed, anxious, etc., consider talking to someone, probably, a confidant or a family member. At first, talking about your feelings may appear awkward. But give it time. You’ll eventually get used to it.
2. Take care of your body
One of the best and probably easiest ways to improve your mental health is physically taking care of yourself. And how do you do that?
There are several ways to cater to yourself physically, and they include eating nutritious meals, steering clear from anything that may hinder your health (like excessive smoking and alcohol intake), drinking enough water, getting adequate sleep, and most importantly, exercising.
Exercising works magic on the physical body and mind. Its therapeutic properties are mind-blowing. For this reason, we recommend that you prioritize your fitness to improve your mental health.
If you lack the motivation to burn some calories on the treadmill or while lifting up some dumbbells, you can get a fitness magazine and read through to boost your confidence. Remember, your mental health is at stake here, so it makes sense that you do what is needed to get the best results.
3. Be around good people
Who do you surround yourself with? Those who constantly mock you? Or those who make you seem insignificant? The people you surround yourself with matter a lot as far as your mental health is concerned.
So always make it a habit to surround yourself with those with whom you share a close bond and those who wouldn’t hurt your feelings or say things that affect your mental health. Alternatively, you can decide to seek out activities where you can meet new individuals, like a club, class, or support group.
4. Value yourself
Always value yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and keep self-criticism at bay. Create time for yourself as well where you engage in your hobbies and favorite projects.
You can visit close friends, do a daily puzzle, plant a garden, learn how to play a musical instrument, or learn a favorite skill. Regardless of what you do or what life throws at you, always value yourself. Remember, people will only value you if you value yourself.
5. Take a break
Many of us underrate the therapeutic benefits of taking a break, regardless of how small. Sometimes, you need a little bit of a break to calm your nerves and refresh your mind. So, if you feel like you are being overwhelmed by your work and it seems to be messing with your mental health, request for a short break citing good reasons. You can try yoga meditation or go on a small trip to relax your mind . Also, ensure you prioritize your sleep ( very important).
Your mental health is key to health and wellbeing, which is why you need to prioritize it at all cost. Engaging in things you love, being around people that bring you joy, having enough rest, and prioritizing your needs should go a long way in improving your mental health.