From heightened levels of stress to depressive episodes, there are a number of different ways your daily life can adversely affect your mental health. Often, you may not even realize that your routine is harming your emotional health until the symptoms become severe. You can help maintain better mental health and feel happier overall when you take steps to get away from the stress in your life.
Take a Walk
Sometimes, it’s enough to just go for a walk in a nearby park or on the beach. Walking in nature provides a diversion that will help you set aside any personal or professional problems that may be bothering you. Breathing fresh air for 30 minutes to an hour will also help to improve your mental health by giving your mood a boost.
Listen to Inspiring Music
You can listen to music while you drive, work, walk, or relax. Research has found that music impacts mental health in both positive and negative ways. When you listen to loud or fast-paced music, you may feel more anxious or angrier.
You can use music to produce the opposite effect as well. Listen to “feel good” music with an upbeat tempo or inspiring lyrics to improve your mental state.
Get Some Exercise
You should get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day, but that doesn’t mean you have to get all of that exercise at once. Take a short bike ride or do a few jumping jacks during your lunch break. After work, go play some tennis or stop by the gym for a few minutes. You might be surprised by how much better you feel after a short 10-minute workout.
Practice Yoga and Meditation
Both yoga and meditation are very effective in improving mood and benefiting mental health. If yoga interests you, look for classes in your community or watch online instructional videos.
You can also learn about self-guided meditation online. If you practice deep breathing exercises as you meditate or practice yoga, you can double the mental health benefits you’ll enjoy.
Also, if you struggle with breathing, you could search for an oxygen concentrator on rent to provide you with medical-grade oxygen for your decompression sessions of yoga at home.
Turn Off Social Media Notifications
While connecting with friends and relatives is an advantage of social media, these sites can also be devastating to your mental health. Whether you feel disappointed by a lack of interaction or you feel depressed by the conflict and bad news, your mental health is more adversely affected by social media than you may realize. Try turning off notifications for a while. Play with a pet or spend time with your kids instead.
Step Away From Your Desk
Taking a five-minute break from work every hour is important for your physical and mental health. It gives you a few minutes to catch your breath and get your thoughts back into perspective. Go talk to a coworker, take a short walk, or step outside for a breath of fresh air. When you return to your desk, you will feel refreshed and more productive.
Listen to a Funny Video or Podcast
The old saying that laughter is the best medicine is truer than many people realize. When you laugh and enjoy humor, your brain will send out endorphins or “feel good” neurotransmitters. These endorphins will combat the stress hormones in your system.
This is why watching a funny video or a stand-up comedian can leave you feeling better. You can find many short stand-up comedy routines online when you just have five or 10 minutes to catch a good laugh.
Replace Your Negative Thoughts
You don’t have to do anything special to benefit your mental health. Sometimes, it’s enough just to pay conscious attention to your internal thoughts. When you start thinking negatively, correct your thought patterns. You can do this easily by simply repeating a positive thought in your mind.
Tell yourself that you’re going to have a good day or that your meeting will go well. As you wake up each morning, try to start each day with a positive thought or mantra. This will help you set a better tone for the rest of your day.
If you feel anxious or depressed frequently and these suggestions don’t help, you may need the help of a mental health professional. You may have a mental health issue that requires ongoing therapy, medication, or other treatments. Seeking help for your emotional health problems will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life.