Mental health is as important as physical health. In fact, it is important for maintaining your physical health. Mental health is also referred to as emotional health’ or ‘emotional wellbeing’.
Just like you take steps to maintain your physical health, you must do the same for your mental health. Good mental health enables you to live well, respond adequately to stress and external stimuli.
These eight steps can help you to improve your mental wellbeing:
1. Positive self-affirmations
Self-affirmations are words of encouragement and inspiration you tell yourself during trying times or simply to start off your day. A negative perception of your life or yourself affects how you experience life events. You’ll tend to focus on the negative rather than the positive.
Instead, practice positive affirmations to start your day. Use inspiring words that instil feelings of confidence, power and self-worth to describe yourself or your day.
The thoughts you have of yourself affects how you feel. Instead of saying, “I’m a failure, I tanked my exams”, try “I didn’t do as well in my exams as I would have liked.”
2. Eat the right foods
A balanced diet is essential for your total wellbeing. Apart from amazing physical effects, the right foods can boost your mental health.
Dark chocolate can improve mental alertness and mood. A cup of coffee or green tea each morning can help in achieving lower depression rates. Foods rich in Omega-3 have a positive impact on schizophrenia and depression.
3. Practice gratitude
Oftentimes, you focus on your flaws, shortcomings and mistakes rather than your achievements. You see the black dot instead of the white paper. When you actively try to be grateful, you realise that there’s always something to be grateful for.
Gratitude is linked to improved wellbeing, happiness and positive mental health. A gratitude journal is a good method for boosting feelings of gratitude.
4. Step back when you are overwhelmed
As you go through your day, you experience moments of stress and fatigue. Instead of pushing on, take a break from whatever you are doing. A simple breathing exercise can help to refresh you. Just close your eyes and take deep breaths.
In this digital era, it is necessary to take breaks from your electronic devices. Try to have a digital detox each week. Instead, spend time in nature, cook, declutter and do things that relax you. You will feel refreshed, mentally and physically.
5. Plan for things in your control
A plan provides order and peace to our lives. We cannot control certain life events, but we can make plans to protect or help us during these events. When it comes to your health, you can’t control falling ill, but having health insurance helps you when it happens.
For your mental health, having a plan in place gives you peace of mind and alleviates anxiety. It means that if ever you are struggling to the point where you need to seek professional help, you will have access to the best care, whenever you need it.
6. Help others
Helping people has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. It improves your self-esteem and creates a feeling of belonging. Try volunteering for non-governmental organisations or local charities. Even just helping your neighbours and friends during their times of need is helpful.
7. Seek help when necessary
Seeking help is one of the best ways to preserve your mental wellbeing. When you feel down, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Talk to your friends, family or a mental health expert. Extra help during stressful times makes it easier to deal with it.
Our mental health is extremely important and an integral part of our total wellbeing. Mental issues can be prevented by taking good care of our mental health. These simple steps can help you through troubled times and simplify the process of preserving your mental health.