Mental health is a part of life that doesn’t get talked about enough. Unfortunately, there is often a stigma attached to it that causes many people to avoid getting help.
Depression is a silent killer, chipping away at our peace of mind. Going to a doctor is always an option, and there are plenty of drugs you can take to alter your mood. But there are also things you can do on your own to improve your outlook on life.
Improving Mental Health Without Seeing a Doctor
Did you know that 1 in 5 American adults suffer from some form of mental health issue? Here are 5 tips for improving mental health that can help you through the dark times.
1. Get Off the Couch and Exercise
A wise person once said “Motion is lotion”. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just get up and start moving. Yet if you are suffering from poor mental health, the act of heading outside for a hike or hitting the treadmill at the gym feels impossible.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and you’ll be surprised how fast the fog around your brain will begin to lift.
2. Become a Volunteer
Believe it or not, one of the quickest ways to start feeling better about yourself is to do something for someone else. It can be as simple as visiting someone in the hospital, volunteering a few hours per week at the local food bank, or joining your favorite charity.
Focusing on helping others automatically takes your eyes off yourself. And not only are you giving back to the community, you’re forcing yourself to be social, which is a vital part of beating depression.
3. Go To Bed On Time
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Establish a consistent bedtime and stick to it. Develop good pre-bedtime habits that prepare your mind and body for sleep, like turning off devices and avoiding caffeine after a certain hour of the day.
4. Talk to Someone
Remember, you don’t have to talk to a doctor or a therapist to feel better. These are trained professionals, who have tremendous wisdom to offer, but sometimes you just need someone to listen to you. Your loved ones would much rather listen to you vent than let you suffer in silence.
Here are some other strategies you can try to get yourself out of a rut.
5. Fill Your Mind With Positive Thoughts
It is far too easy to get stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk. We often beat ourselves down so much that we don’t need anyone to do it for us. We fill ourselves with doubt, with self-hate, and such paralyzing anxiety that it’s amazing we can get out of bed in the morning.
It’s vital to stop this pattern of mind chatter. Read books on positive thinking. Carry around life-affirming quotes and constantly remind yourself that you are worthy of happiness. Stop listening to the voice of your miserable inner self and learn to love life again.
You Have the Power to Change
Sometimes the thought of improving mental health struggles can feel like preparing for battle. But often it’s a simple matter of choosing new habits and thought patterns.
Postive mental health is a choice. But it requires effort. And by taking small steps in a positive direction, day by day, eventually you’ll come out the other side.
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