9 Healthy Activities to Boost your Mental Health
Taking the time to look after your mental health is an essential aspect of living a good life. You may become happy with stress from your career and home life if you overlook your mental health. You will feel more confident while taking on new responsibilities if you make an effort to keep your mind and emotions in a healthy state.
Mental health exercises just take a few minutes, if not seconds, to help you keep balanced and focused throughout the day.
Activities that raise your mood, improve sleep, and alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms, are increasingly being highlighted since they benefit mental health. Being physically active does not have to entail participating in sports or going to the gym. There are many methods to be active - select one that suits you, and let's get moving.
In this article, I am going to share some healthy activities to boost our mental health, most of which have helped me personally to get out of a bad time.
1. Take a few slow, deep breaths
Deep breathing is a simple and effective method for reducing stress and regaining mental control. Sit down and take a few deep, deliberate breaths if you're feeling stressed at work or somewhere else. Inhale deeply until you feel your diaphragm expand, then gently exhale. You can concentrate on your breathing by counting to five or ten as you inhale and then counting to five or ten as you exhale.
While you might think that breathing is a natural process that we do without paying attention to it, deep intentional breathing does wonders for us. I took that step doubtfully during the pandemic but after a few times practicing mindfully, I saw a big change in my mood and greater calmness inside of me.
Yoga combines body and mind, which is one of the key reasons it helps us achieve improved mental health; however, it also works well when combined with talking therapy and meditation.
Trying yoga for me was a life changing experience. It helped me concentrate more and understand what goes on in my mind and my body and how they are connected. During the pandemic I could not go to the gym and I could not work out at home since I did not have the right workout equipment so I decided to try yoga. Being a spiritual person as well, I learnt that doing yoga is what I have been missing in my life.
There are many different styles of yoga, but they all share the basic notion that we must balance our yin and yang energies (our more gentle and strong energies) and work with our bodies to achieve overall health and wellbeing.
3. Cycling to feel better
Cycling is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, as it releases endorphins in our brains. This natural painkiller helps us feel happier by releasing certain hormones known for reducing negative emotions like sadness or anger while maximising positive feelings such joyfulness! If classic bikes are a lot of trouble for you, you can always use gas powered bicycles to make this experience more fun.
I tried motorised bikes for the first time last month and I was curious to see what is the difference between it and a traditional bike. The sense of safety that you get when cycling with a motorised bike is a whole different feeling which can make cycling an even more enjoyable activity.
4. Stretch while standing
When you work in an office, you may only have a limited amount of time to move and exercise during the day. Because it makes you feel trapped, angry or cuts into your attention, this can raise worries about your physical and emotional health.
Standing up and stretching on a daily basis is a simple method to overcome the issue of staying focused throughout the day. You should stand up every half hour or 15 minutes for a brief length of time. Stretching keeps your circulation working, and standing breaks up your day's monotony. If you have some free time, go for a little walk around your office.
When focused on working in an office, I should mention that short coffee break that you probably spend sitting and chatting. While sitting and having a coffee with your friend after work may sound like a good and relaxing idea, you can change that. You can have that coffee while standing up and using that time to move those muscles that get tired of changing chair positions. This one tip is coming from my own personal experience.
5. Maintain a healthy nutritious diet
If you're struggling with a lack of energy and mood swings, improving your diet might help. The more you improve your diet, the better your mood will be. You might feel energetic and clear-headed with a steady supply of energy from all the healthy foods! Fruits, vegetables, legumes - they're all good for boosting mental alertness! The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish helps keep you sharp as well. You can add supplements such as glucose gummies vitamins to keep you healthy and strong!
I know it sounds good to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet but we all know it is not easy. Especially, if you are working 9 to 5, the stress of work going through you, you feel that you do not have enough time to get things done so that you forget to pay attention to what you are eating. We often forget that what we eat makes us what we are. Food is a great component in making us feel good and healthy mentally. Therefore, I have chosen to make up for the fruits and vegetables I do not get to eat during the busy days. I have been taking food supplements for four months now, which are healthy and tasty as well. Since then, I have been feeling energised and in a good mood because I know my body is taking what it needs to thrive.
6. Socialise with People
Even if you're a total introvert, seeking out social contacts can benefit your brain in the short and long run. Signing up for volunteer activities in your community, joining a club, joining a neighborhood walking group, and staying in touch with friends and family are all good ways to be socially connected.
Let’s go back to the pandemic. It has been a different experience for all of us but for me personally, it was a good idea to stay away from friends and work colleagues. I could not shake off that feeling of being lonely. We need to get together with people, to get the energy, to see that what we go through is not always something individual. Other people can understand and help with what we are struggling with. So go out, call that friend, and go to that dinner. You will thank yourself later!
Travelling is an important part of your life. It has many benefits, it affects your mood, health and energy. By travelling you will improve your happiness and mood, and get exposed to new things. You provide a great opportunity for yourself to strengthen mind and body with this personal development journey - no matter what background or goals you have in life at present time.
A road trip with your friends would be a great thing for you to improve your mental health. It would get you some time with your friends, as well as exploring new things and places.
8. Make your objectives attainable
Setting a goal provides you direction, but it can also bring stress if you don't achieve it. Set realistic goals that allow you to complete a task in a reasonable amount of time. You want a clear course with a timeframe that you can stick to, but not so much time that you can procrastinate. For example, if you know a task would take at least one week to complete, give yourself that time instead of setting a goal of completing the activity in three days. Set attainable goals for yourself.
During my college years, I used to torture myself with unrealistic goals. I would expect myself to finish a lengthy material in two days, when in reality it would take nearly a week to read, study and analyse it. It took me a while to see how badly this was affecting my mental health. I would feel incompetent when in fact I was just being unfair to myself. However, I realised that maturity does come with age sometimes. Soon, I grasped it and now I know what I can do and how I should do it.
9. Play some music
Music has the capacity to change your mental health and outlook quickly. When you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, put on a favorite uplifting song or listen to relaxing classical music. You can download music to your phone and listen to it whenever you like during your break.
For me it started with some relaxing and calming tunes. I used to concentrate on the music lyrics a lot and it did not relax me at all. Then, when I started doing yoga I would accompany it with some calming music. It is a good trick to do to yourself to get out of that bad mood, just follow the good tunes, check your breathing and feel yourself getting better and feeling lighter.
No matter your age, focusing on your brain health is one of the most effective ways to increase your concentration, focus, memory, and mental agility. You'll be challenging your mind, sharpening your cognitive skills, and potentially learning something new and enriching along the way if you incorporate brain workouts into your daily life. Never underestimate the small things you can do for yourself to help with your mental health.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Dea Styles.