Innovative Ways to Enhance Your Mental Health

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Nicole Zapoli

This week on the <<>> BLOG <<>> I have teamed up with Amanda Henderson of www.safechildren.info to share on some mental and emotional health tips!

 

If you struggle with mental health issues, you aren’t alone. Many people grapple with problems like anxiety and depression every day. While it’s important to get the professional help you need—for example, by talking to a licensed mental health professional—there are also habits you can implement in your day-to-day life to improve your emotional well-being. These don’t have to take up a lot of time or break the bank. Read on for a roundup of out-of-the-box ways that you can take control of your mental health and improve it.

Clean up your home

Happiness starts at home. If your space is cluttered and dirty, it’s easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Scientific research has even shown a direct link between clutter and anxiety, suggesting that having too many objects lying around overwhelms the brain. Follow this house cleansing checklist to create the neat and tidy space you need to feel at ease and start mental healing. Once you’ve taken care of essential tasks like mopping, vacuuming, and dusting, give the space a spiritual makeover by smudging it to eliminate negativity.

Practice gratitude

If you’re constantly thinking about the negative things in your life, you’ll obviously focus on those. Instead, try reframing your mindset to focus on the positives. Practicing gratitude is one way to do this. There are many ways to embrace gratitude. For example, you might keep a journal where you write down one good thing that happened to you every day. Alternatively, you can try saying positive mantras to yourself in the mirror in the morning. You can also express your gratitude externally, for example by writing thank you letters to friends.

Get a pet

Believe it or not, cuddling up with a pet like a cat or dog can be a great way to boost your mental health. Cuddling can boost serotonin, making you feel good. Plus, caring for another being requires you to look outside of yourself, focusing your attention externally. This can help foster feelings of empathy and compassion, leaving less space and energy for wallowing in your own problems. When choosing a pet, consider your lifestyle. If you spend long days at the office, for example, a cat may be preferable, since dogs require walking.

Consider creating a nonprofit

Volunteering is another way to focus your energy on others instead of yourself. If there’s a cause you’re passionate about, you might even consider setting up a nonprofit organization to support it. By setting up a nonprofit corporation, you can more easily get the funding you need to help your community. To accomplish this, you’ll have to register the entity with your state and take care of administrative steps like writing bylaws detailing how you’ll operate. Bylaws cover voting rules, board meetings, governance, and conflicts of interest.

Get more hugs in your life

Cuddling pets isn’t the only way to boost serotonin. Hugging another human being is another wonderful way to get more of this feel-good hormone running through you. A simple hug can also be a great source of emotional comfort, reminding you that you have support and aren’t alone. With their consent, give your friends and family members hugs more often when you see them. The other person may also appreciate the closeness that this brings.

Start your own garden

Another great way to boost your mental health is to spend more time outdoors. According to CNET, forest bathing, spending time in wooded areas, can help reduce blood pressure and minimize the risk of issues like anxiety. If you don’t have a forest in your backyard, don’t stress. Try starting your own garden instead. You still spend time in nature and soak up the sun, which can provide you with valuable mood-boosting vitamin DC. Plus, gardening can be a valuable form of exercise, which enhances feel-good endorphins.

Find a creative outlet

If you’re not a big fan of spending time outside, look for mood-boosting activities you can practice inside instead. Creative hobbies are a great way to express yourself, allowing you to unleash bottled-up emotions that might otherwise hamper your mental health. There are many creative activities you can choose from, like sewing, drawing, painting, beading, and playing music. You can also simply carry around a sketchbook with you and doodle to help alleviate stress or nervousness, another easy mental health hack.

Set days to unplug

If you spend a lot of time looking at screens, it may be time to take a break. Jama Network reveals that screen time and depression are linked. Tablets, televisions, computers, and phones are all common culprits. Many of us are constantly staring at a screen. While you may not be able to cut screens out of your life 24/7, you can set stricter hours for when you’re allowed to do things like scroll through social media. In addition to limiting hours day-to-day, such as putting screens away after dinner, consider setting entire days to unplug.

Dance it out

When you bottle up negative energy, it takes a toll on your mental health. One great way to get rid of those bad vibes is to simply dance it out. Dancing is a great way to get exercise and boost endorphins. Moving your body can also be emotionally freeing, allowing you to get rid of stress that’s pent up in your body. Put on your favorite song and dance like nobody’s watching. If you live with friends or family, you can even make this a group activity. Everybody loves an impromptu dance party.

Make your own self-care box

If you struggle with mental health issues like anxiety or depression, you know how debilitating they can be. Sometimes, mental health problems can get so bad that they interfere with everyday tasks like school or work. In addition to professional techniques like therapy, your daily actions can make a difference. The more methods you have in your toolkit to tackle such mental health challenges, the better off you’ll be. This guide provides some innovative approaches you can use to improve your mental wellbeing.

Good mental health will make you feel happier and more balanced day to day. However, good mental health isn’t a given. Sometimes, you have to work for it. Whether you’re unplugging, gardening, starting a nonprofit, or learning a new hobby, you can improve your mental health.

Visit Safe Children for resources on keeping your children safe while creating and promoting lifelong healthy habits no matter what age or stage you are at in your life!

 

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