Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves for the year to come. These New Year’s Resolutions often focus on improving only physical health, but what if you focused on not only your physical health but your mental health, too?
Our culture often dismisses mental self-care, but emotional well-being should be a priority for everyone. One in four people around the country will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, but there are many ways to deal with these emotional issues we may face throughout the year.
Even if you aren’t facing an issue like anxiety, depression or addiction, focusing on your mental health could still make 2016 the best year yet.
Mental health affects how you think, feel, act and influences how you respond to stress and making decisions.
Make a vow for improvement on not only your physical health but your mental well-being, too. Below are some easy ways to integrate positive mental health practices into your life.
- Practice Gratitude.
Life is so much better when you’re acknowledging the bright side. Research shows that expressing what you are thankful for on a daily bases from things like you’re dog to your favorite meal to your one year sobriety anniversary will improve your mental well-being tremendously.
- Try Meditation.
Some may hear the word “meditation” and be completely freaked out by it, but we promise it is NOT as scary as you may think. There are multiple methods to meditation that suggest many levels of investment – the practice does not have to be complicated. Try just setting aside 5 minutes of breathing and quiet time in the morning or right before bed. You’ll likely start or end your day on a positive note.
- Write in a journal.
Writing down your thoughts and feeling can be a liberating experience. Try keeping a journal or even just writing down your anxieties and worries then tossing them in the trash. Studies have found that writing down what is stressing you out the throwing it away may help to clear your mind.
- Go to therapy.
Seriously, consider going to therapy. Just like you’d see a doctor for physical illness, the same should apply for mental illness. Talking out your issues and problems out loud can be very helpful and will give you some perspective. There are multiple methods, from talk therapy to behavioral therapy, and a mental health professional can help you figure out what path works best for you.
- Exercise at least a few times per week.
Endorphins are magical!! When you exercise your brain releases the feel-good-chemical, giving you an instant mood booster. For an even more profound experience try taking your exercise outdoors, nature can help ease depressive symptoms.
- Adopt a well balanced diet.
When you put good in, you get good out. Eating well is the key to overall health, including your mental well-being. The body of evidence linking diet and mental health is growing at a rapid pace. Evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia and, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A healthy diet can ensure a balanced mood and feeling of positive wellbeing. Next time your are hungry reach for fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh veggie and fruit juice, complex carbohydrates, essential fats, vitamins and minerals and tons of water.
- Express Kindness toward someone else.
Want to feel good about yourself? Make someone else feel good! When you do a good deed for other people, that makes them feel happier, which turns into a ripple effect making you feel happier.
- Do a digital detox
Take a break from social media. Research shows that people can feel depressed while scrolling down their social media platforms and seeing the highlights of other people’s lives. When people witness the happy moments of others they tend to compare their life and begin to focus on what they don’t have. Instead of indulging in this behavior simply take a break to focus on your goals and yourself.
Make health a priority this year and experience the joys of positive wellbeing. Preparing for a successful future should be exciting, enjoyable and, energizing. If you do not know where to begin our team at Harmony Heals can help you to get started on your path to mental and physical wellbeing. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!!