Five Ways to Improve Your Overall Mental Health

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The state of modern mental health is precarious, as there are all kinds of external factors impacting our state of mind. Between social media, politics, the pandemic, and the paradigm of modern society, mental health has never been more fragile. With necessities available to most Americans, the brain doesn’t know what to do with all of this extra space.

After all, our biology has been sculpted for finding water, hunting, and creating shelter. We have all of these things. Our brains turn to other problems and our focus becomes narrow. Mental health is tenuous because of these reasons. While it’s no one’s fault. But to be as happy and productive as you can it’s necessary to focus on yourself. Below are five ways to help you improve your mental health overall.

Get Offline

One of the most significant things you can do for yourself is to get off the internet for a while. With the news shifting more and more towards provoking emotional responses and social media becoming a feeding frenzy for manufactured outrage, when you are feeling overwhelmed by it all, you should instead simply take a break. Try to get off your phone and do other, more important things. Whether it’s practicing an instrument, reading a book, or spending time outside, getting offline can be very helpful to your overall mindset. 

Go Outside

Spending time outside in nature has been proven to improve mood, make you happier, and help you feel more connected to the world. Wherever you live, it’s important to get outside and take a walk. Listen to the air rustle through leaves. Taste the salt of the ocean. Hear your own heartbeat and thoughts. However much time you have, take a walk, spend time hiking, go camping, and swim in natural bodies of water. You don’t have to be a lover of the outdoors to benefit from it. Simply do your best to spend time outside every day. You will feel the difference.

Journal & Take Notes

Whether you’re feeling down or happy, putting your thoughts and emotions down on paper or on a device will help you process. It will make you feel better to vent about a bad day, something you’re sad about, or anger towards someone. Taking notes and writing in a journal can do wonders for your mood and thought process. There doesn’t need to be a goal of your writing, either. Just do it, and whatever comes out is fine. You will be purging negative thoughts and doing your best to move on from them. The things that are on your mind will find a place on a piece of paper or on an app.

Meditation

When you need to clear your mind of negative thoughts and focus on being completely in the moment, meditation is a practice you shouldn’t dismiss. For a short period of time every day, sit in silence and close your eyes. Every time your thoughts wander, bring them back to the present moment. You will teach your brain to process and deal with any bad thoughts. After you practice meditation for any specific amount of time, you will feel a sense of peace and comfort that is difficult to recreate any other way. You are training yourself to be stronger, more mindful, at peace, and in the present moment. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet.

Seek Treatment

Finally, when you are doing all of these things and can’t seem to shake the anxiety, depression, and stress, you should seek professional treatment. There is nothing wrong with going to therapy. It doesn’t mean that you are flawed or less of a person. The truth is, most people in the United States could benefit from seeing a therapist. While you may not know exactly what’s going on with you, trauma from your childhood, chemical imbalances, and bad habits can all be worked on. Start with therapy and go from there.

Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever these days. We are in a period of time that is both unprecedented and not what our biology is used to. Our bodies and minds are programmed for a primeval time and technology is rapidly evolving to the point where we can’t always keep up. With all that is going on in the world, using these five techniques to improve your mental health will help you overcome your troubles to live a happier and more productive life. 

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