8 Daily Habits to Strengthen Your Mental Health

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These days, people are more open to talking about their mental health. They are finding ways to take care of it and manage any psychological issues. Mental health is not just about the state of your mind and how your brain functions. It also pertains to your overall psychological and social welfare, which includes your emotional health or your capacity to identify, manage, and regulate your feelings.

However, there are factors that can greatly affect your mental health that are out of your control, like genetics, family history, and your life experiences. These things can be significant components that can trigger mental health issues. 

Before you start to panic, you have to remember that you have the power to deal with these factors. There are everyday things that you can do that will help you boost your mental health.  

Start your day with a good cup of coffee.

Many people are surprised to know that coffee can lower depression. Several studies were made to support this claim. A 2016 analysis of 11 observational studies conducted in China between 1980 and 2015 showed that caffeine was associated with a notable decrease in the risk of depression. Moreover, another analysis of 12 studies involving 346,913 individuals, of whom 8,146 suffered from depression, revealed that coffee, which contains caffeine, had a safeguarding effect against depression. However, if you are already diagnosed with mood disorders, it is better to stay away from drinking coffee. 

Get enough sleep. 

 Sometimes, people tend to disregard the importance of sleep in strengthening mental health. Experts suggest that adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. In a study conducted in 2021 and based on information gathered from 273,695 American adults, it was discovered that those who slept an average of 6 hours or less every night had around 2.5 times greater chances of experiencing frequent mental distress compared to those who slept more than 6 hours per night.

Eat healthy meals. 

 Including certain types of food in your diet can positively impact your mental well-being. To strengthen your mental health, consider incorporating foods that contain mood-elevating nutrients, such as berries, bananas, beans, whole grains, and fatty fish (e.g. salmon). It is important to ensure that you consume sufficient calories each day. Bear in mind that eating anything is much better than not eating anything. 

Get in touch with family or friends. 

 As social beings, humans require strong, healthy relationships with others. A solid social support system can potentially mitigate the negative effects of stress. Additionally, it is helpful to have various types of connections. Besides having good relationships with family and friends, participating in community or neighborhood activities can also be beneficial. You can also engage in volunteer work for a local organization or join a group that centers around a hobby. There are plenty of things that you can do that allow you to meet and converse with people. 

Get some sunshine. 

Experts suggest that exposure to the sun can boost one’s mood and enhance one’s attitude, as it is a rich source of vitamin D. Even spending a brief amount of time outdoors can be beneficial to both the mind and heart. You could try taking a short stroll or sitting in your backyard. If you do not have time to do this, you could open a window near your work area, suggest a meeting outside, have your lunch in a nearby park, or exercise outdoors.

Avoid consuming alcohol. 

Excessive consumption of alcohol is not only bad for your body but it can also negatively impact your mental health. As a depressant, alcohol causes slowing down of bodily functions and changes of the chemical composition in the brain. This often leads to changes in mood, energy levels, sleeping patterns, concentration, memory, and other factors. 

Do relaxation techniques. 

 Relaxation techniques refer to various practices aimed at eliciting the body’s natural relaxation response, leading to slowed breathing, reduced muscle tension, lowered blood pressure, and decreased stress levels. Some types of relaxation techniques include progressive relaxation, guided imagery, biofeedback, self-hypnosis, and deep breathing exercises. 

Make time for your hobbies.

 A lot of people let go of their hobbies and interests once they start having a family or working. If you want to have strong mental health, you need to allot time to keep yourself happy and productive by doing things that you love. You can attend a dance class once a week or just do a fun workout dance for 30 minutes at home. Make sure that you devote at least one hour to your hobbies during the weekends. 

 Following these eight strategies, you can begin the process of strengthening your mental health. This is not easy, and it may demand patience, persistence, and tolerance from you. When you aim every day to do all these things, they will all become healthy habits in no time. 

 If you have symptoms of depression, you may visit Mindshift Psychological Services. You may check our website to learn more about our treatment programs for depression and anxiety. You may also contact us at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment. 

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