5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Naturally.
Even if you didn’t catch the Oprah interview with Harry and
Meghan, we know you heard about it. Of all the topics that arose from that
controversial piece of clickbait was one we all need to spend more time
thinking about—the state of our mental health.
After this past uber stressful and incredibly lonely year, the
rates of mental health issues have skyrocketed. Conditions such as fear,
anxiety, and depression have increased dramatically, leaving many of us reeling
from their effects.
When we’re feeling down and anxious, it can seem easier to
ignore our emotions, pushing them aside in favor of appearing “fine” to
outsiders. Problem is, ignoring our issues will only make them worse. Feeling
“sad,” “scared,” or “anxious” is nothing to be ashamed of, and in fact, not
prioritizing your mental health can have a slew of damaging consequences to
both your emotional and physical health.
Luckily, there are small steps we can all take in our daily
lives to make big differences in our mood. From carving out more me time to
moving our bodies, the following tips can help you begin to improve your mental
health today. And if you practice them regularly while you’re feeling strong,
it’s easier to turn them to them when you’re in need.
Move More We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it
again; exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul. While sweating it out
may be the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down, the benefits
associated with exercising far outweigh the mental effort it takes to get your
butt off the couch. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry
found that regularly exercising (3 times a week) at any level (a slow walk
counts) can reduce your risk of depression by 19 percent.
Slow Down While everyone was forced to slow down
during the initial lockdown phase, things have slowly ramped back up. That
means we’re back to shuttling kids around, juggling work, and a multitude of
other must-dos. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life, which can
increase our stress levels, in turn boosting our risk of depression and
Take a minute (actually, take more than a minute) to slow
down, relax, and do something just for you. Anything from reading a book to
taking a walk to hiding in the corner eating a bag of chips can count.
Carving out me-time has numerous benefits including,
boosting our immune system, relieving pain, improving sleep, and encouraging
Be Present It’s easy to get caught up in the worries
and anxieties posed by a COVID world. Actually, it’s easy to get caught up in
worries in any type of world. To decrease your stress and anxiety, try to home
in on the present.
You know how horses wear blinders to protect them from
external distractions? You need imaginary blinders to prevent you from looking
too far into the future or the past. Concentrate on the now—the sweet tang of
your dessert, the crisp air on your face, or the warm water of your bath. That
will help you to focus solely on your senses and let go of the things that are
weighing you down.
Stand up Tall The better your posture, the better
your mood and self-confidence, found multiple researchers.
According to a study of 110 university students published in the journal Biofeedback,
those who slouched while walking felt more depressed and tired than those who
stood tall. Non-slouchers noticed a more positive outlook and higher energy
Another study by researchers from New Zealand found that sitting with good posture
increased the level of alertness in people with mild to moderate depression.
The take-home: put those shoulders back, lift your head and
tighten that core. You’ll feel happier, more energized, and more confident. Still,
struggling to stand straight? Book a session with one of our Certified Stretch
Specialists to help relieve tension that may be hindering your posture.
Ask for Help No matter how you’re feeling, please
know that you are not alone. Also, while these tips are tried and true,
research-based methods to help boost mental health, it’s essential to seek help
from a mental health professional if you feel unable to cope, are having
suicidal thoughts, or have noticed serious changes in your sleeping or eating
If you feel unable to cope – the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and
confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional
distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re committed to improving crisis
services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing
professional best practices, and building awareness. You can reach them
anytime at 800-273-8255 or via online chat at – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/