It’s not only important to take care of our physical self but to spend time taking care of our minds too. Studies show that focussing on ones’ mental health can increase productivity, improve immune systems, and promote a longer life. Here are 4 things you can do to boost your mental health.
It might sound a bit odd given that we are talking about ourselves here, but doing things that will benefit others can create a real sense of achievement and pride and considerably boost our mental health. If you don’t already volunteer, have a look in your local area for available opportunities. From a local food bank to charities helping the elderly, you might be surprised at just how many options there are. It allows you to meet new people too, which is another great way to stimulate your mind and make you feel good.
Get adequate levels of sleep
If you are tired or feeling a bit under the weather, it can affect how your mind functions and so, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Everyone has different requirements each night, but the average adult needs around 7.5 – 8 hours. If you are struggling to sleep, have a relaxing bath just before bed. It will calm your body and may help you to wind down. Reading is also known to help you reach the land of nod a bit quicker. Inspiring reads like HumanKind, a feel good book by Brad Aronson will help you drift off to sleep feeling positive and uplifted.
Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation and can do wonders for our mental health and emotional clarity. Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves moment by moment. “it’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behavior.” He goes on to say “It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”
Make time to socialize
We all lead busy lives, and so, it is easy to get swept away with work or chores. Before we know it, its been a month since we saw our families or caught up with friends. It is important to spend time with people we care about. It creates an outlet and makes us more inclined to let others know how we are feeling and what we have been doing. When we feel a bit down, it is easy to lock ourselves away and pretend everything is fine, but that can be very bad for our mental health.