Your mental and emotional health has great affect on how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also can influence your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. Whether you’re looking to cope with a specific mental health problem, better deal with unpleasant emotions, or simply want to feel more hopeful, energetic, and balanced, there are plenty of things you can do to take control of your mental health. No matter how hopeless or helpless you currently feel, these strategies can help boost your mood, build resilience, and increase your overall enjoyment of life.
Check out some easy tips on how to look after your mental health, that can make a big difference.
Write down 3 things you are grateful for
Focusing on things that make you feel lucky are one of the best ways to stay in a good mood. Recent study from psychologists at UC David included three groups of people: one of them wrote about big events that happened to them during the week, the second reported about the hassles they had to experience and third one was writing about things they felt grateful for. By the end of the research the third group reported to feel more optimistic comparing to the others and more happy with their life in general.
Go hiking and watch night skies
Awe is a powerful human emotion. Scientists found a link between the sense of awe – that feeling when you look at the starry night or watch beautiful landscape and feeling less stressed.
Move to Switzerland
Okay, the whole process of moving might not make you happy, but according to 2015 World Happiness Report, people from Switzerland are the happiest ones in the world. One of the key findings of the report suggests that keeping brain happy relies on 4 main factors, which include staying positive, recovering from negative feelings, spending time with loved ones, and being mindful.
But not too much of course. Caffeine boosts alertness along with your mood. Several researches found a connection between caffeine and reduced depression risk.
You don’t have to be experienced yogi to practice meditation. However focusing quietly and intently on the present for certain period of time can reduce the feeling of depression and anxiety.
Read adventurous book
You can also lift up your spirits and get an awe effect just from reading such stories. According to study conducted in 2012 people felt less stressed and more happy just from reading adventurous and inspiring stories.
Spend time outside
If you feel stressed, head outside, go to the forest, to the park, far from civilization. ‘Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy,’ the researchers wrote in their paper.
Have a walk in the nature
It helps especially to those people living in big cities. Even a short walk in the nature can help cope with negative thoughts. One study examined a group of 38 Californians who were split in two. One group took walk in the nature, while the other the same walk but in the city. Nature walkers claimed having less negative thoughts, while the second group didn’t notice any change.
Do things you do when you are extremely happy, even if now you are not
Positive emotions has a power to kill negative emotions and push people to be more proactive.
Take part in cultural activities
Another way to boost mood is by visiting a concert, theater or a museum. According to the research examining anxiety and depression in Norway reported that people who took part in activities, like visiting club reported lower levels of depression.
Listen to sad songs
We are all different and what makes others happy can have a different effect on other people. But as it turns out listening to sad songs is a common activity that boosts happiness around the globe.
Write down your feelings
You probably heard about such practice as writing a letter to somebody you will angry at and not sending it. It is not a waste of time at all, as it turns out. Scientists claim, recording feelings helps people clarify thoughts, solve problems more efficiently and release stress.
Spend money on somebody else
How many times you wanted to buy some comfort good or small present for yourself when you felt bad? But researchers show that you will feel even happier if spend money on somebody else.
This is one of the ways to take care of yourself – take care for others. In 40 recent researches for the last 20 years scientists found one activity that boosts psychological health – volunteering.
Make time for friends
One study proved that people feel happier when they spend time with friends rather than family. By analysing over 3 million submissions from more than 50,000 volunteers, the researchers discovered that people experienced, on average, an 8% increase in happiness when they were with friends, compared with a 1.4% increase with parents, and just a 0.7% increase when they were with their children.
But only sincere smile will make you happier, cause if you fake it, such smile will make you even unhappier.
Forgive. Holding a grudge can easily ruin your own health and mood. Negative emotions associated with grudge can easily grow into revenge, which leave almost no place for happiness.
According to the study in 2004 which was rather popular, stated the amount of intercourse you have once a month or once a week would give you the same amount of happiness if you got extra 50, 000$ in the bank. But only of sex is wanted from both of the partners.
Be realistic optimist
Being just optimistic is not enough, as you still need to preserve rational look on life to be more successful and happy. Realistic optimists have a perfect combination of personal traits to handle challenging situations and stay happy.
Get your hands dirty
Breathing in the smell of dirt may lift your spirits, according to a study that found that a bacteria commonly found in soil produces effects similar to antidepressant drugs.
Have lunch on the beach
Having lunch in four walls can be rather depressing, and scientists from the Universoty of Sussex found out that employees who had lunch in different locations were much happier. Especially if they had lunch by the beach.
It has been proven long time ago that working out reduces stress, depression and anxiety according to Happify, the site which offers psychological games aimed to increase happiness.