5 Self-Care Habits That Will Improve Your Mental Health
When we think about our overall health, the first thing that comes to mind is usually our physical condition. We rarely consider our mental health, but the truth is, our mental health is just as important as our physical wellness, and is even proven to have a direct effect on our physical health. With this in mind, there are plenty of reasons you should prioritize your mental wellness. However, be sure to see your doctor for proper care first. Afterward, start incorporating some self-care habits that will also get you on firmer psychological ground.
The word “meditation” is often intimidating to beginners, but it is simply intentional breathing, which is a proven stress-reducer. Practicing mindfulness through meditation is a practice that requires you to spend time in the present, and numerous studies have shown why this is amazing for your mental health, especially for those suffering from a mental illness, high stress, or drug addiction. In fact, when combined with yoga, meditation has been proven to have many positive effects on the mind, body, and spirit.
Get Good Sleep
Research suggests that 15 to 35 percent of the population complains about poor sleep in regards to both falling asleep and staying asleep. Inadequate sleep can be particularly relevant to psychiatric disorders, as patients experiencing insomnia frequently suffer from anxiety and stress as a result. Sleep disorder clinics report that 35 percent of all patients seen for insomnia also have an accompanying psychiatric disorder. If you’re not sleeping well, you’re not doing your mental health any favors, so start working on some healthy sleep habits.
Stop Being a People-Pleaser
According to Susan Newman, Ph.D., a New Jersey-based social psychologist and author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It — And Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever, many people have a tendency to put others before themselves. She also suggests that saying “yes” is a habitual response that allows one to feel more needed. There are negative mental consequences that result in putting yourself last or being a “yes” man, including increased anxiety and stress levels. Learn how to stop being a people-pleaser by establishing your own boundaries, your own choices, and your own limits. This will put you firmly in control of your life, which is both empowering and uplifting.
The food you eat has a significant impact on your brain. Since serotonin, the chemical that affects your brain and mood, is largely produced in the gastrointestinal tract, it’s important to understand that your digestive tract is an often-overlooked key to your mental health. According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, patients who ate a clean diet (meaning they eliminated sugary, fermented, and processed foods) had increased physical and mental health.
Opt for the Glass-Half-Full Approach
You can improve your mental health by focusing directly on behaviors that are associated with poor mental health, like constantly thinking negatively, feeling shame or guilt, or frequently playing the “woe-is-me” card. When we actively focus on things that we can be grateful for, we’re redirecting our perspective. Try gratitude journaling, as it improves your happiness on several levels, including work, social interactions, and your emotional wellness.
If you need a little assistance as you get started with your improving your self-care routine, consider using a phone app for reminders. The new Aloe Bud app is specifically designed to send you messages that remind you to hydrate, move, motivate, take a break, refresh, connect with people, and more. By routinely focusing on basic and more personalized self-care habits, you’ll feel more mentally sound in no time.