7 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
You are constantly doing so many wonderful things to improve your mental health. We know that you are caught up in the fray, busy as heck, and always looking to uplift yourself and your family.
Amidst it all, there is always more to learn and more ways to fill your life with color. We are here to help you do just that!
We’ll provide you with 7 simple things to implement that can make a major difference in your mental health so you can live a more vibrant life.
Here are all 7 for your review:
Get plenty of antioxidants
Antioxidants are essentially the “cleanup crew” of your body, and they can be found in almost all plants. They’re like tiny super soldiers that fight off the baddies, ensuring your cells are protected and your body keeps feeling energized. They fight aging, detoxify your body, and remove free radicals that cause imbalances and health problems.
Specific antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene play a central role in the management of emotional/mental stress. In addition, because antioxidants clear out toxins and fight free radicals, they are powerful builders of the immune system. This is important, as the immune system plays a direct role in your mental health.
Antioxidants also help your gut and digestive systems, which are linked to mood and mental stability. When you can digest and absorb the nutrients in foods properly, your body can then use those nutrients (amino acids, vitamins, minerals, good fats, phytonutrients) to create components for brain cells and neurotransmitters (happy brain chemicals) and promote proper brain function.
Get regular quality exercise
Exercise gets endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin flowing and helps to develop new neurons in your nervous system and brain. Exercise is also fantastic for the function of your cell mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of every single one of the cells in your body.
When you experience positive physical stress, you help your mitochondria become stronger and more resilient. This includes physical stresses like exercise, cold showers, and steam rooms. Every time you hike, go on a run, or pump those weights, those little mitochondria in each individual cell are producing energy to keep you moving. So when you exercise, these little powerhouses are exercising with you!
When you exercise, you bring your energy levels up, and your brain becomes more active. You feel more on top of things. Plus, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that are released during exercise play a direct role in mood and happiness levels.
If you aren’t exercising already, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Start small: Remember that even 10 minutes/day is better than 0 minutes/day.
- Celebrate tiny victories: Pat yourself on the back, feel proud of the little things.
- Focus on small changes in diet: Eating a cleaner diet will help you wake up easier, feel motivated, and give you more energy for exercise.
- Make attainable, measurable goals: Working towards something can help you feel invested and drive you to take action.
- Get a workout buddy: Having someone to go with you on regular hikes or trips to the gym can help you be accountable.
- Remember it’s about progress: Don’t feel like you need to take it all on at once. Even if you don’t hit your goals, if you are making progress, no matter how slow it may seem, that is all that matters.
- Make it about effort, not results: Focus on the effort you are putting into exercise, not the results you are experiencing. This will focus you on something you can control, rather than what you cannot. It will also help you feel more confident and happy to workout.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get motivated to start exercising, check out the section “How do I get motivated to exercise” in our article Why Exercise is Good for Mental Health.
Practice gratitude and see the silver lining
One component of mental health is perspective. Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways we can change our perspective, leading to a more positive mindset and a willingness to accept the challenging things in life and be thankful for the blessings in life, no matter how small.
For instance, when something happens that we don’t like, it can be helpful to think of how it could have been worse. This can put you in a more thankful mindset.
You can use your imagination! Get creative and think of the worst possible situation you could be in, and be thankful for how much better your current situation is. Think “at least it’s not...”, or “I’m glad that it wasn’t…”.
Any circumstance could always be worse. Work to stay focused on the positive, see the possibilities, and search for anything you can learn from hard situations.
Minimize time spent on electronics
Electronics, just like drugs and food, are addictive. When we spend excessive time on electronics, it takes a toll on our brain and can sap our energy and motivation from us, decreasing our bandwidth for other more fulfilling and meaningful activities.
Watch the amount of time you and your family spend playing video games, watching TV, or watching videos on YouTube. Remember that these are all passive activities, rather than active ones. The more passive activities you do, the more your brain gets used to being in a resting state, searching for things that will entertain it without effort.
Spend time in hobbies, projects, sports, and outdoor activities that require you to learn and grow. These will bring your family together and uplift you in every kind of way. These will help you feel purposeful and fulfilled, rather than dragging you down the way sedentary activities often do.
Start a hobby or project
Sometimes all we really need to start feeling happy is something to focus on. We need something we can feel proud of; to feel we are progressing in or getting better at.
As human beings, we are most happy when we are creating, growing, and learning. There is something inside of us that longs to make a difference in the world around us. This is what Living In Color is all about.
Consider taking up a musical instrument, DIY house projects, writing in a journal or starting a blog, cooking or baking, or another uplifting hobby. Remember that it is not about the results, rather it is about the experience. It is about learning, growing, and becoming better.
Add more color to your life by getting busy creating. Take risks, allow yourself to make mistakes, and enjoy the variety that life has to offer. When you do, you will learn more about yourself, see your capabilities, and rejoice as you increase your abilities and knowledge. Living a life of color is all about making meaningful choices that yield vibrancy.
Maintain uplifting relationships
Create and build relationships with people you can confide in, and those with whom you have common interests or perspectives.
Make sure you are someone that others feel comfortable coming to for help; someone others can count on to be there in their time of need.
It is the simple things that make the biggest difference.
When you are a person that genuinely cares, you will naturally gravitate towards people who do the same for you. Add color to other’s lives by accepting them in their imperfection, laughing with them at natural human flaws and mistakes, and always think about what you can do and how you can help them. If you do this, you will experience fruitful and uplifting relationships, and you’ll have others you can come to in your time of need.
Get plenty of rich, whole produce in your diet
One of the major lynch pins of mental health and mood is what you eat. One of the best things that you can do for your nutrition is to eat lots of whole fruits & veggies every single day.
The CDC and WHO recommend we eat 10 ½ cup servings of fruits and veggies every single day. That’s 6-7 servings of veggies and 3-4 servings of fruit. This will help heal your gut and get your body the nutrients it needs to feed your brain. Vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are all used to produce compounds used to support your brain. The healthier your diet, the healthier your brain.
Berries contain a lot of great nutrients for your brain, which is why we included them in our Focus blend. Our focus blend also contains vegetables like spinach, zucchini, and broccoli, all which have great benefits for the brain.
When it comes to feeding the brain, we believe that whole food is the best way to go, as it contains all of the complex nutrients that your body needs, rather than just parts of those nutrients like you’ll find in certain supplements.