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In the world we live in today, mental health has never been more important, why? Because you cannot hope to properly navigate life with its various problems without a stable and healthy mind. If you are struggling with your mental state or you are unable to cope with anxiety and depression, then this guide on how to maintain good mental health is perfect for you.
This guide answers questions such as “what is mental health, why is it important, and how does it benefit your well-being?” You will also learn how to maintain a healthy body and mind through various activities, habits, foods, and tips.
Whether you are curious about improving your mental health or looking for a way to cure mental problems like anxiety, everything you need is right here. So let us get started on the 20 surefire steps on how to maintain good mental health.
Table of Contents
What is Mental Health
Before you ask, what is mental health? You should understand what health is. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “health is a state of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In simpler terms, being healthy doesn’t refer to the absence of disease but the well-being of your mental, emotional, social, and physical state. So what is mental health? Mental health is an essential part of one’s life. It is a balanced state of wellness, where an individual is physically, emotionally, and socially able to function in society and produce tangible results while dealing with the day-to-day stresses of life.
As you can see your mental health is a core part of your general well-being and more than just the absence of mental disorders. You cannot be healthy without a good mental state nor can you properly function in society. If you are still in doubt about the importance of mental health, keep reading, this guide on how to maintain good mental health is sure to convince you.
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Importance of Mental Health
As you now know, mental health is an integral part of your life as it affects your thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and social interactions. This is why your mental health must be stable from childhood to adulthood as it will affect your growth, development, and contributions to society in the future.
So what is the importance of mental health? Here are two fundamental reasons:
1. Mental health is directly tied to your physical and emotional stability. This means that if your mental health drops so will your physical and emotional well-being. This will eventually lead to anxiety, depression, negative emotions, and in severe cases cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks.
2. Poor mental health will lead to behavioral problems like alcohol and substance abuse. It will also cause social issues such as the inability to work with others, social distancing, and this will eventually cause problems like unemployment and disconnecting from family and friends.
Benefits of Good Mental Health
Before we jump into the various ways on how to maintain good mental health, you need to understand the benefits of good mental health. For the last time, you need to realize that just because you do not suffer from any mental illness or disorders, it does not mean that you have good mental health.
This is why you must learn how to maintain good mental health to prevent mental illness, promote your general well-being, and help you function in society. To receive the benefits of good mental health you must be willing to commit and work hard just as you do with keeping your body healthy through exercise or using medications.
Without further delay, here are the two main benefits of good mental health:
3. Good mental health will help you achieve reduced anxiety levels, prevent depression, negative emotions, and mood swings. This means that having a strong mental state will give you inner peace as well as control over your thoughts and emotions.
4. Good mental health will help you become more productive in society by giving you a boost in self-esteem and confidence, improve your time management, and help you cope with day-to-day stress.
Activities to Improve Mental Health
There is a strong connection between your mental health and the state of your physical, emotional, and social well-being. Improving one state will help you improve the others but improving all four states will help you achieve complete wellness.
This is why it is essential to not only build your mind but also develop it by improving the rest of your body. These activities to improve mental health are great ways on how to maintain a healthy body and mind.
5. Walking: Have you been searching for how to improve physical health and mental health at the same time? Then walking is the simplest way to achieve this. This is one of the best activities to improve mental health especially for people who do not enjoy physical exercises like cardio.
Walking helps to calm the mind and keep the body fit, it is a natural antidepressant. Take a walk first thing in the morning or evening, if your schedule allows both, then do it. Taking regular walks will not only improve your physical and mental state but also your emotional health.
6. Go green or get knitting: Gardening and knitting are healthy ways on how to maintain good mental health. These activities are great ways to improve your physical state and boost your mental health.
Gardening will expose you to the environment, help you get fresh air, relax your mind and body while also helping you reduce stress. Knitting is a wonderful activity that improves your attention span and ability to concentrate as it requires focus.
Both activities also help you achieve end products that you can either keep or sell. Before you get started, please note that these activities require patience, time, and commitment.
7. Read a book: One of the simplest activities to improve mental health is reading. Did you know that reading a book can help calm the mind and improve your attention span? Of course, this only works if you are interested in the book.
When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, pick up a book preferably a fictional genre so you can enjoy the stories of various characters but if you are not a fan of novels then choose a genre that you enjoy and find a quiet spot to read.
You will notice that reading a good book will help you feel calm, happy, and most importantly improve your mental health.
8. Yoga: The last activity on how to maintain good mental health is yoga. Adding yoga to your daily routine is an amazing way to improve your physical, emotional, and mental state. Yoga comprises of simple yet effective exercises that focus on improving mental and spiritual growth as well as physical and emotional well-being.
Practicing yoga regularly will benefit your general health by reducing stress and stress-related issues such as anxiety, depression, and negative behaviors.
Other benefits of yoga include a significant increase in energy and mental focus, reduction in mood swings and temperament, improved sleeping, and an increase in body flexibility.
Habits to Improve Mental Health
In the world today, various sports require a great deal of physical fitness and skill to achieve success. From wrestlers to gymnasts and sport athletes, these people put in the time, effort, and lifestyle changes to build their bodies to meet the requirements of their respective professions.
The same rule applies to your mental well-being. There are certain habits to improve mental health just as there are habits required for bodybuilding. You want to understand how to maintain good mental health then you need to learn healthy habits that improve your mental state.
Here are four easy habits to improve mental health:
9. Be goal-oriented: When you stay idle, you give your mind control to wander and once your mental health is slightly unstable, your thoughts become unhinged and out of control. This is why it is important to learn how to take care of our health and one of the best ways to achieve this is by being goal-oriented.
Having goals gives your life a purpose, a reason to get up each morning and work hard. Without goals then every day remains the same, you have no schedule or routine and this lack of something worthwhile in your life will eventually lead to depression and negative emotions.
You need to fill your daily life with realistic and achievable goals to improve your mental health and general wellness. Start with simple tasks such as waking up to jog or cooking a meal for your family or even doing chores around the house.
Once you can easily achieve these simple goals, increase the difficulty level like trying to run a mile or completing extra tasks at work or school. Goals are simple ways on how to be mentally healthy and happy.
10. Show yourself some love: One of the best habits to improve mental health is by practicing self-love. Make it a constant part of your life and you will see significant changes in your mental and emotional state.
It is easy to feel self-hatred and the need to emotionally put yourself down whenever you fail to achieve a goal or feel guilty about an event. But this should not be the case, whenever you hear yourself beginning to doubt your worth, pause, and reflect on the situation.
Usually what we fear is not always real but a figment of our minds. Yes, you made a mistake, yes, you were not able to do the needful but that does not make you less of the person you were before the event happened. Instead of negatively reacting to the problem, tell yourself that can either feel bad or come up with solutions.
Also, whenever you achieve tangible results, make sure you pat yourself on the back for a job well done or treat yourself to something good. If no one else will congratulate your achievements, make sure that you at least congratulate yourself. Be your biggest fan.
11. Laughter is the best medicine: Another great way on how to maintain good mental health is to laugh frequently. Laughter is a crucial part of one’s mental state as it releases endorphins that elevate your mood and make you feel good.
So make sure you find reasons to laugh daily and not only when you feel sad. A laughter a day will keep depression at bay, you can achieve this by watching funny videos or movies, reading jokes, or engaging in activities that you enjoy.
Hanging out with friends or talking to people who lift your spirits is also a great way to get you laughing. Whether you are at home, work, or school, find reasons to laugh more than once a day and your mental health will improve.
12. Become sleeping beauty: The fairytale sleeping beauty is about a princess, who was cursed to sleep until she is saved by true love’s kiss. Well, you are not a princess and even if you are one, you are surely not cursed to keep sleeping. So what point am I trying to make? That you need to sleep.
You need to sleep like you are sleeping beauty, this simply means that you require long hours of uninterrupted sleep time. The best way to achieve this is by developing healthy sleeping habits and these include:
● Turning off electric devices at least 30 minutes before sleeping.
● Not drinking caffeine at night.
● Not thinking or making plans before sleeping.
● Doing light exercises like yoga before bedtime if you have trouble sleeping.
● Ensuring you do not drink too much water at night as that will make you wake up in the middle of the night to ease your bladder.
Developing good sleeping habits is important in how to maintain good mental health. Practice until you find what works best for you and ensure that you get at least 7-8 hours of rest at night.
Foods to Improve Mental Health
Eating is essential for human survival and well-being. A proper diet can improve your physical health in several ways but did you know that what you eat can also improve your emotional and mental state? Well if you had no idea, then you should know that certain food items are fundamental when learning how to maintain a healthy body and mind.
What you put into your body is more than just a means to achieve energy for your daily activities but also to improve your general well-being. Are you curious about what to eat? Then check out these four top foods to improve mental health.
13. Whole grains: One of the most important foods to improve mental health is whole grains. Whole grains such as oats and barley are known to reduce anxiety levels, help prevent dementia, and improve memory.
They are rich in proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help to reduce cholesterol levels, help prevent heart diseases, and also aid digestion.
14. Omega-3 rich food: Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as sardines, salmon, and anchovies. Frequent intake of Omega-3 rich food is crucial on how to maintain good mental health as this fatty acid help to increase serotonin levels which improves your mood.
It also helps to reduce inflammation in the brain, reduce anxiety levels, and improve cognitive functions.
15. Foodstuffs rich in dopamine: For good mental health, dopamine rich foods are a must. These include nuts, eggs, beef, broccoli, turkey, spinach, pumpkin, green tea, and more. Dopamine helps to improve mental focus and elevate your mood. It increases the oxygen the brain receives which in turn improves brain activity.
16. Berries and Fruits: Berries such as blueberries, and fruits such as oranges, are important foods to improve mental health. They are rich in nutrients and antioxidants which help to reduce cognitive decline, improve memory and brain activity, strengthen mental focus, improve mental ability, and prevent dementia.
Good Mental Health Tips
You have learned what mental health is about, why it is important, and the various methods on how to maintain good mental health. Now, it is time to conclude this guide with a few tips that will help improve your mental health.
Achieving general wellness takes time and effort but with the methods listed above and these finals steps, you have a wide list to work with. Without further delay, here are four good mental health tips:
17. Practice deep breathing exercises: The first thing on the list of good mental health tips is for you to learn and practice deep breathing exercises. These exercises are great ways to relieve stress or anxiety as well as improve your mental health.
Deep breathing exercises focus on strengthening your mind and calming the body by promoting a sense of peace through controlled breathing.
Close your eyes, breathe out deeply for a count of five or five seconds, then breathe in deeply for five seconds, hold your breath for three seconds then breathe out and repeat.
You can also practice taking deep breaths using your diaphragm, hold for a few seconds, release, then repeat. There are various deep breathing exercises, so find the one that works best for you.
18. Keep a journal: Writing down your thoughts is one of the simplest methods on how to maintain good mental health. Keep a journal or diary of your daily life, your fears, problems, and happy moments. The point of keeping a journal is to have a healthy way to vent when you feel stressed but also as a reminder that you have good days as well.
Also, whenever you wonder what to do when mentally disturbed? Pick up your journal and read your past entries, reminiscing about good times is a nice way to improve your mood and it helps you realize that most of your fears were not as serious as you once imagined.
19. Take a break from socializing: The next step on good mental health tips is learning when to disconnect from the social scene. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a break from social media and even your friends. If you do not feel like talking then do not push yourself.
Turn off your data, go out the door, and engage in a fun activity like going to an arcade or just stay at home and watch movies. You can also visit your favorite restaurant or simply take a stroll until you feel calm.
Taking a break for socializing and focusing on yourself is great for your mental health but ensure that you do not stay isolated for too long as this will have the opposite effect.
20. Show love to receive love: The final tip on how to maintain good mental health is to spread love all around you. This means that you should be nice to those around you and this is not restricted to just people, practice environmental awareness, volunteer at an animal shelter, give charity, help a friend or co-worker.
Being kind to others will help improve your mental health and happiness. Good deeds also come back to you, so spread love and love will surely be returned. However, this does not require you to go beyond your abilities for others.
We have finally reached the end of this guide on how to maintain good mental health. Remember if you wish to achieve the best results from these 20 surefire tips on how to maintain good mental health, then you need to stay consistent and keep practicing. Achieving good health does not happen overnight and it is a constant process, so you must remain dedicated.
If you found the provided information on how to maintain good mental health useful, then please be kind enough to share this article with others as mental stability is crucial to everyone’s well-being. You can also share your thoughts and progress in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading how to maintain good mental health and I wish you success on your journey to a happy and healthy life.