Mental Health awareness and wellness has come into the general media spotlight in recent years with research showing that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year. Of course, mental health issues affect every area of life. Last year we explored some common ways to deal with stress at work and for this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we look at 6 ways to improve your holistic Mental Health across the board.
1. Meditation Practice
Meditation has become an ever increasingly popular method of dealing with Mental Health struggles and general wellbeing upkeep. You can download popular mobile apps such as Headspace or Calm that give users a simple introduction into the world of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation has been said to reduce anxiety levels and allow individuals to think clearer and more calmly.
2. Keep A Journal
Unnecessary mental clutter can occur when individuals do not have an outlet to manage their thoughts and feelings. One way to avoid this negative situation is to get a private journal and note down some of your thoughts, feelings, goals and objectives. Having a journal or a diary can allow you to crystallise some of your thoughts and get to the bottom of some nagging emotions or frustrations. Establishing a consistent journaling habit can also give you a way of adding valuable structure to your life outside of your other daily practices as a form of self-care and mental health maintenance.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Many anxiety issues can stem from shallow or improper breathing. One-way people can improve their mental health is to practice deep breathing techniques which serve to calm you down as well as refocus your mind. One such breathing technique is 4-7-8 breathing which requires the person to breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds then forcefully exhale though the mouth with pursed lips for 8 seconds. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique next time you feel a sudden surge of panic or anxiety and see how you feel afterwards.
4. Make Gratitude Lists
Mental Health issues can often stem from a negative perspective of life or your current situation. A useful way to banish over looming negative clouds can be to make a list of everything you are currently grateful for in your life. This can be as simple as breathing, clean water or food to eat. Making an extensive list of things to be grateful for can shift a person’s mentality to look more proactively at the things to appreciate in life or your current situation, a habit that will filter into every area of your life and the more challenging obstacles you may face.
5. Make a list of feel-good music
Music can instantly change your mood for the better. One-way people can improve their mental health is to create a music playlist of your favourite feel-good songs or albums to play at times where you need encouragement or to raise your spirit. This is a very quick technique that is available to you to improve your mood in times of stress, panic, anxiety or pressure. You can set up free playlists on YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify according to your tastes and preferences.
6. Spend time with positive and encouraging people
Watching the company that you keep can be one of the biggest ways to improve your mental health. Make sure you limit your time around negative people and maximise your time with people that are optimistic, encouraging, supportive and look at the bright side of life. This will improve your mood as well as help shape you as an individual to have a positive mindset and thought process. A very important factor in anyone’s mental health and wellbeing is having a strong supportive network of friends, make sure you spend as much time as possible with those people that encourage to be the best version of yourself and will support you during the times of stress we all inevitably have.
Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here.
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