6 Activities That Boost Your Mental Health in 30 Minutes a Day

6 Activities That Boost Your Mental Health in 30 Minutes a Day

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Are you seeking to boost your mental health, but you don’t know where to start? Look no further! As it turns out, simple activities can be all you need to give your brain a little edge. Best yet, you can spend as little as thirty minutes daily to reap the rewards.

Small things that you do can have a surprisingly significant impact on your overall psychological state. That’s why it’s important to understand how different things can affect it, for better or worse. Here’s how experts reveal 6 meaningful activities that boost your mental health.

1.    Writing In A Journal

The act of writing down everyday experiences, thoughts, and feelings is incredibly therapeutic, and for many, it’s the cause for significant increases in mental health. According to Talkspace’s Chief Medical Officer, psychiatrist Dr. Neil Leibowitz, even just writing something and then throwing it away can help you manage your emotions and anxieties.

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When you write in a private journal, you’re able to express everything you’re thinking about without worrying about being judged. You can let your pen carry all your emotions and anxieties, including ones you know are irrational or only temporary and will no longer affect you later. Whatever you think can be written without harming those around you, and you can look back over your writing later and reflect on your mistakes, feelings, and reality.

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Journaling can provide these boosts to mental health:

  • Reduce depression scores among individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder, according to research
  • Be similar in effectiveness to positive therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Increase positive thinking by reducing depressive symptoms such as rumination
  • Reduce the severity of stress and anxiety symptoms, according to studies
  • Aid in positive recovery after traumatic, stressful, or difficult life events

2.    Strength Training

Strength training is a form of exercise that involves building muscle and improving endurance and strength. It is also often called resistance training and usually uses weights, though many different resistance tools exist.

Psychotherapist, mental strength coach, and licensed clinical social worker Amy Morin state that strength training can be used as an intervention for many mental health issues and boost positive thinking. Here are some of the mental health benefits of this activity!

·         Cognitive Function

Individuals with mild cognitive impairment find that strength training can help improve their cognitive ability. Imagine, then, what it can do for you!

·         Anxiety Reduction

Excessive worry, restlessness, and similar symptoms are common with anxiety and physical symptoms like muscle tremors. Strength training can help to reduce the severity of these symptoms.

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·         Self-Esteem

Those who perform strength training are more likely to have a slightly more positive self-perception. Working out can be beneficial to the body, allowing people to feel more confident as a result.

·         Depression

While strength training can’t cure depression, it can certainly help to reduce its overall symptoms. Regular exercise allows for mood regulation, especially on those with mild-to-moderate symptoms normally.

3.    Gardening

Few people realize just how great the impact of gardening is on health. According to Morin, it’s a wonderful way to exercise, get fresh air and sunlight exposure, and improve your home. More importantly, though, it’s great for your mental health. Here are some studies that show the benefits of this activity:

  • “A Potential Natural Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence From a National Study” published in American Journal of Public Health (2004). This research showed that being among nature could reduce ADHD symptoms, allowing for better focus and concentration. If you are a neurodivergent individual with this or a similar disorder, being in a garden may essentially help your mental health.
  • “Parks and Other Green Environments: Essential Components of a Healthy Human Habitat” published by the National Recreation and Park Association (2010). This collection of different findings revealed many fascinating aspects of nature’s effect on mental health. One of them was that 79% of hospital patients experience calmer positive thinking and feel higher relaxation levels after being in a garden.
  • “Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress,” published in Journal of Health Psychology (2011). This randomized controlled trial study revealed that gardening is an incredibly effective stress-fighting habit, even reducing cortisol levels, the stress hormone, in the blood of the participants.

4.    Yoga

People talk about yoga’s benefits so often now that it can seem cliche to recommend it for mental health, but the simple fact is that it works, and it works well! Registered dietician Rachael Link lists the following science-backed ways that yoga can boost your mental health:

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·         Reduced Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety is the country’s most commonly diagnosed disorder, and yoga can help with that tremendously. Those who practice yoga are more likely to experience positive thinking and tend to have lower anxiety levels.

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·         Decreased Stress Levels

Studies have shown just how effective yoga can be when it comes to stress. It helps to reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, and in the span of just a few months, the results can be quite dramatic!

·         Reduced Depression Symptoms

A lot of research has shown that practicing yoga may aid in the management of depressive symptoms. This is even more effective when used alongside more mainstream treatment methods as a supplementary treatment.

·         Reduced PTSD Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder is challenging to manage. Studies have found that it may be an effective method of side-treatment for the disorder when used alongside other treatments. In fact, it can cause more than half of those with the disorder to recover to the point of no longer fitting PTSD criteria.

5.    Reading

Reading is an extremely beneficial activity that is enriching for the mind. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or something else entirely, there is always a benefit to reading. Here are some of the science-backed benefits that indicate mental health can be boosted by the simple act of being a bit of a bibliophile!

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