The number of people that suffer from mental health issues is staggering, especially given the things this country has been through in the past few years. What is your mental health? It comprises your mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Your brain has a specific way of handling stress, and your stress response can affect how you think, feel, and act each day.
The cost of mental health care encompasses over five percent of all health care costs. In 2019, people spent $225 billion to combat mental illness, and these numbers are only increasing. Experts found that many people in specific areas or states had more significant mental health needs than others, so your atmosphere does dictate a lot about your mental health.
Twenty Behaviors for Positive Mental Health
Just like your physical condition, your mental health is something that you must strive to keep in good shape. You can’t just eat a salad one day and expect all those years of bad eating habits to go away, nor can you do things to enhance your mental wellbeing just once and expect anxiety to disappear. Here is a list of things that counselors have found can benefit and improve positive mental health.
1. You Enjoy Positive Mental Health if You Laugh Often
Do you laugh every day? It would help to laugh as often as possible, as it’s like good medicine for your soul. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the concept of laughter took center stage in the 1970s.
Norman Cousins was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an excruciating type of arthritis. As a journalist, he documented his journey to heal himself with laughter. He found that laughing increased his oxygen consumption and altered his brain’s chemicals, which helped his body kick his sympathetic nervous system into high gear.
His groundbreaking personal study proved that laughter could be quite healing, even when facing a debilitating condition. So, how much more can it do for your mental health?
2. Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts are motivational, primarily when you tune in to those people who’ve overcome significant trials in their life. Listening to positive things allows you to ingest them into your spirit, and it’s hard to be negative when you’re filling your vessel with optimism.
3. Practice Gratitude
It’s always amazing what a dose of reality and counting your blessings can do for your mental health. Some people get so caught up in the things they want and lack, but positive mental health naturally comes when you stop focusing on material things and start looking at all the Universe has given. Many people pray for the things they take for granted each day.
4. Sleep Six to Eight Hours
You cannot function without sufficient rest, nor will you have positive mental health when running on empty. Make your bedtime a priority so that you can attempt to refresh each day.
5. Journaling for Positive Mental Health
Everyone needs an outlet, as there’s no way to avoid negativity. It all comes down to what you do with the negativity you ingest, as you need a way to get it out of your mind and heart. Journaling allows you to write down all the things bothering you, which means purging them from your being.
6. Write a Book
While you’ve got your pen out from journaling, is a book inside you waiting to come to life? Have you overcome significant triumphs, and your testimony could help someone? You can self-publish a book on many outlets, help folks in similar situations, and make some money on the side.
7. Turn off the TV
Spending too much time in front of the TV is unsuitable. You must get up and move your body rather than become a couch potato. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can never watch TV, but you should limit mindless activities that cause you to be sedentary.
8. Awake Your Inner Creative Being
Do you have a creative side ready to burst out of you? Why not try playing a musical instrument, painting in a studio class, or spinning the potter’s wheel to make a fantastic creation? People have used various art forms as it dramatically affects their positive mental health and is fun, too.
9. Break the Daily Grind
Engaging in positive thinking when stuck in a monotonous rut is challenging. The daily nine-to-five can be tedious, and you need to break free from this rigid schedule. Go away for a day or two or even a week, as it will do wonders for your mental health.
10. Increase Positive Mental Health by Changing Your Eating Habits
Are you a healthy eater, or do you prefer to grab fast food and not worry about a mess? While eating on the go works well in your twenties, all those carbs and calories will catch up to you when your metabolism slows as you age.
You must fuel your system with fruits, vegetables, and protein to keep everything running efficiently. Vitamin deficiencies can cause you to feel horrible, affecting your mental health.
11. Take Evening Walks
There’s something tranquil about the still of the evening. It helps to boost your positivity as well as burn some calories. Nature is quite healing in many regards, as it has a way of grounding you. Why not try tree bathing to help heal your mind and clear the chaos?
12. Create a Vision Board
Where do you want to go in life, and have you made goals for the next year, five years, or even ten? A vision board is a great visual tool that helps you see where you’re at right now, where you want to be in the future, and plan how to get there.
Counselors often use this tool to help folks mentally heal, as it’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and feel overwhelmed. Breaking it down into small, manageable steps is helpful.
Perhaps one reason why so many people don’t exercise as they should is that they think it’s boring. There are plenty of maneuvers that are fun and can burn calories.
Some fun methods include dancing, skating, cycling, and isometric exercises. There’s no reason why working out must feel mundane and boring, as you can spice it up with something new and exciting.
14. Visit Family and Friends
When did you last visit your family or friends for dinner and fun? Everyone has a support system that’s helped them get where they are in life, and these people play a vital role in keeping you mentally sane. If you feel your mental health slipping, they can help your positive thinking by just being in their presence and feeling their warmth and love.
15. Use Positive Affirmations
No matter how bleak things might look, you can alter your perception. How you respond to things means everything, such as seeing the glass as half full or half empty. Try speaking positive affirmations each day before you begin, and watch the profound difference it has on your day.
16. Change Your Vocabulary
Did your parents have words you weren’t allowed to speak as a child? Some parents don’t like these words because they don’t sound good, but what about the works you use that have negative undertones? Why not take words like can’t, don’t, and won’t from your internal database? Start using words like “can,” “will,” and “do,” and see how it changes you for the better.
17. Clear the Clutter
Your closets, garage, basement, and other home areas often become cluttered as you lack time to sort through the stuff. If your home is overwhelmed with clutter, it can put your mind in chaos.
How can you rest or be organized when there’s stuff suffocating you? Pitch and donate things that take up vital space and declutter your abode to enhance your positivity.
18. Limit Social Media
Limit the time you spend in online worlds where people can post anything they want, whether true or not. Instead, spend your time with folks who can have great conversations and lift your spirits.
19. Embrace Mindful Living
Mindful living lets you let go of the past and focus on the present. You look within for peace and contentment instead of on the outside. You let go of expectations and perfectionism that will only hold you back, and you cherish every moment that you have a breath in your body.
20. Pray or Meditate for Positive Mental Health
Whether you believe in God or the Universe, you have a spiritual side, and embracing this side of you can increase your positive mental health. Praying or meditation clears your mind and allows you to allow peace to surround you. It’s a good move for positive mental health as you’re purging negativity and inviting the ease and comfort of your spiritual side to rule.
Final Thoughts on Behaviors for Positive Mental Health
What behaviors do you think you can practice to help enhance your mental health? Don’t try to do too many things at once, but you should start with a couple of things that you can utilize to help your overall mental well-being and build positive habits.