Mental wellbeing is an integral part of health. It is the foundation of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and has a significant impact on quality of life. It is a source of energy and resilience and can protect us against the stressors of daily life.
Good mental health is just as important as physical health and mental wellbeing can be improved by making continual, conscious steps towards a healthier state of mind. Here are seven steps to improving mental wellbeing and achieving overall better health.
1. Reduce Stress: An important step in achieving mental wellbeing is reducing the level of stress in our lives. Stress has been linked to physical ailments such as headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue, as well as psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and reduced concentration. One way to reduce stress is to focus on improving time management. Identifying tasks that can be completed quickly or delegateed to others helps to ensure that stress levels remain low. Another way to reduce stress is to prioritize tasks and take frequent breaks.
2. Increase Social Connections: Surrounding oneself with supportive and compassionate people can have tremendous impacts on mental health. Nurturing relationships with friends, family, and co-workers and allowing oneself to connect in meaningful ways can help to increase levels of happiness, decrease loneliness, and foster feelings of self-worth. Connecting with people who share similar interests is an added benefit, as it contributes to a life that is filled with excitement, joy, and laughter.
3. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques are useful for attaining mental wellbeing. By simply becoming aware of the thoughts, sensations, and emotions that are present during each moment, it is possible to become more grounded, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mood. Mindfulness can also be used to cultivate positive emotions and bring about greater self-awareness. Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi can greatly enhance mindfulness.
4. Stay Physically Active: Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health and achieving mental wellbeing. Exercise has been found to release endorphins, giving an overall sense of wellbeing. Physical exercise promotes increased physical strength, which can then be used to accomplish daily tasks with greater ease. Additionally, physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as provide a much needed distraction from negative and intrusive thoughts.
5. Eat Well: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is also essential for achieving mental wellbeing. Not only is it important to make sure that we are receiving all the necessary nutrients to remain physically healthy, but it is also important to understand the connection between diet and emotional state. Emphasizing fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet, eating regularly, and avoiding processed foods can lead to improved wellbeing.
6. Get Plenty of Rest: The importance of sleep for our mental and physical health cannot be overstated. Not getting enough rest can lead to feeling overworked, run down, and even become ill. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night with a consistent sleep routine.
7. Take Time to Relax: Relaxation has been shown to reduce stress, ease tension, and improve overall mental wellbeing. Taking time for yourself to do something that you enjoy or engaging in activities that cause inner peace are essential for long-term mental wellbeing. Reading, listening to music, writing, and engaging in hobbies are just a few of the methods that can be used to relax and recharge.
Incorporating these techniques into daily life can help to reduce stress, increase happiness, and maintain mental wellbeing. Even small changes such as increasing the amount of time spent outdoors or taking a short walk can make a significant difference. With improved mental wellbeing comes renewed energy, improved focus, and a life of contentment.