4 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Mental Health
#2: Stop Watching The News.
How often do you find yourself struggling to improve your mental health?
If you’re anything like my former-self, your response will be something along the lines of “all the time.”
Right? Because no matter how hard you try to heal your anxiety or eliminate depressing thoughts from your mind, nothing seems to work.
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times. But I’ve discovered that the best way to improve your mental health is by taking practical steps each day to live a happier life. Marcus Aurelius said it best:
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
So below are a collection of ways to improve your mental health that you can apply from the comfort of your own home. Each one of these strategies helped me to improve my mental health and live a much happier life. I hope they do the same for you, too.
1. Create A Daily Routine.
One of the biggest reasons behind my anxiety was a feeling of nervousness over the future. For example, I’d often worry about what people would think of me during a conversation, or how I would find the time to complete a college assignment.
But when I began implementing a defined structure to my day, a lot of my anxiety faded away as I knew what needed to be accomplished during any given moment. After all, a daily routine ensures that I’m focused on sticking to my schedule, instead of worrying about negative thoughts.
Each morning, I’ll wake up at 6.30 am, read a few pages of a book, and enjoy a nice breakfast, accompanied by a banana and a mug of coffee. As a result, I have a sense of inner peace due to a feeling of regularity at the start of my day.
Take a moment to think about the types of activities that you can implement into your daily routine. Read a few pages of a book, write in a journal, or do anything else that you enjoy. Because when you begin adding structure into your daily life, you’ll discover that a lot of your anxiety will disappear.
2. Stop Watching The News.
As we’re currently in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s understandably easy to get fixated on every single piece of news. Because with updates emerging every single hour, we have a biological urge to pay close attention to anything that may be a potential threat.
If you spend all day watching the news, you’ll inevitably have heightened levels of anxiety that could distract you from the things that matter. For example, it would be challenging to have a conversation with your family if you’re constantly checking your phone for updates from CNN.
I’m empathetic to the fact that you want to stay informed about events around the world. So instead of watching the news all the time, consider limiting your consumption to just a few minutes each day.
Although watching less news may seem like a small change to your lifestyle, the positive effect it will have on your mental health is profound.
3. Get In Touch With Your Emotions.
If you’re not in control of your emotions, you’ll quickly discover that it’s easy for them to be in control of you. So instead of trying to suppress negative thoughts, take a moment to understand why they occur, so you can prevent them from affecting your future.
For example, I’ll write several pages in a journal each evening, detailing anything that’s on my mind. As a result, it’s easier to understand why I feel a certain way so I can confront any negative emotions that are holding me back from living a happier life.
Write in the notes application on your phone, purchase a notepad, or find another method that works for you. Because when you begin getting in touch with your emotions, you’ll notice that it’s much easier to let any negative thoughts fade away.
4. Spend Time With Loved Ones.
Studies show that spending a lot of time with friends & family can significantly improve your mental health. For example, you could talk to them on FaceTime, or have enjoyable days out together in the local area. Quoting an article published in Time Magazine:
“Social support — whether it comes from friends, family members, or a spouse — is strongly associated with better mental and physical health.”
So if you want to eliminate feelings of anxiety & depression, talking to loved ones more frequently is certainly a great place to start. As Epictetus once said:
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”
So every day, ask yourself: “What actions can I take right now to get in touch with people I care about?”
That’s the best way to improve your mental health.