“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”
Mental health & its importance
Your mental well-being matters. We live in a socially aware society that influences how we think and behave. This can affect how we deal with stress and interact with the rest of society.
Mental health is important at any age, especially for children and adolescents. Mental health is an attitude toward feeling well and allows someone to cope with everyday challenges. This allows for their own creativity and contribution to society.
Mental health vs. Mental Illness
Mental health isn't merely the absence of disease. It refers to how great we feel in everyday life and is showcased through connection to all, the ability to cope with stressors in our environment, and a state of general well-being.
Mental health is something complex, which can be confusing, unlike physical fitness; it cannot be translated to numbers and percentages so that people will know what you are in.
Most people feel relaxed about their mental state and generally happy and confident. It has more to do with feelings. What is impacting mental well-being is brain chemistry and it is all about balance.
Let's discuss 10 Mental health activities that can help you feel less stress and anxiety.
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Best mental health activities to increase well-being
1. Practice gratitude exercises
One of the best mental health activities you can engage in is the practice of gratitude. Gratitude exercises can take various types of shapes depending upon who you are and what is important to you.
A gratitude practice is simple enough and can begin with a list of three things for which you are grateful. Get creative! For years I practiced mental health awareness and kept a gratitude jar. I would fill this jar with great events or situations that made me happy, and if I ever felt sad or defeated I would pull a piece of paper out of the jar and read one of the things that brought joy into my life.
Practicing gratitude helps you reflect and use positive emotions, especially during a challenging moment. Encouraging optimism and gratitude is important in improving emotional and physical health. In fact, when you are so focused on the good in life, you attract more of that good to you.
Try it today! Practice mindfulness and relieve stress by writing down and contemplating all the things in life that you are grateful for.
2. Create a journal
Many people have difficulty communicating their emotions. It is typical for people to have no confidence in their voice, and they don’t want to talk too much.
However, there are mindfulness practices that can help you find your voice again over time. One such outlet is writing. In journaling, one can freely express what they want in a way that feels natural to them.
I started journaling as a pre-teen to help me cope with the emotions I felt after losing my father to cancer. Over time, this mental well-being activity lead to mental health awareness and I was able to better understand what I was feeling on an emotional level.
This method also aids in improving writing skills. Make journaling fun and entertaining by putting on colorful pencils and sticker stickers. At the end of the day, it's your journal and you can be as creative or basic as you'd like.
3. Engage in breathing exercises
It is common to find ourselves surrounded by anxiety or negative emotions. Breathing exercises may relieve tension in our lives. Yoga and guided meditations are a few activities that can help you engage in mindful breathing activities. There is a saying that breath is nature's medicine. Even in the scientific community, we have seen how breathwork improves mood and overall well-being. Deep breathing can help raise awareness of the internal struggles we experience that are unconscious in our everyday lives.
Breathing exercises are typically followed by meditation and other mindfulness practices, but not always. Allow your breathing exercises to be tailored to your individual needs and test what feels right for you.
During deep breaths and meditation, it is easier to fully grasp and connect to our surroundings and relax.
4. Take a mental health day
We all know the feeling: You wake up and just can't face the day. Everything feels like too much effort, including getting out of bed and going to work.
If you're struggling with your mental health, taking a mental health day may be exactly what you need. I know what you thinking. How can you take a break from the work week when thinking about all the work you have to do is what's making you feel anxious? That is exactly why taking a day dedicated to your well-being may be best.
A mental health day is a day where you take some time off to focus on your mental health. Workplace mental health is at the forefront in today's society, especially since what the world experienced in 2020.
Mental health professionals and mental health advocate talk highly of the importance of mental health day. This can mean different things for different people, but some common activities include:
- Spending time outside in nature
- Exercise or other movement
- Connecting with friends or family
- Doing something creative
- Taking a break from screen time and social media
- Practicing self-care (e.g., taking a relaxing bath, getting a massage, etc.)
5. Talk to someone
If you're feeling down, anxious, or just plain out of sorts, talking to someone through mental health discussions can help with mental health awareness. It's one of the most effective mental well-being activities that there is, and it's something that you can do anytime, anywhere.
When you talk to someone about what's going on in your life, you're giving them a window into your thoughts and feelings.
This can help them understand you better and offer support and advice. It can also help you process your own thoughts and feelings and come up with solutions to problems.
Talking to someone also allows you to release pent-up emotions. If you've been bottling up your feelings, talking to someone can help you let them out in a safe and healthy way.
If you have the means, do not be afraid to invest in your mental health and find a mindfulness coach who can support you on your journey.
6. Get active
Mental well-being is often viewed as something that is only relevant when someone is experiencing a mental illness. However, good mental well-being is essential for everyone in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Mental health awareness is the key to a better life and engaging in physical activity can help you get there!
There are many different ways to keep your mental health in check, but one of the most effective is to get active.
Exercise has countless benefits for our physical health, but it can also do wonders for our mental wellbeing. It releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties, and it can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
There are plenty of ways to get active, so there’s no excuses not to give it a try.
If you’re not a fan of the gym, there are plenty of other options available. You could go for a walk or run in your local park, go swimming, or even try something new like yoga or dance classes.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, getting active is a great way to help yourself. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do anything too strenuous – even a gentle stroll can make a big difference.
Start slowly and build up gradually, and soon you’ll be reaping the benefits of being active. Trust us, it’s worth it!
7. Volunteer in your community
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community and help others. It can also be a great way to improve your mental health.
Volunteering can help you feel more connected, reduce stress, and boost your mood.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your mental health, consider volunteering at a local organization that supports mental health.
You can also volunteer at a local school or youth center, or participate in a fundraising event for a mental health charity.
Whatever you do, make sure you choose an activity that you’re passionate about so that you can really make a difference.
Disconnecting from social media can be a really great mental health activity. It can help you feel better in a number of ways.
Focus on here and now:
First, it can help you to focus on the here and now instead of getting caught up in what other people are doing or saying online. This can help you appreciate your life more and feel more connected to the people and things around you.
Help you get some much-needed rest:
Second, it can help you to get some much-needed rest and relaxation. When you spend all day scrolling through social media, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. Disconnecting from it all can help you to relax and rejuvenate.
Boost your mood:
Finally, it can help you to boost your mood and improve your outlook on life. When you take a break from social media, you can focus on the positive things in your life and in the world around you, which can help you to feel happier and more content.
So, if you’re looking for a mental health activity that can help you to feel better, consider disconnecting from social media for a while. It just might be exactly what you need.
9. Make time for hobbies
Making hobbies as a mental health activity can make you feel better because it gives you a sense of purpose and can help take your mind off of your problems. Hobbies can also help you meet new people and make new friends, which can improve your mental health.
If you are feeling down or stressed, try picking up a new hobby or activity, whether it’s knitting, painting, or hiking, to help improve your mood and well-being.
10. Spend time with friends & family
We all know how good it feels to spend time with our loved ones. We feel supported, loved, and accepted. But did you know that there are actually mental health benefits to spending time with friends and family?
Here are a few things that spending time with loved ones can do for your mental health:
Reduces stress levels:
When we're around people we care about, our body releases stress-reducing hormones like oxytocin and endorphins.
This can help lower our overall stress levels and make us feel more relaxed.
Spending time with loved ones can also help boost our moods.
Seeing the people we care about happy and smiling can trigger positive emotions in our own brain, making us feel happier as well.
Spending time with people who accept and love us can help improve our self-esteem.
When we feel good about ourselves, we're more likely to take care of ourselves and make positive choices in our lives.
One of the most important things our loved ones can provide is support.
During tough times, knowing that we have people who care about us and are there for us can make all the difference.
Having a strong support system can help us get through anything life throws our way.
Increases sense of belonging:
Finally, spending time with friends and family can increase our sense of belonging.
When we feel like we belong somewhere, we're more likely to feel happy and fulfilled. Knowing that we're a part of something larger can give our lives meaning and purpose.
So next time you're feeling down, make sure to reach out to your loved ones. Spending time with them can do wonders for your mental health!
If you don't have close friends or family nearby, there are many ways to connect with others online or through social media.
You are worth it!
Mental illnesses and having a mental health problem should no more be treated as a taboo. In fact, we must become aware that mental health disorders and mental illnesses exist in every society.
Addressing your own mental health is just as important as your physical health. And there are plenty of mental health screening tools to help you get started. Just like you would see a doctor for a cold, you should also see a mental health care therapist or healthcare professional if you are feeling overwhelmed or down. It's important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally!
Doing any of the ten activities mentioned in this article can help improve your mental health. Don’t forget to take care of yourself! You can't pour from an empty cup.