Happier and Healthier: Simple Actions for Improved Mental Well-Being
How would you describe your overall mental state? Are you stressed, edgy, worn out, or down? Pursuing happiness is something we think of as a right in some respects, but many of us miss out on the easiest parts of self-care for better health and happiness.
You might be surprised to learn that the amount of clutter in your home can be linked with your general well-being. In fact, clutter appears to contribute to several mental health concerns, such as overeating, stress, fatigue, muscle tension, and headaches. Feeling more content and at ease can be as simple as reducing the amount of stuff surrounding you. Spend a little time sorting things you don’t really need, discarding, recycling, and donating them, and you can actually feel better about yourself and your life.
Improve Sleep Habits
Many people feel sleeping is a waste of time, but in fact, some scientific studies indicate getting enough good sleep is crucial to mental health. Being sleep deprived can impair your ability to function and think clearly, increase your anxiety levels, and reduce how well you can focus. Aim to improve your habits by exercising early in the day, setting a regular bedtime, getting a daily dose of sunshine, and avoiding stimulants like nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. You can also improve your slumber by meditating and, in fact, reap other benefits as well. Harvard Medical School explains that spending time in mindful meditation can fight sleeplessness, help process emotions, increase levels of relaxation, and reduce stress, pain, and depression.
Consider Your Boundaries
Do you have trouble saying “no” to people? Whether in your workplace, home, on social media, or in other areas, the ability to set healthy personal boundaries is important to your mental well-being. It can be very challenging to set boundaries if you aren’t used to doing it. You might be uncomfortable with how others will respond to you, or you may not recognize where your desires fall in the order of your priorities. It’s possible you don’t know what you really want and rely on others to inform your decisions in that regard. If you’re unsure, consider taking a self-assessment to determine what sort of improvements you need to make.
Spend Time Outdoors
Something as simple as a little more time in the great outdoors can make a big difference in your mental well-being. As Psychology Today explains, connecting with nature offers important benefits, potentially encouraging a sense of calm, helping you to be present in the moment, and refining your judgment. You don’t need to climb mountains or spend countless hours hiking in remote locations for the benefits, either, since simply lounging on your porch or near some shrubbery outside your workplace can suffice. If getting outside isn’t a good option, bring the outdoors inside via a houseplant or a window view.
Fun and Friendships
When we’re in school, friendships typically take top priority, but as adults, we all too often set aside our social lives. Working, raising families, and generally being busy can mean dwindling time spent with friends. However, Mayo Clinic points out that friendships offer important benefits to our mental health. Our friends encourage a sense of belonging, provide support during troubled times, boost self-confidence, and help us avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices.
One of the many ways friends help us is through laughter. Laughing in and of itself offers important mental health benefits, such as lowering stress levels, encouraging a positive outlook, breaking negative thought patterns, and even helping us to not overthink situations. If you aren’t routinely connecting with friends, consider making a weekly lunch date or planning a monthly outing participating in a hobby you both enjoy.
Improved mental health is often a matter of some simple choices and changes. Do some decluttering, make sure you get enough sleep, enjoy nature, and spend more time with your friends. You can be happier and healthier, and you deserve it.
Article by Brad Krause
Thanks Brad for this helpful and inspiring article about self caring!
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