In recent years, the number of individuals receiving a mental health diagnosis has increased significantly. This is likely spurred by increased awareness of all mental health conditions, from anxiety to depression, alongside improved access to support services, rather than a spike in mental illness itself.
In some ways, this is reassuring. It means that people are no longer suffering in silence - as even when things feel overwhelming, it's good to know that there are things to do to take control of your mental well-being.
With that in mind, here are some simple tips that you can use to boost your overall mental health.
Speak to a psychologist.
Speaking to a psychologist is a great way to improve your mental health. This is because it will enable you to take control of your situation, developing a range of coping mechanisms and tools you can use to process (and eradicate) negative emotions.
Focus on self-care.
Practising self-care is another great way to improve your mental health since it encourages you to put your well-being first. This means it's time to dispel the idea that self-care is selfish, as it's simply a way to ensure your needs are met. Furthermore, it's also important to note that self-care means something different to each and every person. For example, while some people find greater clarity through mediation and mindfulness, others prefer to spend time outdoors or re-engage with old hobbies.
Start your day off with positive affirmations.
You’d be surprised about just how influential starting your day with ‘positive’ affirmations can be. This is because they help you to feel your best by dispelling negativity and encouraging you to become more ‘naturally’ optimistic. To get started, stand in front of the mirror and say three things you like about yourself. This doesn't necessarily have to relate to your looks. For example, you could compliment your tenacity, your intelligence, or your drive too. While this may seem difficult at first, you’ll find it easier and easier each time you do it.
Spend more time outdoors.
Spending more time outdoors can also help to boost your mental well-being. This is because exposure to fresh air can “provide greater clarity to the brain, promoting optimal function whilst helping you to think, focus and concentrate better”. It also increases your body’s production of serotonin, which leaves you feeling calmer and happier.
Don’t bury your feelings.
Speaking openly and honestly about how we are feeling may seem daunting, but the truth is, negative feelings do not go away if we bury them. While we can find distractions that function as a temporary fix, the emotions will continue to bubble under the surface, and will often worsen. As a result, you must treat yourself with enough grace to embrace your feelings. When you aren’t feeling your best, reach out to a trusted loved one or mental health professional. While instigating the conversation can be tough, these chats will leave you feeling as though you have taken a significant weight off your shoulders.