Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Your Mental Health

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Your Mental Health

October 14, 2020

Protecting your mental health is critical to your overall well being. If your mental health isn't what you would like it to be, there are many ways to improve it. Not everyone wants to take a medical approach to mental health. Let's face it—that can be expensive and it tends to come with undesirable side effects. Fortunately, there are some lifestyle changes you can use to help improve your mental health.

Change Your Diet

There's a reason people say that you are what you eat. Your diet forms the building blocks for your physical body and has a real impact on your mental health as well. If you want to feel good, both physically and mentally, eating well is a great place to start. After all, it's a lot easier to feel good mentally when you feel good physically. Your body is designed to operate on healthy foods that aren't highly processed and refined. If you aren't sure where to start, try including a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Season your food with a variety of herbs and spices instead of reaching for condiments bottles. It might take some time for your palate to adjust to the change, but once it does you will likely find you don't crave the more refined, processed foods as much.

Start Exercising

Often mentioned in conjunction with diet, exercising benefits you both physically and mentally. These two together help your body become healthier and more fit. This can do really great things for your self esteem, especially when it comes to looking in the mirror. Exercising is also responsible for some pretty significant mental boosts and can help with multiple mental health challenges as well. Exercising releases endorphins, which doubles as your body's natural pain killer and a natural mood booster. If you want a natural high, exercise is the way to go.

Improve Your Sleep Schedule

Despite the apparent tendency to idolize being so busy you don't have time to sleep, getting enough good quality sleep is essential for your mental health. Sleep can be incredibly restorative, but you won't get the benefits if you shortchange yourself. To improve your sleep schedule, start with just that—a set schedule. Stay consistent with it, even on the weekends. Exercise regularly, but not too close to bed. Eating and screen time should also be avoided in the hours before you go to sleep. Keep your sleeping environment cool, dark, and quiet. If you thought bedtime routines were just for kids, think again. Having a consistent bedtime routine helps teach your body when it's time to go to sleep and can help you get there more easily.

Adopt a Dog

Loneliness can really do a number on your mental health. If you need emotional support, finding a canine companion might be the answer. You'll have to decide between many different breeds of puppies. Different breeds tend to have different characteristics such as activity level, how affectionate they are, how much grooming you'll need to do, and how easy they are to train. Consider your budget, your living situation, what you hope to gain from the relationship, and what you have to offer. It's important to make sure that the dog you pick is a good fit for you and that you are a good fit for them in order for the relationship to be one that is beneficial to your mental health.

Practice Meditation

Meditation can do great things for your mental health. It gives you a chance to become more mindful of yourself and your thoughts. Through meditation you become more in tune with your mental state. Over time you can come to love and accept yourself better. You may not be good at it right away, and it may take some time to see the benefits. There are things you can do to help boost your meditation. Some people find certain essential oils help them meditate better, while others may find success by using mantras, music, or focusing on their breathing. The important thing is to be consistent in your practice, but allow for flexibility in your approach. You may need to try a few different methods multiple times before settling on the method that works best for you. There are even apps that can help you with meditation if you need help getting started.

Spend Time in Nature

One of the things that has become more apparent this year is that spending excessive amounts of time indoors doesn't do good things for mental health. Humans reap multiple benefits from spending time outside. Time spent outside anywhere can be beneficial, but if you want to get the most out of your time outside, spending it somewhere in nature is best. Think the difference between spending time outside in the city versus spending time in a national park. Sunlight can help ward off seasonal depression. If you enjoy camping at all you might be pleased to know that it can help you with that sleep schedule. Sleeping outside has been shown to have positive results on improving circadian rhythms. It can help increase your energy levels and improve your memory. It also can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

Build Real Connections

Getting a dog is great, but it doesn't quite make up for real, deep, personal human connections. Adding or following friends on social media doesn't count for this point. Humans are social creatures. We need to connect with one another to be mentally healthy. Building those quality connections takes time and a lot of work, but the payoff can be well worth the effort. Connecting in person is best, but depending on your circumstances, connecting in person may be difficult. If that's not feasible for any reason, opt for video calls or an old fashioned phone call. Hearing a voice and seeing a face will do far more than any chat or text is likely to do. 

Making lifestyle changes to help improve your mental health is arguably the first thing you should do to elevate it, rather than immediately reaching for the pill bottle. If nothing else, they don't tend to come with the risk of so many unpleasant side effects. Better yet, you'll probably notice that those changes have a positive impact on your life in more ways than just your mental health. Give them a try and see how much your life improves because of it.

While you meditate, try soothing your mind with our Eye of the Storm Calm Blend Pure Essential Oil!

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