By The Wild Women On Top Coastrek Team
Everyone knows that we need to exercise and eat well to maintain a healthy body, but how often do you think about maintaining a healthy mind?
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there are a number of important things we can do to achieve good mental health.
Some people experience the debilitating impacts of clinical mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety which may need professional help, but for most people, developing good mental health habits is a great way to boost wellbeing and experience more joy.
Here are some simple habits you can use to boost your mental wellbeing today.
- Develop (and invest in) good relationships
Research shows healthy relationships are one of the most important factors when it comes to mental health. Having supportive relationships and a strong support network is critical for our wellbeing.
But these kind of friendships don’t just happen, and you can’t take them for granted. They require time, effort, love and energy to make them strong and stable.
- Move your body
There’s now a growing body of evidence proving that exercise, especially in nature, is not only good for preventing some mental health issues, but also for treating them. And this evidence now extends to the simplest, cheapest and most accessible forms of exercise: Walking.
Research shows simply walking 30 minutes a day can have remarkable mental and physical health benefits.
Try alternating high-intensity activity with gentle movement like hiking, yoga and swimming to get the optimal mental health benefits.
- Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature amazing for your mental health. Most of us spend too much time inside and on screens, so getting out into green and blue spaces regularly is critical.
Scientists have suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanisation and mental illness. In fact, research from the National Academy of Science in the US, shows that walking in nature changes the brain – in a good way. This study shows that a nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanising world.
The takeaway? Spend more time outside every day to improve your mental health.
- Practice gratitude
When we focus on gratitude, or the act of appreciating what we already have, we feel happy. Really happy. Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness because it helps us reset and shift our perspective. In essence, it helps us change our minds. And when we practice it, it sets off a chain reaction of positive benefits.
There’s millions of simple things we can feel grateful for, from fresh coffee in the morning, to your family being around, to having a warm, safe home.
Try writing down (or thinking about) three things you’re grateful for each day and see how it boosts your mood.
- Give back to others.
You’ve probably realised how good you feel when you do something for someone else. Whether it’s making a friend a cup of tea or delicious meal, or donating to a cause you’re passionate about, giving back can be a powerful way to achieve good mental health.
For many people, signing up for an event with a fundraising commitment gives them the motivation they need to regularly give back, in a really fun and supported way.