We don’t need to wait for world mental health day before we remember that taking care of our mental health is paramount.
I shared a story of a personal encounter I had about the importance of guiding our mental health and also about 10 facts you need to know about mental health.
Did you give it a read? If you did, the you would have read that 800 people commit suicide every year and that suicide is the leading cause of death among persons between the ages of 15 and 29.
Mental disorders plays a huge role in these statistics.
This is so appalling and grave!
All the statistics are daunting. All 10 facts about mental health are so daunting that you either give up on taking care of your mental well-being or you make up your mind by taking care and incorporating tips to boost mental health into your daily life.
Now, so what is mental health?
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What Is Mental Health? How To Improve Your Mental Health
Mental health or mental well-being is the sum total of our emotional, psychological and social well-being.
It is how we think.
How we feel.
It is how we act.
Our mental well-being determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make life choices.
It is important at every stage of our lives. From childhood to adulting, the importance of mental health cannot be over-emphasized.
Over-emphasized seem to be my most favorite word on the blog!
Who else has noticed?
Anyways, my mental health took a down turn since last year after I lost my younger sister. She died two weeks after childbirth.
It is an harrowing experience that I and my family has been unable to recover from. She was like my best friend. The one I tell things I don’t tell anyone else.
I have several blog posts in several stages of completion since her death. I just can’t seem to write.
The blog has been surviving on sponsored posts.
I keep to myself, don’t go out. Hardly take calls nor chat with people except a few persons
I knew I had to do something about my mental wellbeing and I went prowling on the web and these are some of the things I found, I want to share with you all because we are on the self-improvement journey together!
Types Of Mental Illness: How To Improve Your Mental Health
To fully understand mental well-being and how to improve it, you need to have a clear understanding of the types of mental illnesses.
That way, you know what tips and ways to boost and improve your mental wellness.
There are different types of mental illnesses. If you remember, mental health comprises of our emotional, psychological and social well-being.
The types or categories of mental illness usually encompasses these 3 key aforementioned aspects of our lives.
Main groups of mental health disorders or illnesses include the following
This includes depression and bipolar disorder. I suffer from mood swings at times but I haven’t been diagnosed as depressed and/or having bipolar disorder.
Adulting is hard enough.
This is common and very worrying mental illness and a lot of work need to be done as regards this
Personality is the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Our personalities are shaped by our experiences (from life), environment (surroundings, where we grew up, where we live) as well as characteristics we inherited.
A personality disorder is then a person’s way of thinking, feeling, behaving that are not aligned with normal culture and deviates from ”right norms”
There are 10 kinds of personality disorders and they include:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
For more detailed understanding of personality disorders, check here
This type of mental disorder makes it difficult for persons to think clearly, make good judgement, respond adequately emotionally, communicate properly, understand reality and behave appropriately.
The most common type of psychotic disorder is schizophrenia. others include include, substance-induced psychotic disorder, Paraphrenia.
As the implies, these are mental illness caused by eating disorders. Anorexia, Bulimia, binge eating, Pica are all examples of eating disorders.
Trauma Related Disorders
These are post traumatic stress disorders aka PTSD.
This happens to persons who have have gone through very harrowing and traumatic life experiences.
A good example of people who suffer from PTSD would be soldiers.
Substance Abuse Disorders
These are of course caused by substance abuse.
Causes of Mental Illness
Mental illnesses do not just ”wade” in our lives. They are caused by a combination of various factors.
- Hereditary Factors: The risk of having a mental health illness increases when you have one or more family members who have suffered a particular illness. This is however not always a given.
- Personality Traits: If you are the type who suffers from the ”perfectionism syndrome” and/or have low self esteem, your risk of suffering from mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety attacks is greatly increased.
- Substance & Drug Abuse: It is a known fact that people who abuse substances such as heroine, cocaine and the rest are susceptible to mental illnesses.
- Life Experiences: Our life experiences are a percusor of mental illnesses. An adult who was sexually abused as a child is bound to suffer some sort of mental illness if not properly treated.
- Trauma: A soldier who loses a limb in the war front and/or witnessed the deaths of his team mates will likely suffer PTSD.
- Stress: Stress raises our cortisol levels and this triggers a lot of negativity in our body. Anxiety, depression are common mental illnesses associated with stress.
- Biological Factors: Such as hormonal changes may lead to mental illness.
Symptoms of Mental Illness
Now, how do we identify symptoms?
How do me know we are sliding down the drain?
How do we figure out that the mental well-being of our loved ones are not at par so we can suggest tips to boost mental health to them?
For us to be able to utilize ways of improving our mental health, we need to know the symptoms of mental illness
That way, we become more prepared and armed with what we need to tackle it.
Here are some symptoms of mental illness
- Hearing voices in our heads
- lack of sleep
- Excessive sleep
- withdrawal from people
- Increased Irritability for no justifiable reason
- Drug use and abuse
- Lack of motivation/loss of zeal for anything
- Poor concentration levels
- Unusual and illogical thoughts
- Unusual and unexplained anger
- suicidal thoughts
- Poor or lack of personal hygiene
- Becoming unusually obsessed with topics such as death, religion etc
- Under-performance at work and school
- Decreased and/or increased appetite
How To Improve Your Mental Health: Ways To Improve Mental Health
Now, on to the big show, girls!
31 powerful tips on how to improve your mental health!
And here they are:
Take a minute to tweet this. Thank you, lovelies!How To Improve Your Mental Health: 30 Epic Ways To Do It. Click To Tweet
1. Start Your Day With Coffee
Recent studies on mice have shown that taking a cup of coffee right off in the morning, not only improves your productivity, it also eases anxiety.
Do not over do!
2.Impove Your Mental Health By Having Dates With Nature
Take more nature walks, view and appreciate God’s natural creation. Absorb yourself in the beautiful scenery around you, take walks in the beach if you have one near you and be calmed by the soothing lapping sounds of the waves
3. Build On Your Strengths and Weaknesses
An improved self-esteem is an improved mental well-being
4. Use Affirmations To Boost Mental Health
Affirmations have worked for me just as I know they are working for people who are using them. They are power mantras and using them daily is a surefire tip to boost mental health
If you are looking for affirmations here are 101 Affirmations To Live and Have a Superb Life
5. Be Positive
I tell you this is not easy. Not easy but it is doable.
I remember during the New year cross-over service, I was with my two sisters and when we heralded in the new year, it was with mixed feelings.
Knowing that one of us is no more and being happy that we made it to another year was and is a feeling I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone
So keeping positivism and being positive when life throws us a curve is hard but to protect our mental health and function optimally, we have to be positive that things can only get better.
6. How To Improve Your Mental Health: Start A Journal
If you are yet to join the journal bandwagon, now is a good time to start if you are looking to take care of your mental wellbeing.
Pinterest is a great place to get ideas from and my journal board has some great prompts to get you started!
Here are some journaling prompts you might be interested in.
7. Incorporate Exercise In Your Daily Routine
Exercises have been known to reduce stress and improve overall health and this is good news for your mental well-being!
8. Make Taking One Step At A Time, Your Motto
Do not be overwhelmed by the entire ”staircase”. Just focus on the first step and go it one at a time.
Instead of overthinking about the entire staircase which is life.
Do not take on more than you can chew at a time, girl!
9. Take An Entire Weekend Off
Take an entire weekend to yourself. Go someplace.
A beach resort. Camping.
Whatever. Just take a weekend off and look after yourself.
Take it cool. Relax and come back refreshed!
10. Have a Night Out With The Girls
This is bound to ease the tension. Gossip away with the girls.
Eat some good food.
Listen to some great music.
11. How To Improve Your Mental Health: Have A Dark Chocolate To Boost Mental Health
Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals.
Some research suggest that it may improve brain function and this is beneficial for our mental well-being.
12. Practice Gratitude
It is always easy to focus on the things we are yet to achieve and the things we do not have.
It is easy to always feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
This brings too much worry and may increase depression and anxiety.
Life, however, has thought me it is not so because the very people you think have it all are actually looking at you and wishing they had something you have.
So practice gratitude more. Be thankful for the things you have while you work towards achieving and getting those you don’t have.
This heralds in more blessings. That is the law of attraction and manifestation.
13. Indulge In Warm Baths
Yes to this!
Although I am ”cold blooded” like family refers to me because even in the coldest weather conditions, I still bath cold water.
But I have discovered that bathing with warm water every once in a while when I am stressed, helps greatly in destressing and calming my nerves.
Throw in some salt and essential oils and voila, you are good to go, girl.
So indulge yourself. Soak up in warm water at least once a week.
It will greatly boost your mental health.
14. How To Improve Your Mental Health: Soak Up The Morning Sun As Often As Possible
It is said that vitamin D which is gotten from early morning sunshine, elevates one’s mood greatly.
Feeling down? Then go out and soak up the early morning sun to elevate your mood and improve your mental health!
15. Always Look For The Silver Lining
Life as I said in a beautiful reflection I wrote, is a Beautiful Chaos
We will always be thrown curves we least expected.
We will experience things we wish we didn’t.
But the flow of life, will always be so and that is why we should try to see the silver lining in everything.
It is not really a bad life. Life is dynamic not static.
16. Do Intermittent Digital Detox
Some weekends, I put off my phones.
Leave the emails and social media. It can be exhilarating and I would love to do this more often.
You should try it too, darling.
17. Have A Go-To Playlist
If you don’t have a playlist on your phone, this would be a great time to have some!
Music speaks to the soul. Well, the good ones, that is!
Create a great playlist of songs that are calming to you and listen to them often.
If you are looking for great playlist ideas, head on to Pinterest
18. Don’t Over Think Your Mistakes
We are humans and are bound to make mistakes. Dwelling on our mistakes however, negatively affects our mental health.
This is one of the best tips to boost mental health.
Do not belabor your mistakes, girl.
Just look at them and learn.
19. How To Improve Your Mental Health: Dance, Dance & Dance Some More!
The whole of 2018 is a year I will never forget!
I was in a dark place and had fell out of love with my job which by the way was the only thing I had going for me!
It was hellish and my mental health took a bashing!
When I wake up in the morning and remember I had to go to work, it would be like I was being tortured, mentally.
And then in the evenings after close from work, I would dance and dance after having dinner.
This may sound funny and cliche but that saved me and gave me the needed push to still do the job and helped my mental health.
December, 2018, I summoned courage and resigned the job and my mental health thanked me for it!
Girl, it doesn’t matter if you can step or not. Just dance and release those toxins.
Your mental health will thank you for it!
20. Learn To Write Down Your Feelings & Emotions
When you write down your thoughts, feelings and emotions, it becomes easier to put them in perspective.
This helps you identify the root cause of any negativity you might be feeling
The problem is already half solved.
How To Improve Your Mental Health: More Ways To Improve Mental Health
21. Learn How To Deal With Stress
The only way to deal with stress is to identify the stressors in your life. A notebook will help with this. When you are stressed, try to identify the root cause, note it down and then find a way to eliminate the stressor.
Here are 11 Ways To Overcome Stress
22. Surround Yourself With Good People
Nothing is greater than having people you can totally relate with on a deep level.
People you can pour your heart to and tell your fears.
Surround yourself with these sort of people. It is beneficial to your mental well-being
23. Always Set Realistic Goals
Much of the reason why our mental health take a bashing is because we tend to set unrealistic goals and when we don’t achieve them, we over worry, beat ourselves up, get stressed, suffer anxiety and then become depressed.
Setting realistic goals, short term and long term goals will ensure we achieve them and that benefits our mental well-being
Check out How To Set SMART Goals And Achieve Them
24. Avoid Alcohol And Hard Drugs
This is no brainer!
If you must have great and improved mental health, then avoid excessive alcohol and hard drugs.
I wrote about my views on alcohol and drugs in a 30 Blog Challenge. You can read it here.
When you talk about how to overcome a drug addiction, treating depression is key
25. Boost Your Mental Health By Valuing Yourself
Yes, darling. Value yourself!
You don’t need validation about whom you are from family or friends.
Know your truth, know your worth. Develop a great sense of self-worth.
That way, your mental health doesn’t take a bashing when people let you down or say untrue things about you!
How To Maintain Good Mental Health: More Tips To Improve My Mental Health
The efficacy of practicing Mindfulness and Meditation for improved mental health is so great, you are missing out big time if you aren’t already utilizing these two great ”tools”
Meditate, be more mindful and pray (if you are the spiritual type).
It will benefit your mental health.
27. Be Involved In Some Volunteer Work
Give yourself to volunteering. Helping people, giving your time, expertise, money, connections to one cause or two is a great way for keeping your mental well-being at an optimum.
You find purpose in doing these things and this in turn, benefits your mental health.
28. Eat Mood Enhancing Foods
We have already established that when a good mood is beneficial to our mental wellness.
Omega 3s, avocados, flax seeds, beans, leafy greens such as sprout, kale, spinach, blueberries to mention are all mood enhancing foods.
Go on and fill your fridge!
29. Don’t Ever Skimp On Sleep!
Never, ever skimp on sleep.
We need a minimum of 8 hours sleep.
Do not skimp on that.
We cannot cheat nature.
30. Start Now!
Like I earlier mentioned, do not wait till the World Mental Health day to be reminded that you need to guard and take care of your mental health.
Start now! Start today!
Commit to taking care of your mental health and begin the journey right this moment.
We all have only one life.
31. How To Improve Your Mental Health: Know When To Seek Professional Help!
After all said and done, you should know when to seek professional help.
Do not feel bad about seeking professional help for any mental illness/disorders that you may be having.
There is no shame in it, girl.
A stitch in time, saves nine.
Conclusion: How To Improve Your Mental Health: Ways To Improve Mental Health
These tips and hacks on how to improve your mental health are so powerful, that practicing them will no doubt, benefit your mental health and well being. Have you ever had to ask, “how do I improve my mental health”? If, you have, these tips are your answers to mental wellbeing. If you found these helpful, don’t forget to share on social medias using the social media icons below or above. Chat me up in the comment section below and let me know your thoughts and ideas on improving mental health!