5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

By: Vanessa Steffens

In our busy lives, we all have moments where we feel like our mental health might be suffering. Whether experiencing stress at work or dealing with the passing of a loved one, we could all benefit from taking time to take care of ourselves.

This month is Mental Health Month. Let’s take a look at 5 easy ways to boost your mental health.

Tip 1: Practice Gratitude

Take some time in the morning when you get up or right before bed at night to write down what you are grateful for. Try to include three things you are grateful for and three things you accomplished each day. Practicing gratitude helps change our perspective to focus on the positive, rather than the negative. Try these free smartphone apps designed to help you practice gratitude: Happier; Attitudes of Gratitude Journal.

Tip 2: Exercise

We know that 30 minutes of exercise each day is good for us physically. What you may not know is that regular exercise can also help boost your mental functioning as well as your immune system. Try going for a walk or hit the gym – just get out and get moving!

Tip 3: Get Enough Sleep

Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation can have significant negative effects on your mood. Going to bed at a regular time each day and getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will help you feel rejuvenated as well as stabilize your mood.

Tip 4: Eat a Balanced Meal

The food we eat nourishes not only our bodies, but also our brains. Some essential nutrients for your brain include Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which help reduce brain inflammation and the risk of heart disease, B Group Vitamins, which help regulate neurotransmitters, immune functions, and amino acids, and Vitamin D, which aids in mood regulation and critical thinking. Studies suggest that including these nutrients in your diet significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Tip 5: Talk it Out!

Talking about your worries and feelings can be very cathartic. Talk therapy has been a long studied and empirically validated form of counseling. Working with a mental health professional can help you process and move past difficulties that might otherwise seem hopeless.

Try talking it out with one of our licensed professionals, resident counselors, or graduate interns. You can reach out to us with this simple form. We’d love to hear from you!