Staying active is important, but so is staying mentally active. We often focus on the gym, but these mental health activities are just as important. The importance of mental health is becoming more and more prevalent every year. As a society, we have been taught for years that stuffing our problems and distracting ourselves is the only way to get by. This will only make your problems worse.
Studies show that mental illnesses strike one in every five adults every single year. Anxiety and depression are at an all-time high with over 40 million people currently diagnosed. Most adults avoid doing mental health activities because it forces them to face their inner world. However, facing our inner world is the only way we can avoid issues such as anxiety and depression.
So the problem is, what mental health activities can we do that will help change the way we think and help to expand our minds? Thankfully, we did that research for you. Keep on reading to learn the best mental health activities for you to start doing today!
1. Start With a Good Morning Routine
The way you begin your day will set the tone for the rest of the entire day. If your day started stressful with you rushing about, you will continue to feel the stress throughout the day. On the contrary, if you start your day proactively with exercises that expand your mind, you will feel calm and confident to take on your day.
Some of these exercises are waking up without pressing the snooze button, reading, meditation, dancing to happy music, stretching, journaling, feeling gratitude, and more. Find a few mental activities that you can do before anything else and you will notice a major change in your mental health.
Studies show that regular meditation can reduce anxiety levels by 60%, and reduce the risks of being hospitalized for coronary disease by a whopping 87%. It has also been proven to increase the amount of grey matter in your brain, meaning it will make you think clearer, and smarter!
Meditation will not only save your mental health, but it can also save your heart health too. Start by creating a safe and quiet place within your home to have a daily meditation practice. Try to meditate no less than 10 minutes per day, and you will be amazed at the results.
To begin, start with a guided meditation either at your local yoga or Buddhism center or even find one online.
Reading is a productive way to have a mental break, but have mental stimulation and gain knowledge at the same time. Set aside some time each day to read your favorite book, and stick to it. When choosing a book, there are no rules. You can either dive into a fiction story and be engulfed in another world, or read an informational book and expand your mind.
Many of us set goals for the year, but have a hard time sticking to them. The reason for this is because they are lacking the visualization portion of their goals. Visualization is another reason why meditation practice is so important, as you are seeing your future as if it already happened.
Sit in silence and visualize your ideal future, be sure to include all the senses in how it will feel, taste, smell, and look. This will not only help you to become clearer on the goals you want to set but also help you to achieve them once you know what you want.
5. Get Outside
Being out in nature is a great way to help you calm the mind and connect to yourself. As a society, we seem to have lost our connection to the outdoors, especially with all of the advanced technology that is available at our fingertips.
Studies show that being out in nature significantly reduces the risks of certain health disorders such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and other serious health conditions. To do this properly, put your phone away in your backpack and hit the hiking trails. Find somewhere quiet and peaceful where you can be present to the sounds of nature and explore the woods with all of your senses. Change up your hiking or nature walking trails often to open up new neuropathways in the brain and help you experience different atmospheres.
6. Lose the Distractions
We see approximate 1000% more images than we used to 15 years ago, and all of this extra stimulation is causing us anxiety and pulling us away from reaching our goals. First, you need to discover your main distractions whether it is Netflix, Instagram, Google, reading tabloid magazines, or tv. Secondly, figure out a system that will remind you when you are being mindlessly distracted. This self-discipline will do wonders for your mental health and the ability to reach your goals.
7. Take Care of Your Health
Mental health includes much more than mental activities, it is also essential to practice physical exercise in order to help clear your mind and keep depression away. Exercising releases feel-good chemicals in our brains called dopamine and serotonin. These hormones help us to feel happy, have more energy, and improve our overall well-being. Find a form of physical activity that you enjoy and include it in your healthcare regime.
You should also focus on the nourishment that you are putting into your body. Try to include as many colorful vegetables as you can in your everyday diet, along with healthy omega-3 fats, avocados, and lean sources of protein. The food you eat has a direct correlation on your mental health as well as physical health. You will be able to think clearer, feel cleaner, and improve your overall well-being.
Learn More About Mental Health Activities
By creating a daily regime that includes these mental health activities, you will be amazed by how much your mental health will improve over the next couple of months.
Remember to stick to activities that you enjoy, and even try to find the enjoyment out of the ones that you don’t.