What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is the shame of being human.
— Brené Brown
Finding ways to improve your mental health is so important and truly one of the best self-care practices you can do for yourself.
This world is a crazy and hectic place and it can easily take a toll on your emotional and mental health.
Research states that one out of four people will experience mental health problems during their lifetime.
I’m so glad that we’re finally speaking up about mental health and getting out of that lonely darkness.
More people than ever are dealing with mental health issues in some form.
Make your emotional wellbeing a priority in your daily life and take time out of your busy schedule to care for what’s most important.
What Is Mental Health?
The official definition of mental health goes as follows:
A person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.
Your mental health affects all areas of your life – how you think, feel, deal with situations, how you take action and if you get the results you want.
Without a healthy mind, it’s hard to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Make your emotional, psychological and social wellbeing a priority today, and your body and mind will thank you for it.
Here are 27 powerful ways to improve your mental health:
1. Seek Professional Help
First things first, if you’re struggling with bad mental health, take a trip to your doctor, book an appointment with your therapist and talk to a professional.
Professionals are there to help and if you feel you need external aid to overcome your mental health issues – professional help is the way to go.
Either way, it’s great to open up to someone who is all ears and will say things to help you.
2. Forgive and forget
It’s a grandiose word but let’s break it down…
What I really mean by forgive and forget is that you should try and free yourself from the little things you have no control over and focus on the things that are the most important to you and give you the highest value.
Forgive your past behaviors, other people’s actions, your own failures, mistakes and the numerous thoughts that consume and control you.
No good can come of it – and we need to learn to let things go.
If I were to care about every little thing I wouldn’t make it through the day.
3. Practice gratitude
Practice a little gratitude daily.
I know it can be hard to wake up to your limiting and negative beliefs when everything seems to be pitch black. However, practicing gratitude is a great way to finally let some light shine through.
Some days you will have to look harder for things to be grateful for than others. Nevertheless, try and make it a habit and something you do daily.
Reference motivating and inspiring affirmations every single day until they become your reality.
I love to use the Five Minute Journal for my gratitude purposes.
It helps to set the right intention for my day and I can end it on a happier note.
I highly recommend it if you’re new to practicing gratitude and journaling in general.
Grab my FREE affirmations guide below if you need some guidance in this department.
4. Educate yourself
Educate yourself on mental health and start your personal development journey as soon as possible.
It can be empowering to learn more about the certain conditions you are dealing with such as depression, anxiety or overwhelm.
You may even learn that your condition is genetic and can then turn to a family member for support.
Information is power and upping your knowledge game, in general, is one of many ways to improve your mental health.
Listen to a podcast, watch an inspiring video on YouTube or read a blog post like this one to motivate you to think better and more supportive thoughts.
5. Healthy sleeping patterns
Girl, make sleep a priority.
I cannot stress this enough.
Sleep deprivation will have a HUGE effect on your emotional wellbeing.
If you’re struggling to fall and stay asleep, get on a regular sleeping cycle – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) to improve your quality of sleep.
It may be a little hard in the beginning, but once your body adapts you’ll sleep like a baby.
I usually aim to be in bed by 10 PM every night and up by 6 AM. 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal.
Again, seek out a professional if you’re really struggling with sleep.
6. Have a balanced diet
Eating well and balanced can also help with your sleep FYI.
Now we want a good and wholesome diet in general.
The things you put in your body is directly linked to your mood and your overall health.
If you only eat foods that are high in sugars, your mood will be up and down like a yoyo. No good.
I know you’ve heard this before but incorporate fruit and vegetables into your diet…
Foods like walnuts and spinach are amazing for brain health and bananas can give you real serotonin high.
7. Connect with others
Use the Internet for what it’s worth and connect with others through social media, Facebook groups, podcasts or, better yet, in real life.
Reach out to people who are in the same boat as you, support each other on your mental health journeys.
Maybe there’s even a local group you can participate in?
Explore your options and connect with good people who will cheer you on and keep you accountable.
Who here has heard that exercising can help with anxiety and depression?
Although you’ve most likely heard it before, I want you to take it seriously and try it out before hopping on the medicine-train.
I try and work out every single day.
Working out is how I get my endorphins and it is so much more effective than any anti-depressants.
Now, I want to be clear that this is something that works for me.
It may not work for you, but there is definitely a link between feeling better and exercising.
Discover a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy so you’ll stick with it.
There’s no reason to push yourself to do something you absolutely hate.
Dancing does it for me.
All hail journaling.
Journaling is therapeutic, meditative and acts as a therapy outlet for bad vibes and negative thoughts.
Get out a fresh journal and write about how you’re feeling, a dream you had or whatever comes to mind.
Write freely to get everything out of your system.
Evaluate what you’ve written down and pay attention to how it makes you feel.
Is there a thought you could think instead to feel better?
This is an effective way to get your negative thoughts out and onto a piece of paper so you can distance yourself from them.
Music can make you literally feel ANYTHING.
You might as well let it make you feel AMAZING.
Put on your favorite feel-good tunes and dance it out – and with that comes an extra set of endorphins.
Start your day by pumping yourself full of hopeful tracks.
11. Goodbye SoMe
There is a direct link between social media use and bad mental health.
Meaningless scrolling through everybody’s perfect feed isn’t serving you with any value, and it will only make you feel bad about yourself.
The only way to break this link is to expose yourself to a digital detox.
There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Delete all social media apps on your phone
- Download an app-blocker on your phone to limit social media use
- Only follow people who make you feel good about yourself and serve you with value
- Add constraints to your life where you make it habit to NEVER go on social media before noon and only during a specific time during the day
I’ve personally deleted Instagram a bunch of times.
I usually end up downloading it again, but when I go on my digital detoxes I manage to stay in the clear and my mind, body, and soul is so much better off and I can focus on living MY life.
12. Get out of your comfort zone
Challenge yourself to do new things.
Staying locked up in your own mind and only surrounding yourself with self-deprecating thoughts is a losing game.
In order to move forward, seek out possibilities and take action – getting out of your comfort zone is a must.
I know it might be hard to hear this but… doing things that scare you a little every day will help you grow and boost your positive mindset.
Go from an “I could never do that” mindset to an “I can do anything” mindset.
It’s possible, but it all starts OUTSIDE your comfort zone.
13. Daily check-in
Ask yourself questions to get to the bottom of why you are feeling the way you are.
Check in with yourself daily and ask the following questions:
- What am I feeling?
- Why is that?
- What are the thoughts behind these feelings?
- Why do I believe these thoughts to be true?
- How can I change my thinking?
- How can I make today amazing?
- How can I pamper myself today?
14. Practice self-care daily
A little self-care goes a long way.
In order to break through the dark noise, you need to take care of yourself.
Check out the blog post below to get a few ideas for your new self-care routine.
Pamper yourself every day, even if just for 10 minutes.
15. Quit alcohol
Alcohol has a major effect on your overall wellbeing and health. This should come as no surprise.
Alcohol changes our brain chemistry and increases stress and anxiety.
The longterm effects from a drinking binge will take an extensive toll on your mental health.
In conclusion, cutting down on alcohol and drinking in moderation will serve you well.
16. Make time for your dreams
Make time and room for your dreams.
Do something that makes your heart spark every day.
Don’t forget what life is all about – chasing dreams and making them come true.
If you’re struggling to set goals or set aside time for your dreams, I’d love for you to check out my ebook, Dream Morning.
It will give you the tools you need to go after your dreams, one morning at a time.
17. Color, draw or paint
There is just something about creating art that is so meditative.
The calming colors and the soothing brush strokes can help you to feel more present and in control of your thoughts and emotions.
You’re essentially creating something from nothing, and that is amazing in itself.
18. Cry it out
A good cry is good for ya.
Put on Jeff Buckley (or whatever makes you leap for the handkerchiefs) and let it all out.
Crying is a natural way to relieve stress and anxiety.
19. Give what you get
Be kind to everyone around you, give what you get and treat people the way you want to be treated.
I agree – totally cheesy, but when you are at your lowest point and feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, helping a stranger out or doing random acts of kindness is a great way to boost your own mental health.
It will make you feel good.
Here is a great list of kindness actions you can start to take today.
20. Laugh more
Just laugh, even when there is nothing close to funny happening around you.
Laugh for the sake of it and change your mood instantly.
Here are a couple of benefits of laughing out loud:
- It’s nearly impossible to feel negative emotions when you are LOL-ing
- Laughing eases anxiety
- Reduces stress
- Energy is likely to spike
- Releases endorphins
- Boosts your mood overall
- It’s totally contagious and you will most likely start a laughing party
Laughter is the best medicine, truly.
21. Take up a new hobby
Be bold and start a new activity, pursue a new hobby and do something for yourself that you know will help improve your mood.
Examples of hobbies that can help with mental health:
- Drawing, painting or doodling (or writing in general)
22. Slow down
We live in a fast pacing world that is constantly demanding more from us.
There’s so much going on and we find ourselves experiencing information overload.
Take the time to whine down after a long day.
Things you can do to slow down:
- Wake up earlier so you have an hour to yourself in the morning
Start and finish your days on a slow and relaxed note.
23. Fresh air will do you good
Get out of the house (and your mind) daily.
Be outside in the fresh air as much as you can.
Go for a long walk and listen to your favorite music or podcasts.
Fresh air will do you good, girl.
24. Stop the comparison
Comparing yourself to others is the true devil.
Remember that you are on your own journey.
You are going through life in your own way and you’re doing the best you can.
There is a difference between being inspired and comparing.
Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
25. Learn to say no
Saying no is power.
You cannot possibly say yes to every task, appointment or question that comes at you.
If you do this, you are bound to feel overwhelmed and inadequate.
Practice saying no daily and don’t feel bad about it.
Say yes to things you really want to do, activities and people that fill you up.
Say no to things that you don’t want to do.
Put you and your mental health first – it’s as simple as that.
26. Practice a positive mindset
There’s really no way around it.
You need to start practicing having a more positive mindset if you want to improve your mental health.
Your thoughts lay the foundation for how you FEEL.
Start by identifying your current thoughts, write them down and reflect.
Come up with new supportive thoughts to think instead.
Shifting from a negative to a positive mindset takes time.
Be patient and do the groundwork every day. Eventually, you will see results.
To better understand your mind and how you can go about changing your current mindset, read my blog post, Mindset Hacks That Will Change Your Life.
27. One day at a time
Take things one day at a time.
Change won’t happen overnight.
However, implementing a few things from this list is a great starting point for improving your mental health.
It will take a while to break your bad thinking patterns, but go at your own pace and take it 15 minutes at a time.
Before You Go
There you have it – 27 powerful ways to improve your mental health.
Before you go, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite resource for changing your mindset.
A little under a year ago, I enrolled in a course called Personal Development For Her (previously known as Design Your Dream Life Academy) and it changed my life.
The course gave my mental health a true makeover for the better and I haven’t looked back since.
This course plus daily exercise saved me, and I slowly started to move away from my all-consuming anxiety.
If you’re looking to change your mindset for good, I highly recommend checking out Personal Development For Her.