Stress management is something everyone needs, regardless of age or gender. The world has a way of inflicting stress and stressors, big or small.
The beauty of life is while you may face obstacles, how you respond to them makes a difference. You can choose to embrace those mentally challenging moments and make the most of them, or adopt a negative mindset.
The lifestyle you lead matters too. There are daily habits that can help relieve stress. These small changes can have a positive impact on your mental health if you do them consistently. Let’s look at some positive lifestyle changes that can boost your mental health and help you get back on a track toward mental wellness.
Cut Back on Social Media
If you feel your social media is taking a toll on your mental health, it might be time to put the phone down. Why not turn some screen time into self-care? Spend the time you use to check your phone doing something more deeply satisfying, like taking a short walk, playing with a pet, or calling a friend. Another downside of social media is that checking it in the evening can interrupt sleep time, something your body needs for mental health and wellness. Studies link time spent on social media with sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality. Getting a good night’s sleep is important – designate a specific amount of time to be on social media and cut it off after that.
Get Outdoors During the Day
There are many mental health advantages to getting outdoors during the day. Exposing yourself to natural light helps set your body’s internal biological clock, a timekeeper that affects your health and mood. Being in green spaces also has a calming effect. Some studies show that spending time in nature reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Even 20 minutes of nature can lower your body’s stress response. Head outdoors for a short walk – without your phone.
Move Your Body as Soon as You Wake Up
Movement is good for your mind and mood. Studies show that people who are physically active are at a lower risk of developing depression. Exercise also causes your body to produce more endorphins, natural pain relievers that also have mood elevating effects. If you do brisk exercise in the morning, it will set a positive tone for the day. Plus, exercise affects neurotransmistters in your brain and nervous system in a way that boosts mood. Start the day with a stretch and walk outdoors, and you’ll be doing something positive for your mental health.
Research shoes mindfulness can help with anxiety and depression. While there are many types of meditation that focus on breathing and relaxation, mindfulness meditation is unique in that it teaches you to pay close attention to the present moment. You do this by focusing on your breathing and noticing when your mind wanders off. When it does, gently bring it back. When your mind engages with the present, you’re not focused on the past or the future. You don’t have to mediate for long periods to get benefits. Ten or fifteen minutes during the day can pay off by giving you a more positive outlook and less stress.
For other helpful habits or to seek support with improving your mental wellness, book a session with one of our qualified therapists – we offer phone, video or text therapy.