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By Amanda Fuller

10 ways to better your mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. After all, your whole body works together. So if one part of your body is a little off, then most likely it will throw the rest of your body off a little. Everyone can work on their mental health. It is not just for people who deal with mental illness. Here are ten ways you can better your state of mind.

1. Increase self-worth defines self-worth as "the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect". Do you respect yourself? Are you kind to yourself? If you answer no to one or both of these questions, try not to be too hard on yourself. Self-criticism will not do you any good.

Respecting and being kind to one's self can be tough, but it is not impossible. Start by spending some time to know who you really are. You can do this by journaling, or making a list of your likes and dislikes, or even participating in activities you enjoy. Make sure to use self-care daily to be respectful and kind to yourself by relaxing in a bubble bath, or taking a nap, etc.

2. Care for your body

Yes, your mental health also relies on your physical health. Sleeping on a schedule can be tough and especially annoying on weekends when you just want to sleep in, but it is important to receive the right amount of sleep for your body to function well throughout the day.

Keeping a schedule on a regular basis will help your body know when to sleep and when to wake up. Exercising daily can help reduce stress, help prevent disease, improve stamina, strengthen and tone, enhance flexibility and even help you sleep better. Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet are important in keeping your body functioning more properly. Caring for your body will help increase your mental well being.

3. Surround yourself with others

Isolating can lead to depression, so plan to have lunch with a friend or play a sport. Humans need connection with other humans. Yes, alone time is important, but having a network of people to hang out with and talk to is also important. The more you spend time with positive people, the more likely you will feel more positive yourself. Something is said for what kind of energy you surround yourself in.

4. Help others

Helping others will give you a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Volunteer at an animal shelter, a hospital, a food pantry; offer to help a neighbor; etc. The people and/or animals will appreciate your help, and you might even appreciate yourself more.

5. Reduce stress

By reducing stress, you will be reducing cortisol levels in your blood. Cortisol is a hormone produced in your adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys. Too much cortisol can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and so on. Try reducing stress by:

  • yoga
  • deep breathing
  • taking a walk
  • playing with an animal
  • aromatherapy
  • coloring
  • receiving a massage
  • etc.

6. Quiet your mind

Meditation is a great way to clear and slow down your mind. Use guided meditation, or find a place where you will not be distracted, such as sitting outside or finding a quiet room. Just listen to the sounds around you, feel the sensations in your body, and let your thoughts just be thoughts without judging them or becoming caught up in them. Just let the present moment be what it is.

7. Set goals

Setting realistic goals will give you something to look forward to, as well as give you a feeling of accomplishment once you have reached that goal. Writing down steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal(s) can help to organize what needs to happen in order to reach the goal, as well as showing you how much progress you made.

8. Change your routine

Try something different, such as buying coffee in the morning on your way to work from somewhere else. Doing the same thing too often can become boring and too redundant. Try new things or plan a day of randomness. New can be exciting and bring out curiosity.

9. Avoid alcohol and other drugs

Drugs such as alcohol can mess with you and change your state of mind. It it best to stay away from items which can alter the brain.

10. Reach out for help when needed

Call a friend or make an appointment with a therapist. It is always best to talk it out and not bottle it up. Even if you are not looking for advice, having someone listen is always nice.

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