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20 Best Feel Good Activities To Boost Mental Health

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Why Is Maintaining Good Mental Health Important?

Maintaining good mental health is important because it impacts every aspect of life. Positive mental health helps stabilize and improve emotional health, behavior, and thinking skills. Good mental health can improve self-esteem, productivity, and personal relationships.

Other Benefits of Maintaining Good Mental Health:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Helps with thinking skills

You can engage in the following activities to help boost your mental health:

1. Maintain A Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy balanced diet can help if you suffer from low energy and mood swings. If you make sure to fulfill your basic dietary needs, your emotional health should improve as well.

Consuming vegetables, fruits, legumes, and fish can help increase mental acuity. In addition, foods rich in glucose and vitamins will ensure you are healthy, physically fit, and have good mental health.

You can also raise your attention span and emotional stability if you drink enough water along with a healthy diet. This in turn will also improve your performance and mental endurance throughout the day.

2. Deep Breathing

High levels of stress can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. It can also have an adverse effect on your physical health, including a weakened immune system and susceptibility to disease.

It is possible to reduce stress by doing deep, rhythmic breathing. It is recommended you do deep breathing shortly after waking up in the morning. Sit down with a relaxed mind and take a few deep breaths. Exhale slowly after taking a deep breath, causing your diaphragm to expand.

Deep breathing can help reduce your heart rate and relax your thoughts. This can be quite helpful for people who suffer from panic or anxiety attacks.

The Center for Healthy Minds  advises people to close their eyes and take 10 deep breaths to help practice and develop self-awareness. This practice will help improve your mental health and sense of awareness.

3. Exercise

Exercise

Exercises can help improve mental health and emotional balance if you have better cardiovascular health.

Aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, swimming, etc., are highly recommended for better mental and physical health. In addition to boosting mental health and reducing stress, aerobic exercises also have the following benefits:

  • Naturally improves mood
  • Increases mental and physical stamina
  • More social interaction
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Better sleeping habits

4. Yoga

Yoga helps you attain better mental health due to balancing the needs of your body and mind. However, it is also effective when done with counseling and meditation. Yoga improves mental health by increasing the production of hormones like gamma-aminobutyric acid and endorphin which can help lower stress hormones.

According to the National Library of Medicine ,
“By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems.”

5. Meditation

Another t way to improve mental health is through meditation. Meditation can help with managing stress, anxiety, and emotional health. It is recommended you meditate at least a few minutes per day to ensure natural mood improvement and a relaxed mind. 

Keep in mind that meditation can help you manage mental health issues but cannot eliminate them.

If you want to practice meditation daily, start by meditation for only a few minutes, then gradually increase the duration over the next few days.

6. Reading

Reading can be a great way to calm your mind. Bibliotherapy is when you read that directly or indirectly reduces mental health issues. Reading has been shown to lessen feelings of depression.

In addition to boosting mental health, reading may also have the following benefits:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves intelligence
  • Improves memory
  • Improves sleeping habits
  • Reduces chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease

7. Follow A Sleep Schedule

Follow a regular sleep schedule to ensure better health and performance. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

When we sleep, the brain is less active but works to analyze and retain thoughts and memories when we sleep. Not getting enough sleep will result in the brain failing to perform proper functions. Lack of sleep can cause mental health conditions to worsen, including the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or mood swings.

8. Social Interaction

Even if you don’t like social gatherings, making an effort to interact with people can improve your mental health. You can expand your social circle by joining a club or a neighborhood group, participating in local sports events, signing up for community service, and spending time with friends and family.

People who are not as socially active are more likely to suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety. People with more social connections have higher self-esteem, find it easier to empathize with other people, and tend to be more trustworthy and cooperative.

9. Laughter

Laughter can help reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. When laughing, you take in more oxygen which energizes your lungs, heart, and muscles.

Additionally, laughing can strengthen your immune system, aid in stress reduction, and reduce anxiety. If you are feeling down, try reading a funny novel, watching a funny movie, or participating in a fun group activity.

10. Spend Time With Nature

Spending time in nature can help boost your mental well-being and give you time to recharge. Set aside at least 20 minutes to go outside and interact with nature. Spending time with nature can have the following benefits:

  • Decreases emotional tension or feelings of anger
  • Helps you to relax
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves physical health
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Help you be more energetic
  • Lets you interact with other people
  • Minimizes feelings of loneliness

11. Gardening

Many individuals engage in gardening to improve the look of their front or backyard and relieve stress. Going outside to do some gardening will expose you to fresh air and vitamin D, while also letting you engage in mild cardio exercise.

12. Writing in a Journal

Writing in a journal helps people suffering from mental health express their emotions without fear of judgment. Take your time writing how you are feeling if you are feeling down and need a non-destructive way to vent your frustrations.

13. Traveling

Another way to boost mental health is by traveling. Traveling will increase feelings of happiness and improve your mood due to exposure to new experiences.

Going on a road trip with your family or friends can help improve your mental health.

14. Cycling

Cycling

Cycling can lower cortisol levels, thus reducing feelings of stress as a result. Riding a bicycle can also help reduce anxiety by increasing the release of endorphins.

Other benefits of cycling may include:

  • Strengthen your mental fortitude
  • Builds your social circle
  • Gives you peace of mind
  • Improves physical health
  • Boosts self-esteem

15. Listen to Music

Sometimes your mood can be affected by your choice of songs, becoming sad or happy depending on the nature of the lyrics.

Music has been utilized by doctors who assist patients suffering from anxiety.

A psychologist from Delhi named Dr. Bhavna Barmi stated,
“One of the principal things that happen when music enters our cerebrums is that it discharges dopamine and activates a synapse that causes you to feel upbeat.”

16. Accepting Your Emotions

Acceptance is about fully admitting the reality of a situation without focusing on the negatives. Accepting your emotions does not mean ignoring them or detaching yourself from your emotional state. Instead, try to cope with bad situations by acknowledging them. 

A mental health consultant named Claire Barber stated,
“Instead, cope with the crises by actually coping with the crises. This means naming emotions and acknowledging them. Validate the way that you feel.”

17. Focus On the Present

Focusing on the present means being aware of your feelings, body, thoughts, and surroundings. In other words, paying attention to the present will help you be more mindful. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress and enjoy life more.

18. Seek Help When Needed

Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you are in trouble. Do not carry all the burdens alone. Your family, friends, and colleagues are there to support you. Make a habit of seeking help if you are facing a difficulty you feel you cannot overcome on your own.

19. Performing Acts Of Kindness

Doing acts of kindness can help improve mental health and give you inner peace. Performing acts of kindness release hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, which can boost self-esteem, and helps decrease cortisol levels, which reduces depression and anxiety. The people that you help can also become friends, helping increase social connections.

20. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and other drugs can negatively affect your body and brain functions. Because drugs and alcohol alter the chemical equilibrium in your brain responsible for thought, emotion, creativity, and decision-making, they also negatively affect your mental health. For better mental health, it is best to stay away from these influences.

Last Words

Although these daily activities are not a cure for mental disorders, they can help improve your mental health. You now know the 20 best feel-good activities to keep stress at bay and enjoy better mental health.

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