People rarely talk about their mental health, not even with their families. It has been a hush-hush subject for decades. We were taught that anything dealing with your mental health was not to be discussed, it made you look weak. It is only over the last several years that we are getting told that it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength to take care of our mental health and talk to someone if needed. Men especially have gotten so much backlash at even the mention of counseling or therapy that they wouldn’t even consider going to talk to someone. However great therapy is when it is needed, there are still things that we can do on our own to help boost our mental health.
Living in a stressful society
In the world we live in today, we are more stressed than ever before. There are triggers that we face everyday such as finances, death, unemployment, and others. However, today we add in politics, the up and down of our health care system, mass shootings, racial injustice, and the increase in natural disasters. All of these things cause a lot of trauma in our lives. Worry and anxiety are nothing new to us, but an increase due to the things going on around us and in our world today are piling onto our already burdened down bodies causing us to be overwhelmed. There are things that we can do to support our psychological well-being.
Here are a few of the ways that we can support our mental health. There are many more so this list is just a starting list.
Deep breathing – increasing the amount of oxygen that your brain receives will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This can promote a state of serenity. When you are feeling stressed find a quiet space and do some deep breathing. Your body will respond with a new sense of calmness.
Gardening – when you feel like you’re having trouble concentrating on simple tasks, take some time, go outside and set your mind free as you cultivate your garden. Gardening is a very efficient mood booster, the vitamin D, also known as “the happy hormone” will help uplift your soul and body. Moreover, many researchers have proven that the bacteria found in soil contains antidepressants that stimulate serotonin production.
Reading – when you are overwhelmed and need an escape, grabbing a book might be exactly what you need to get back on track. Whether you are more into science or you love fiction, there is always a perfect book to get your mind occupied.
Laughing – laughter helps reduce anxiety, it boosts the immune system and stimulates the release of endorphins. Take some time to focus on what makes you laugh as the cliche goes “do more of what makes you happy.” Watch a funny movie or some videos online. Catching up with an old friend will always bring some great laughter as you go through your memories.
Morning Showers – How you start your morning can really affect your mood throughout that whole day. Taking a cold shower in the morning will help you feel refreshed and boost your energy. To make the experience even better you can invest in shower replacement if you want to update the look and feel of your bathroom or if you need to create a shower that is more friendly to those with limited mobility. You could also add pictures around your bathroom to give it a cozy feeling.
Traveling – what always helps me the most to reduce stress is taking the time and traveling by my car. If you have an international driving permit you may visit places outside your country, long ride hours would make your mind think positively.
Pets – animals lower stress hormones which stimulate feelings of happiness. Even if you don’t have a pet, maybe you have a friend who has a pet or a local shelter that needs volunteers.
Omega 3s – add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. They are linked to decreased rates of depression and schizophrenia among their many benefits. Fish oil supplements work. Eating your omega-3s that come from foods like wild salmon, flaxseeds or walnuts also helps build healthy gut bacteria.
Exercises – It is proven that exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, walking and dancing reduce anxiety and depression. They also help with better sleep, stress relief, improved mood, increased energy and stamina, enhanced mental alertness, and reduced cholesterol, and improved cardiovascular health. One way to exercise is by using a motorized bike kit. You may ask what a motorized bike kit is? A motorized bicycle engine kit is a motor that you install on your bicycle. There is a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine that you can use to turn your bike into running somewhat like a gas-powered vehicle. There are several reasons to add the engine to your bike. It makes getting from point A to point B and back easier and quicker. Examples are traveling to school or work and short errands like a grocery store run. You can upgrade your bike as a hobby too. The open-air, and bright sky. Sunlight synthesizes vitamin D, which is believed to be a mood elevator. Just enjoy the ride.