Everyone is always looking for easy ways to increase mental clarity, focus, and overall mental health. So I have compiled a short list of easy activities to add to your daily routine to overall mental health. In a society facing such a mental health crisis, it is important to take care of one’s mind. Simple remedies rich with common sense can really improve your mental state and overall happiness.
Straighten your stride
TIME reported on a study conducted by the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry writing, “researchers found that when subjects were asked to walk with shoulders slouched, hunched over, and with minimum arm movements, they experianced worse moods than those who had more pep in their steps. What’s more, participants who walked in the slouchy style remembered more negative things rather than positive things.
Quit living through a screen
As we turn the corner in the new “smart” technology era, humankind is rapidly normalizing the concept of “living through a lens.” Although the information age can put any book at your fingertips instantly, there are also times to put technology down. In a study by Psychological Science, subjects participated in a museum tour. They observed the art pieces both with the naked eye and also by taking photos of them. The study concluded that subjects had a more difficult time remembering the art that was photographed when compared to the art they viewed with their eyes alone.
A lot of people underestimate the power that exercise can have on our mental state. They are under the false impression that the only way to treat mental ailments is a doctor and pharmaceutical drugs. These are not the only remedies. According to the Independent, “exercising three times a week decreases your risk of being depressed by 19 percent, according to a study by University College London. Researchers found that active people are less likely to be depressed and depressed people are less likely to be active.”
Escape toxic relationships
Sometimes the most direct influences in a person’s life that can affect mental health negatively are those they choose to surround themselves with. Being around people who constantly insult, ridicule, or belittle you can negatively impact a person’s self-esteem, even subconsciously. This can lead to unhealthy levels of anxiety and depression. Ask the advice of an objective, close trusted friend if you think you are involved in an unhealthy relationship.
Get plenty of sleep
A very important factor in maintaining a healthy mental state is to get an adequate amount of rest. Keeping to a regular sleep schedule and letting your body recharge can profoundly improve mental health. TIME quoted Diedra L. Clay, PsyD, chair and associate professor of the counseling and health psychology department at Bastyr University.
“Sleep affects everything, emotional and mental capabilities, as well as our bodies’ functioning. Sleep is our bodies way of regenerating and without it the system malfunctions.”
Some of these may seem like common sense facts, and yet most of them are completely overlooked and underused by our society today. Making small easy changes like those listed above may go a long way in improving mental health for you or a loved one. Spread the message. Share this article and talk about these issues with those you care about. A book I found useful with improving mental health is Gorilla Mindset, by Mike Cernovich. It is a great read, with other insightful tips and tricks.