Improve Your Mental Health
When people tell you to improve your mental health, sometimes their suggestions can be unhelpful and sometimes downright cruel; anybody ever get the “it’s not that bad, just get over it” response? We all know we need to work on our mental health. Knowing where to start or finding other options besides going to counseling can be hard. Here are some of the things as a counselor in training I recommend to start improving your mental health!
Journaling is one of the most simple things you can do! Even if it’s just you writing “I don’t know what to write, this is stupid”, it helps! Writing your thoughts in the present moment or after an event does wonders because you are getting your thoughts out. It has the same effect as telling someone about the issue.
If you don’t like the idea of just writing what comes to your head, here are some specific exercises!
Things of gratitude
Writing a list of things you are grateful for can help you remember good things you have after a bad day. When you first start out making the list, it can be hard to come up with things. Starting with three until your thinking process changes and your brain begins to search out things to be grateful for is a good start!
Change of thinking exercises
If you have anxiety or happen to be a pessimist like me, this exercise is good for changing your thought process and making you think of other options than your gut reaction. If you have an anxiety inducing event coming up and you’re thinking the worst try this:
Write down the main negative thought you have (They’ll say I’m crazy for asking that and fire me). Then write down all the possible reasons that thought ISN’T going to happen (I do my job to the best of my ability, they’ve said they appreciated my work) This exercise allows you to rationalize POSITIVELY
Self-development allows you to gain confidence in yourself and raise that self-esteem! It also teaches you things like how to be more positive, live life for yourself, and be a best version of yourself! There are three different ways you can work on your personal development.
Podcasts for encouragement
Podcasts are my favorite form of self-development because I can listen to them in the car and at work. Each episode is a different topic and an hour at the longest so you don’t need to dedicate a lot of time to them. My favorite podcasts are Rachel Hollis’ RISE and Kacia Fitzgerald’s EmpowerHER, both of which you can find on Spotify!
Motivational speaker videos
If you are more of a visual person, watching motivational speakers is a great option! TedTalks are one of the best places to get motivational videos but if you want to sprinkle throughout the day, the Instagram accounts Goal.cast and Garyvee (Gary Vaynerchuck) are amazing short videos with just as much power!
Books for new ways of thinking
If you enjoy the good old pen to paper and hearing words in your own voice, books are just as good! Rachel Hollis’ two books are perfect girl power messages. Un-Fuck yourself is a great choice as well!
Putting unprocessed foods into your body will make you physically feel better which will lead to already better mental health. non-processed foods are what your body is originally able to break down. It’s a smoother and faster process for your body. Unprocessed foods also have more and the correct vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to function. The chemicals and processes that canned and boxed foods go through takes those essential nutrients out. Your brain needs these things as well, and if it’s not getting them it will not function properly just like your body doesn’t when you don’t eat enough food in the day. Eat the non-GMO, vegan, unprocessed foods and you will be surprised what a difference it makes.
If you need help figuring out the good from the bad, this program from nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein tells you everything you need to know with printouts and instructional videos. This program is my favorite because she takes affordability into account and tells you how to get the most nutritional value at the cheapest price!
Serotonin and dopamine are the happy chemicals in your brain that get released along with other endorphins when you exercise. When you do it for a routine amount of time, the amount of endorphins your brain releases become higher every time. The more you work out, the higher amounts get released and the effects stay for a longer period of time.
Like with eating the right foods, making sure your body is in physical healthy shape allows you to feel better physically which helps your mental state. If you are looking to get healthy, and don’t know where or how to start, this 21-day program by fitness expert Autumn Calabrese, is perfect for beginners!