Due to the various causes of mental illness and differing experiences of individuals, mental health is complex to both understand and treat. While different people have different needs, creating healthy habits can help anyone sustain and even improve their overall well-being. Below are some effective habits to improve mental health that can help ease and control the symptoms of your mental illness.
Healthy Mental Health Habits to Follow
Mental health encompasses the way we think, feel, and interact with others. It can also determine the way we handle difficult situations. When you don’t take care of your mind, it can have an impact on your emotional and even physical well-being, leading to impairment in cognition, memory, learning, socializing, and more. For these reasons, it’s important to find healthy ways to keep up your spirits and support your mental well-being. With this said, below are some daily habits to improve mental health that can make this possible.
Exercise is one of the most recommended and important healthy habits for mental health. Regular exercise has been shown to not only aid in physical fitness and well-being but also to relieve stress, improve sleep, and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Whether it’s taking a walk around the block, playing sports with friends, or following along to a workout video in your living room, being active greatly benefits your mental health.
Limit Screen Time
With the advent of the smartphone and other technologies, it now seems like we’re always in front of a screen. Recent research suggests that American adults spend over 11 hours a day interacting with media online. While social media has its benefits – such as accessibility to communication – it can also take a toll on one’s mental health.
Another study from the University of Pennsylvania observed 143 undergraduate students and their mental health. One group of students limited their social media use to 30 minutes, while the other group used it as normal. After three weeks, the group that had limited social media time showed a significant drop in loneliness and depression.
Therefore, self-monitoring screen time can greatly benefit your mental health and is one of the habits to improve mental health that our Florida mental health rehab recommends. Fortunately, this can be easily done, as many smartphones have built-on or downloadable apps that can help track app usage and screen time.
Sleep isn’t just a nonnegotiable for physical health. It also plays an essential role in mental health. One 2021 study on 273,695 adults in the United States found that people who averaged 6 hours of sleep or less per night were about 2.5 times more likely to report mental distress than those who averaged more than 6 hours of sleep.
The quality of your sleep also matters, as disrupted sleep can contribute to poor mental health, as well. To get better sleep, try avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m., wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, make your bedroom quiet and clutter-free, and keep the temperature in your bedroom cool.
Do Things You Enjoy
A common symptom of mental illness is stopping activities that you once enjoyed. So what better way to combat mental illness than to get back into the things you love? This can include art, journaling, playing sports, or any other habit that you enjoy.
Pro tip: try a hobby that requires intense focus and concentration, like pottery making and painting, to help distract your mind from the things that contribute to anxiety and depression.
Spend Time With People
Isolation is another common symptom of mental illness, as disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and others can make us feel ashamed, lonely, and isolated. However, spending time with the people you love can do more good to the mind and soul than you realize. A good laugh with a friend or simply being in the quiet company of a parent or sibling can offer a sense of peace, love, and companionship that greatly contributes to a person’s well-being.
Get Mental Health Treatment Today
While there are plenty of good habits to improve mental health you can follow, none are a replacement for the real thing. If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, our Boca treatment center can help. We offer various forms of mental health treatment, including treatment for mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and more.
Penn Today - Social media use increases depression and loneliness
NIH - Effect of Inadequate Sleep on Frequent Mental Distress