There are various factors that affect our mental health. Some of these factors we have no control over, such as our genetic make-up, brain chemistry, and adverse childhood experiences. However, there are some choices we can make in order to promote positive mental health. In this article, we will focus specifically on how psychotherapy, developing healthy lifestyle habits, and cultivating meaningful connections with others can contribute to enhanced mental health.
Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) can have a powerful impact on well-being, as it assists individuals in coping with a variety of mental and emotional challenges. It is crucial to note that therapy is not only for people with a diagnosed mental disorder. Psychotherapy can be helpful for individuals in navigating life stressors such as grieving the loss of a loved one, ongoing job stress, or relationship challenges.
Research has revealed that 75% of people display positive benefits from starting psychotherapy. As a result of talk therapy, many individuals come to better understand the connection between their emotions and behaviours. They learn to identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns that may be negatively impacting them. Working with a therapist can also be beneficial for exploring thoughts and emotions in a non-judgmental space and developing healthy strategies for coping with difficult emotions.
For more articles and information about psychotherapy, visit BetterHelp.
Due to the strong connection between our mind and body, it is important to engage in daily habits that support physical health, therefore boosting mental health as well.
The first is to be intentional about moving your body every day. It doesn’t have to be an hour at the gym. Maybe it’s a walk outside during your lunch break or dancing to your favourite music. Many studies have confirmed the impact of exercise on improving mood, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhancing self-esteem.
Following a nutritious diet can also have a significant impact on how you feel throughout the day. Think about small steps you can take to add more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein into your meal plan. At the same time, be mindful of reducing processed foods, refined sugar, and saturated fat. This doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favourite treats. Instead of an all-or-nothing approach, aim to make healthy choices most of the time, but remember it’s all about moderation.
Oftentimes, sleep is the first thing to go when life gets hectic. However, not getting adequate sleep can be detrimental to mental and psychological health. It can be a vicious cycle, as individuals with mental health conditions often experience challenges with falling and staying asleep, which can in turn exacerbate their symptoms. Think about strategies you might try to facilitate better sleep, such as creating a calming environment for sleep, a consistent night-time routine, avoiding devices before bed-time, and utilising relaxation techniques. If you continue to experience ongoing challenges with sleep that are impacting your daily functioning, consider talking to your doctor about these concerns.
Meaningful connection with others is an essential aspect of optimal mental health. Studies have identified the importance of connection in our lives, noting that supportive relationships can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. To maintain relationships with those already in your support system, be intentional about staying in touch regularly and making plans to get together if possible. When you are feeling down, it can be tempting to isolate yourself from others; however, staying connected and engaged with other people can truly make all the difference in being able to manage during difficult times.
If you would like to build upon your support system, think about people in your life who you encounter on a regular basis that you might invite to coffee or make an effort to get to know on a deeper level. You might also consider joining a new club or organisation at your university to meet others who share similar interests. There is also the option to join a support group that focuses on a specific issue you may be facing, where you can connect with others undergoing similar challenges. While it can take time and effort, cultivating connection can have such incredible benefits on overall well-being and quality of life.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.