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mental health

How Does Someone Keep Mentally Healthy?

by BetterSleep
Jul 13 • 4 min read

Mental health is an essential part of our well-being, yet many still find it a hard thing to talk about. Bring up mental health in any conversation a decade ago, and you would be met with awkward silences or comments about being “crazy.” Thankfully, the stigma surrounding mental health has drastically decreased as more people realize the importance of taking care and talking about our mental health.

Mental health isn’t as straightforward as physical health (you can’t measure sadness like a temperature), making it overwhelming to know what to do to take care of yourself. That’s why we’re sharing insights into how you can care for your mental health so you can feel your best.

The benefits of taking care of your mental health

Just as it’s important to keep yourself physically healthy, maintaining good mental health comes with astounding benefits. When you’re in a good place mentally, it can help you think more clearly, improve resilience, increase your self-esteem, improve relationships, and give you more confidence to live the life you want.

The state of your mental health greatly impacts your physical health. Anxiety and depression can cause physical problems like headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, and more. People with mental health problems are likelier to have preventable physical health conditions like heart disease.

How to take care of your mental health

Now for the million-dollar question, how do you stay mentally healthy? Just as with physical health, the answer will be different for everyone depending on your circumstances. Here are some things that can help.

Practice gratitude

It’s easy to think of all the things you are missing in your life. Thinking of writing down things that you are grateful for daily is an amazing practice that can help you see what you already have and give you a more positive outlook for your day ahead. On top of that, it can also boost self-esteem and improve social relationships.

Check-in with your emotions

It’s easy to feel like there is always constant pressure to be okay, happy, and have it all together. Responding with anything other than “good” when someone asks, “how are you today?” seems unnatural. But, we can’t be happy all the time.

The only way to work through tough emotions is to acknowledge them. Try a daily check-in with yourself to become more aware of your emotions. Even spending a few minutes acknowledging your feelings can help you understand where that emotion is coming from. Once you know what you are feeling, you can figure out a healthy way to cope with that emotion.

  • Practice self-care
  • Journal
  • Exercise
  • Call a loved one
  • Go for a walk outdoors
  • Read your favorite book

Tip: try a grounding exercise like deep breathing or guided meditation before you do a check-in.

Get enough sleep

When we’re tired, it’s harder for our bodies to cope with stressful situations. On the flip side, when our mental health isn’t good, it’s harder to get a night of good quality sleep (around 75% of people with depression show insomnia symptoms.) Here are some ways to improve your sleep hygiene to try and boost your mental health.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily.
  • Dedicate time before bed to relax by meditating, reading your favorite book, or taking a calming bath
  • Block out light and other excess noise in your room for a serene sleep environment

These are just some things you can start doing to improve your mental health. Don’t be discouraged if you have a bad day or month. Just like you get sick physically, it’s normal to have times when you’re mentally sick. Make it a priority to check in with yourself daily about how you’re feeling to know what you need to do to take care of your mental health. And remember, asking for help if you are struggling is never weak. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

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