Why is Mental Wellness Important?
We are constantly bombarded by the news telling us what we should and should not eat and how little exercise everyone is doing. But where are the news pieces telling us to sit up and improve our mental wellness? Mental health is extremely important and a healthy mind can lead to a healthy body. Looking after ourselves properly does not only include the physical side of things, it also includes working on our minds and feeling happier within ourselves. There are many factors that can lead to our current states of mental health from our genetics to our family history, as well as the life events that we go through as these can strongly shape our mental outlook and the people we become. If you want to feel happier, more content with life and increase your self confidence then these issues are more than skin deep and the following tips could help to provide you with some ways to unlock your mental potential today.
1. Develop a New Skill
Keeping ones brains active through acquiring a new skill is a great way to improve mental wellness as well as your overall level of happiness. If you have always wanted to take up a musical instrument but have simply not found the time yet then why not start today? Remember that it is never too late to take up a new hobby and that there is no time like the present. In addition to this, with the internet at your fingertips you could learn an instrument interactively online. You could even search for a local music teacher on a computer first to make preliminary enquiries from the comfort of your own home. Bringing our your creativity and imagination through music could allow your brain to explore new avenues and it can be a fantastic way to channel and express your emotions.
If you work on building up a new or existing skill from learning to cook to horse riding, you will fill yourself with a new awareness and appreciation of life. Cooking can be therapeutic for your mind and working around animals such as horses or owning pets has also been shown to increase happiness levels. You could gain an increased feeling of confidence in the process, as well as a stronger belief in your own abilities.
You will in turn also provide yourself with a great sense of achievement. This could radiate into other areas of your life too. For example it could help to give you more confidence in your personal life and relationships, or a stronger sense of direction towards your career goals. There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you work hard enough and allow your mind to focus in on achieving that goal.
In contrast to music, taking up a new sport such as cycling, tennis or golf or even going swimming can not only be physically stimulating, it could also improve your mental health as well because exercise releases feel good hormones known as endorphins. It may seem like such an everyday occurrence that we are told to exercise more and increase our fitness levels, but in reality it really is an increasingly worrying issue. This is because many people are either overweight or morbidly obese in society today because not enough of us are exercising sufficiently. However, the root of this can often be feelings of low self worth or a lack of self confidence and these are all primarily mental health issues. Joining a yoga group or learning about and practicing the art of meditation are great ways to get started working on your fitness and your mind at the same time.
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Our physical health can very often go hand in hand with our mental health and outlook, so try to start small if you can with things such as walking more. Small daily physical activities such as taking the stairs or getting off the bus a few stops early can really add up over time and in the long run. Before you know it, you could burn those extra calories and shed those stubborn pounds of weight! Apply your mind to the task and visualize the end result. Look after your mind and your physical health could naturally follow too.
3. The Gift of Giving
If your mental wellness is currently suffering and you are feeling depressed or low, then giving of yourself to worthy causes can not only lift your mood and spirits, it could help others in the process too. Showing people in your local area that you care and are an active member of your community will bring you a sense of peace and contentment. Even if you only start small by opening doors for strangers, giving change to a homeless individual or smiling at a passer by then you will make a difference to your mental health and you could improve it in the long run. Volunteering is an amazing way to contribute and you could find information in your local newspapers, online or by asking around in local businesses if you can get involved. You can also build a great social network and make friends in the process which leads us on to point number four.
Spending time with your loved ones and developing new relationships will increase your feelings of confidence and self worth. Making social connections can aid your mental wellness because you can become less intrinsically involved in your own life and you can gain more perspective and empathy through listening to others. It can help to put your own issues and problems into perspective when you hear about what other people are going through. Often your problems can relate to other peoples and then you will feel less alone in life. Sometimes you have to reach out to make these connections and joining a local reading group, knitting circle, bowling team, football club and so on are all ways in which you could meet new people and enrich your life with more love and happiness. Your mental health will naturally rise with positive effects in this process.
5. Live Life in the Moment
So much time is spent worrying about the past and fretting about the future that we can often forget to live in the present moment. Tomorrow’s problems belong to tomorrow, not today and what has happened in the past cannot be altered but simply needs to be accepted in order for you to gain peace of mind and move forwards. If friends invite you to a party or to the cinema but you are low in self confidence then you may turn the offer down. The result will be that your mental health will stay in a spiral of negativity.
Instead, encourage yourself to go and live life to the fullest because life can be short. Have you heard the saying ‘you should live each day as if it were your last because one day you will be correct’. This is a sobering thought and one which we should all embrace more. Tell your family and friends that you love them more, do kind gestures for others and this mentality of positivity will radiate not only into other areas of your life improving your confidence, but also out into the wider world as well.
Below is a video from Doctor Vincent Bellonzi from the You Tube channel ‘Psyche Truth’. He discusses seven steps that one can take towards better mental health.