How Can You Support Your Mental Health Right Away? 

Improving your mental health is a great goal, but it’s not an easy or quick one to accomplish. Similar to keeping on top of your physical health, mental health work is a lifelong task. Therapists can help you identify harmful patterns and work through defense mechanisms learned in childhood. This process can take years, however. While there’s no substitute for looking inward and asking hard questions of yourself, there are also small and easy ways to make small improvements on a daily basis.

What Can You Do Today To Support Your Mental Health?

Forming habits is key to lasting change. Incorporate healthy mental habits into your daily routine to achieve small, instant boosts that add up over time. These daily habits don’t require a large investment of funds, time or resources. Try selecting just one to start and gradually add to the routine as time goes on. Setting achievable and modest goals is often the best way to stick to new habits.

Start a Basic Journal

Journaling takes thoughts out of the indeterminate space in your head and pins them down on paper. That said, you don’t have to buy a nice journal and a set of pens to reap the benefits of keeping a journal. Typing a few lines about your day in the notes application of any phone or computer works just as well. 

If you’re prone to dwelling on social interactions or worrying about the future before bed, a journal is a great way to start chipping away at these tendencies. Writing down problems can sometimes make them seem smaller than they are. Writing down affirmations and truths that make you feel good about yourself is even more important. Over time, a good journal can change your thought patterns for the better.

Read Fiction

Stories calm and engage the brain at the same time. There are countless benefits of reading for your mental health, physical health and overall personal development. Reading fiction provides a mental escape from the stresses of the day and is an active way to reduce stress. Daily reading also increases your vocabulary and language skills, which are crucial to interpersonal relationships. Reading a physical book or an eReader on night mode for half an hour before bed promotes healthy sleep. 

Switch Up Your Exercise Routine

Exercise is as important for mental health as it is for physical health. Walking around the block is an easy form of exercise that requires no investment and can reset your stress levels. Reap even more benefits by going for a walk with your pet, child or loved one to strengthen bonds with quality time. 

If you’re already exercising, try switching the type of exercise to give your brain and body more variety. Dancing, for example, engages creative pathways in the brain and can provide a small mental health boost. A study from UCLA Health found that unstructured and impulsive dancing exercises improved symptoms of moderate depression and anxiety. 

Give Out Compliments

Generosity can be a difficult mindset to access when you’re under stress or not in a good place personally. Many people’s first instincts are to withdraw instead of engage. However, if you can access a generous spirit, it can improve your mental health as well as the mental health of others around you. 

A simple compliment is all it takes to jumpstart this transformation. Try to give genuine compliments rather than forcing one at the start of an interaction. Over time, you may begin to notice more things to compliment about the people around you and transfer that positive outlook toward yourself.

How Can You Support Your Mental Health Over Time?

There is no band-aid fix for mental health. Professional therapists are an irreplaceable resource, but in many communities, this help can be difficult to access. Small mental health habits can help in the meantime to gradually inspire change. Spend a few minutes per day on any of these tasks to take active steps for your mental health right away. 

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