Even with today’s emphasis on mental health, it’s challenging to know how to improve your well-being. Think about the last time you made your mental health a priority. What do you do when you need to focus on yourself?
At Specialized Health and Safety, we typically focus on physical health, from treating allergic reactions to debunking outdated first aid techniques. However, with October being National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, we thought this was the perfect time to discuss some activities you can use to benefit your mental health.
3 Activities to Boost Your Mental Health
The most important thing to remember is that everyone enjoys different things.
It might seem overwhelming to try something new, but as the cliché goes, variety is the spice of life—and it’s also key in finding the best mental health activities for you.
Only you can judge whether an endeavor is genuinely therapeutic. However, if you want a great starting point, you can try some proven methods.
Try Meditation and Mindfulness
Both meditation and mindfulness have been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Starting a meditation or mindfulness practice is easy and only requires a minimal time investment. As a bonus, meditation doesn’t require special equipment, and you can find many free audio and video tutorials online.
Mindfulness and meditation are often used interchangeably, but there are a few differences. Meditation usually involves the practice of sitting and observing the breath. By clearing the mind, you can reduce stress and improve your mental health.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a quality of life that focuses on remaining present in the moment. While there are mindfulness meditations, there are other activities like mindful eating, walking, and even conversation.
Find a Fulfilling Exercise
Everyone knows that exercise has a positive effect on your mental health, but many people struggle to implement a long-term routine. Most people quit their training simply because the activity isn’t fulfilling. People give up on exercising for many reasons, but if you find a physical activity that interests you, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
To reap the mental health benefits of moving your body, you’ll need to find a form of exercise that excites you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If going for a run or planning a resistance workout sounds like a snooze, you might get more satisfaction from something like dancing, yoga, kickboxing, or even martial arts. There are thousands of free resources online—especially on YouTube.
No matter what you find, it will stick if you enjoy the exercise. Once your routine sticks, you’ll start to see the positive mental health benefits of working out. If you find that you start to feel bored or aren’t feeling as motivated to exercise, it may be your cue to change it up and start a new activity.
Start a New Hobby
Finding a hobby is another great way to improve your mental health. According to research, the mental health benefits of hobbies include:
- Reduced stress
- Enhanced wellbeing
- Improved social connections
- Better overall mental health
Finding a hobby is challenging, but it’s often worth the effort. There are plenty of places where you can learn hobbies for free, participate in inexpensive classes, and link with like-minded enthusiasts. Check your local community resources or explore nearby classes and gatherings online.
Specialized Health and Safety is committed to improving all aspects of human health, physical and mental. For more articles on CPR, mental health, and general physical wellness, check out our blog.
For more mental health resources in Minnesota, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.