Mental Wellness Through Self-Care: Activities That Boost Your Sense of Well-Being
Mental well-being doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it. People who take a proactive approach to personal wellness tend to be more well-adjusted and less depressed than those who sit around and wait for something positive to happen. You can foster mental wellness by following a few habits aimed at making you feel positive and in control of your life.
Express your gratitude
Psychologists have found that practicing gratitude is a powerful way to heighten feelings of personal satisfaction. Those who do so experience elevated levels of joy and enthusiasm, and exhibit fewer signs of anxiety and depression. Make your gratitude work for you by recording your thoughts in a journal every day. Start out by writing down three or four things you’re grateful for every day, as well as anything you may have achieved. Journaling provides a healthy outlet for your feelings and a means of tracking and managing your well-being. It helps you deal with depression by confronting your thoughts and feelings directly. Think of it as carrying on a dialogue with yourself, through which you learn to place stressors in proper context and prioritize things that mean the most in your life.
Schedule a retreat
Everyone needs something to look forward to, something to aim for when things are difficult. Set up a getaway with your spouse or friends, a few days that are just for you. It doesn’t have to be a major investment in a beach vacation or cruise. You can accomplish your mental wellness goals just by visiting a national park or a beautiful wooded space. Remember, it needs to be a location that has some meaning for you, a place that always makes you feel better. The psychology of this approach is that the sheer anticipation of such a trip can boost your mood and increase your motivation level.
Emphasize your strong points
Self-confidence is a major factor in your mental well-being and sometimes you need a little booster when things aren’t going your way. Take time to indulge yourself by doing something you’re really good at. Play tennis, or challenge your friends to a few rounds of your favorite video game. Doing something that reminds you you’re an effective, competent person is an honest way to turn negative feelings into positive thoughts.
Studies have found a direct correlation between creative expression and well-being, so take some time to compose a poem or draw a picture expressing how you’re feeling. You can also derive personal satisfaction from learning a new language. There are many websites that provide free and easy-to-follow instruction on a wide range of foreign languages. Spend a few minutes brushing up on your French or learning a language your ancestors spoke. Duolingo is a free site that tracks your progress and organizes lessons based on what you’ve learned.
Laughter is known to have powerful healing qualities. It can reduce your anxiety and activate neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel better. Take the time to watch your favorite comedy or spend time around someone who always makes you laugh. You’ll be surprised how much a few yuks can do for your mental wellness.
Learn to find inner peace through meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Meditation slows your pulse and relieves stress through the repetition of a mantra, such as a word or phrase, as you focus your concentration. Find a quiet space in your home that you can turn into a meditation room. Quiet, soft lighting and comfortable surroundings are important for an enriching meditative experience.
Remember that you have the ability to manage your mental wellness through self-care activities that make you feel happy and successful. The good news is you can achieve a happy and contented state with simple activities that have special meaning for you. Think of it as taking control of your thoughts and your life.
*** Written by Adam Cook for Meridian Counseling
Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction.