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Boost Your Mental Health: Habits for a Happier Mind

Wave Art
20 Sep 2023
3 minutes read
Relationships / Parenting and DiversityMental Health Assistance and AdvocacyBuilding ResilienceLifestyle & Mental Health
Boost Your Mental Health: Habits for a Happier Mind

Mental health is just as vital as physical health and there is no health without mental health. Fostering good habits makes a significant difference in our overall well-being. Building good mental health practices enhances the way you think, feel, and, interact with your immediate surroundings and how you handle difficult situations. But how do good mental health practices pave the way for better mental health?

Habits have a profound influence on our mental health. Having regular habits in place like proper sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and proper food intake boosts immunity, reduces stress and anxiety as well as directly affects our brain chemistry. Research has shown that it takes anywhere between 18 days to half a year for a habit to form. Once a habit is built, it becomes effortless to continue the habit until the desired period of time. 

Here are a few good habits to consider building into your everyday schedule:- 

Solid sleep schedule

Sleep is a crucial element in our day-to-day life and is often overlooked too. We believe we can catch up on sleep during weekends or neglect it altogether but it is vital for brain and body regeneration, memory and information processing, immunity boost, concentration, learning, and behavior as well as guarding us against stress and obesity. 

An average adult requires at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. But more often than not, it is easier said than done to follow a strict sleep schedule but here is a hack you could try - the 10-3-2-1-0 formula

10 - No coffee intake for 10 hours before bed

3 - No alcohol consumption 3 hours before bed

2 - No exercise for 2 hours before bed

1 - No screen time before bed

0 - No snooze attempts in the morning

Stay active 

Staying active could be as simple as going for a long walk, going to the gym, or doing some yoga. Studies have shown that regular exercise releases hormones like endorphins and serotonin which help improve mood, memory, and concentration. 

Limited screen time 

Excessive screen time, especially time spent on social media, often contributes to stress and anxiety. A few ways to build a hygienic screen time limit are - 

  1. Turn off notifications or uninstall unnecessary applications from the device 
  2. Find better alternative activities to the scrolling habit that develops over time
  3. Keep the device away from your bedside in another room or in a drawer before bedtime 

Consume a balanced diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is vital to regulate our mood and energy level throughout the day which can help us stay fresh and active throughout the day. Intake of food that contains whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables along with healthy fats that support emotional well-being and brain function is vital to maintaining a healthy diet routine. The body has a strong bond between nutrition and mood and it influences how we function on a daily basis.

Practice mindfulness 

Mindfulness practices often involve being a silent observer of your own thoughts and feelings without judgment and it encourages present moment awareness. It is a practice that can help to find mental peace and calm and is often attained through deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditations. This technique can help reduce ruminating on past regrets or future worries and leads to mental clarity. 

Social Connections 

Connecting and developing meaningful relationships with people around like family and friends is vital for a stronger mental health. It is through socializing and interacting with other people that one can experience emotional support and reduce feelings of loneliness. Engaging in activities like attending an offline class or going on solo trips allows you to build and expand a social network circle outside of the online world. This is a very important yet overlooked practice especially when it comes to being mentally well. 

Practice gratitude 

In today's world, it is often easier to look at the negatives of the world than the positives but what goes unsaid is how it affects people’s psyche. People often fail to appreciate the little things that build up happiness and often tend to complain more than be grateful. Integrating the practice of being grateful for the good things in life like your morning coffee or a text from a friend is an underrated mental well-being practice. Allowing a part of your day to journal the things you are grateful for in your day can help to develop the attitude of gratitude.  

So how do we incorporate these practices into our daily lives?

Identifying the negative habits in our day and replacing them with positive ones can significantly improve our mental wellness. Set realistic short and long-term goals; break them down into frequently repeatable activities which helps to achieve them faster. Building good mental health practices can help boost our self-esteem and life satisfaction significantly. It also acts as a roadmap to follow and helps us navigate each day to try and incorporate these habits into our daily lives. 

It is the gradual and small changes that create a significant impact on the way we feel and experience life. Taking a small step today towards improving and nurturing our mental health is the pathway to positive habits. 

Remember, You are not alone in this journey!

Post Attachments: None
Lifestyle and Mental Health
Building Resilience
Selfcare and Coping
Parenting, Relationships
Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental Health Advocacy

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