When it comes to self-improvement, sometimes we can get caught up in the big picture. We say we want to “be happy” or “get healthy” but we oftentimes forget that making minor changes to our daily routines is what can really help get us there.
When it comes to mental wellness, sometimes small, manageable changes can actually have the biggest impact.
We’ve listed 10 things you can start doing today that can help boost your mood.
Everyone knows exercise is good for us. But not only does it keep us physically healthy, it also helps improve brain function, increases endorphins, and can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you’re just starting out, aim for 20 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Studies have shown that people with strong social ties to friends, family, and their community, are happier and live longer than people without those ties. Furthermore, people who are lacking social connections are at a higher risk for depression and cognitive decline over time. So, make an effort to spend time around people whose company you enjoy.
- Go Outside
You don’t have to be “outdoors-y” to benefit from nature. Being outside for even a brief period of time can help boost serotonin levels in your brain, improving mood. Something as simple as parking farther away the next time you go grocery shopping, is just one way to easily add more sunshine to your day.
Meditation can take many forms. Simply sitting quietly for five minutes and taking a few deep breaths could be enough to calm a racing mind. You don’t have to be a master of zen – just try to find a few moments of peace and quiet each day.
Everybody loves a good laugh. That’s because laughing releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. But it doesn’t just make us feel good – laughing can reduce stress, improve short-term memory, and increase your ability to learn. So, watch more comedies, listen to funny podcasts, or keep a folder on your computer full of fun things that make you smile.
- Sleep Well
Sleep is closely linked to mood. Poor sleep can lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, stress, weight gain, and heart disease, to name a few. If you haven’t already, start making sleep a priority. Try these easy tips to get better sleep tonight.
- Be Thankful
Start a journal to keep track of all the good things that happen in your life. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; just a notebook where you write three things that you are thankful for that day. You could even add a few things that you accomplished too. When you’re looking for the positive, you’ll start to see it more.
Research has shown that when we use our hands to create something, we feel a unique sense of satisfaction. This is because activities like painting, woodworking, or knitting reinforce the hand-brain connection. This kind of activity engages our brains in a more creative way – and our brains like that!
- Eat Well
We’re learning more and more about just how much diet impacts our bodies. While we can link specific foods to brain health, new research has begun to suggest that certain foods could help lower anxiety. In addition to improving your mental health, eating right will keep you in better physical shape too.
- Plan Something Fun
Studies have shown that planning a trip can be just as rewarding as the trip itself. But you don’t have to go so far as to organize a vacation to feel this effect. Even if it’s just trying a new take-out restaurant this weekend, plan something to look forward to.
If you feel like you could use some extra help with your journey towards better wellness, give us a call at 800.600.4096.
Wolff, Carina. (2016, April 18). “11 Things To Do Daily For Your Mental Health, So You Can Stay Balanced & Happy.” Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/154896-11-things-to-do-daily-for-your-mental-health-so-you-can-stay-balanced-happy
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