Mental health is explained by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” There are a variety of ways to enhance your mental health, many of which stem from practicing good behavioral health. While one’s mental health encompasses several factors (e.g., one’s biology, one’s psychological condition, and one’s habits) behavioral health examines how one’s habits (e.g., behaviors like eating habits, sleeping patterns, exercising, etc.) impact one’s overall physical and mental wellbeing. Good behavioral health means engaging in behaviors that help to achieve an ideal mental and physical balance. To nurture your mental and behavioral health consider the following tips, provided by the University of Michigan:
- Take care of your body: Practicing healthy daily habits can improve your mental health; be sure to:
- Prioritize sleep hygiene: Poor sleep habits can affect your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), which can have a negative impact on your mood.
- Engage in physical activity and exercise regularly: Exercising is one of the body’s natural ways of releasing endorphins, which help to reduce pain and increase pleasure, making you feel happier and enhancing your overall mood.
- Eat nutritiously: What you eat plays a large role not only in the physical health of your body but also in your mental health.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water: Experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 oz of water, daily.
- Practice positive self-talk: Positive self-talk encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements, that speak to you and repeat them regularly.
- Stay social: People that maintain social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network.
- Laugh often: Empirical evidence shows that laughter can boost one’s immune system, ease pain, enhance relaxation, reduce depression, and alleviate stress.
- Explore relaxation methods: Try different relaxation exercises to quiet your mind, like yoga or meditation. Research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
- Breathe: Practicing breathing techniques can effectively help with relaxation, stress management, control of psychophysiological states, and improve organ function.
- Take regular mini breaks throughout your day: Use these breaks to do a quick body check and see where you may be feeling tension, exhaustion, or any unwanted feelings. Add your breathing exercises to your breaktime to release anything that you do not want in your mental, emotional, and/ or physical body and reenergize.
Further Information and Support
For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.