31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health

1.Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.

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    You may also decide to decorate your journal in ways that remind you of your purpose or help you feel more positive:

    • Attach or paste photos that make you happy on the cover or on random pages
    • Draw photos that depict your positive feelings about the things for which you are grateful
    • Write inspirational quotes or mantras in the margins
    • Notate special anniversaries and write about why you are grateful for those events and people
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    Help really transform your thoughts by finding the positive side of negative situations. Instead of dwelling on things that are not working out – maybe a failed relationship, or financial hardships, or health problems – try to find a positive in those situations.

  • Write at Least 3 to 5 Things

    Decide on a goal for how many things you’d like to express gratitude for each day, but be sure that it is no less than three to five. You can write your entries in a list or in small paragraphs, explaining why it is you are grateful for each

2.Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.

3.Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.

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4.Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.

5.There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.  -Maya Angelou

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6.Feeling anxious?  Take a trip down memory lane and do some coloring for about 20 minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that’s geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.

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7.Relax in a warm bath once a week. Try adding Epsom salts to soothe aches and pains and help boost magnesium levels, which can be depleted by stress.

8.Spend some time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol, and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.

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9.“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.”
– Henry David Thoreau

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10.Try prepping your lunches or picking out your clothes for the work week. You’ll save some time in the mornings and have a sense of control about the week ahead.

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11. Feeling stressed? Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but smiling can help to lower your heart rate and calm you down

12.Do something with friends and family – have a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend 6-7 hours with friends and family.

13.“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
Try something outside of your comfort zone to make room for adventure and excitement in your life.

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14.Quiet your mind: Try meditating, Mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.

15.Get help when you need it:Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives. See Resources for Stress and Mental Health for  community resources.

16.Stay positive – Thinking negatively can drag down our moods, our actions and even our health. Instead foster optimism, practice gratitude and think positively.

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17. Use lavender oil.Put a bit of lavender oil on your pillow. Studies show that the essential oil can improve your sleep quality and help battle insomnia. If you don’t want it on your pillow, try drinking a bit of lavender tea before bed to soak up its healthful benefits.

 

 

18.Go to therapy.Speaking of therapy — do it. Seriously. Just like you’d see a doctor for a physical illness, the same standard should apply to mental illness. There are multiple methods, from talk therapy to behavioral therapy, and a mental health professional can help you figure out the avenue that works best for you.

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19.Listen to sad music.Go on, sing (and listen to) the blues. Letting yourself indulge in melancholy melodies may actually help perk you up in the long run. Research shows sad songs may help you heal after a breakup. They also may prompt a few tears — which science says is good for you. One recent study found that a good cry can help boost your mood.

 

 

20.Express kindness toward someone else.Want to feel good yourself? Make someone else feel good. Studies show that kindness can be cyclical. When you do a good deed for others, that makes them happier, which in turns make you happier, too. Even the smallest gesture can make a difference. Pay it forward every so often and reap the benefits.

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21.Learn to say no.It may be just two tiny letters, but this is your gentle reminder that “no” is a complete sentence. Burnout happens easily — in the office and outside of it. Make sure to spend some time alone and prioritize your well-being. If you don’t want to go to a party, don’t do it. If you feel overwhelmed by your workload, speak up. Self care is not selfish.

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22.Talk to others about mental health.You never know who you may be helping by opening up about your own experience. Celebrities from Demi Lovato  Sia  and  Colton Haynes and brave projects like documentaries and photo series have all addressed mental health issues this year alone — and our society is much better for it.

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23.Lean on your support system.After all, what are friends for? A 2011 study found that spending time with your BFF can reduce stress. Research also shows that social connection is imperative to mental health. Spend as much time as possible with your loved ones, whether it’s going to dinner or just watching a movie together.

24.Practice gratitude.Life’s so much better when you’re acknowledging the bright side. Research suggests that expressing what you’re thankful for — from your dog to your favorite song on the radio — will improve your mental well-being. Looking for some suggestions? Here are 100 things many people forget to be grateful for on a regular basis.

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Be grateful for…

  1. Your pet. Studies show pet ownership increases happiness.
  2. Making the subway just before the doors close. Success!
  3. Good hair days. Humidity is no one’s friend.
  4. Your morning coffee. A cup of joe has outstanding health benefits. Not to mention, it’s a good excuse to catch up with your colleagues before your day begins.
  5. The moment you have exact change. How else are you going to use those pennies?
  6. That movie that always makes you laugh. Laughter has been linked to health benefits ranging from a better immune system to lower blood pressure.
  7. When the bus driver sees you running and waits 10 extra seconds to let you on. No waiting in the rain for you.
  8. When someone sees your hands are full and opens the door for you. Don’t underestimate the power of a small gesture.
  9. Your health. The more you appreciate your well-being, the more you’ll prioritize it. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your health.
  10. Sunny winter days. Many people are subject to the “winter blues” during the seasonal shift, making the blissfully “warm and sunny” days in the middle of the season a precious gift.
  11. Your close friends. Studies show hanging out with your BFF can reduce stress.
  12. The holidays. They don’t call it “the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing. Here’s how to carry the joy of the season with you all year ‘round.
  13. Puppy videos. How can you resist this face?
  14. Your favorite TV show. You genuinely can’t help but become invested in the juicy love triangles or the drama. Humans are psychologically wired to get attached to fictional characters.
  15. Adele’s new album. Or any emotional piece of music, for that matter. Research shows that you just can’t help but listen to sad songs — and they have psychological benefits.
  16. The moment when your food comes at a restaurant. Drool.
  17. Your child’s face after they get a present. That’s what pure joy looks like.
  18. Thank you notes. It feels just as good to send one as it does to get one.
  19. Opportunities to volunteer. Research shows helping others doesn’t just make them feel good, but it also boosts your happiness.
  20. Your co-workers. You spend the majority of your weekday waking hours with them. They definitely make that nine-to-five feel more bearable.
  21. When your favorite song comes on the radio at the perfect moment. Admit it, you’ve totally flailed your arms when your jam comes through the speakers. It’s like destiny is on your side.
  22. A great hike. When you’re done, it feels like you’ve accomplished some great feat. Plus, there are serious benefits to spending some time in nature.
  23. A really comfortable chair. Naps welcome (they’re good for you!).
  24. When you wake up before your alarm and get to roll back over. A few more hours to sleep? Score.
  25. Not setting an alarm on a weekend. Score again.
  26. Chocolate. There’s a health benefit to the sweet treat, in case you needed a reason.
  27. When your dog is so happy to see you. Fido not only loves you unconditionally, research shows dogs consider you family and relieve anxiety.
  28. Familial support. They’ve got your back.
  29. Adult friendships. Some things just get better with age. Research shows close friendships help increase longevity.
  30. Getting lost in a good book. Studies show that reading fiction actually make youmore empathetic in real life. Here are some suggestions if you’re looking a new novel.
  31. Cozy scarves. Winter means sporting these bad boys all day, every day.
  32. Successfully making a challenging recipe. And then eating it in all its delicious glory. Looking for a new recipe? Try one of these.
  33. Your other half. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or just an awesome partner in crime. These relationships boost our well-being.
  34. Vacations. Research shows planning a trip boosts your happiness. Pick a place and head out.
  35. Office-provided snacks. There’s nothing wrong with loving free food.
  36. Alone time. At times it can feel less precious than it truly is. Here’s how to learn toembrace alone time.
  37. December 22nd. That’s when the days start getting longer again. Three cheers for (eventually) more sunlight!
  38. Comfortable shoes. It’s like walking on a pillow.
  39. An awesome boss. Your management plays a big role in your workplace wellness. And the better the workplace, the happier you are.
  40. A favorite night shirt. Or any set of pajamas for that matter. What you wear to bedsets your sleep up for success.
  41. Being a parent. Tiny humans are adorable and hilarious — but yours are the best, of course.
  42. Being single. Think of how much independence you have. You are not defined by your relationship status.
  43. A great pair of jeans. Talk about a confidence boost.
  44. Sharing a smile with a stranger. Doing so increases your happiness.
  45. Sibling bonds. There’s nothing quite like them. Here’s proof.
  46. A perfectly-made cocktail. Best paired with a Friday night. Try one of thesemouthwatering recipes.
  47. Or a really good craft beer. The more seasonal, the better.
  48. Or wine. Whatever you prefer, really.
  49. Your parents. Studies show that calling your mom can reduce stress, so pick up that phone!
  50. Friday nights. Really, is there any better feeling than knowing you have two days free?
  51. Sunday mornings. Perfect for brunch.
  52. Netflix. Kick back, relax and watch a whole season of “Scandal.” You’ve earned it.
  53. Being understood. There are some people who just get you, whether it’s your penchant for being early to every social event or the fact that you cry when you get mad. And that’s awesome.
  54. A great joke. Here’s a free one to share at your next social setting: Why did the Clydesdale get the pony a glass of water? Answer: Because he was a little horse.
  55. Being outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine — what’s not to like? It also has greatmental health benefits.
  56. A great meal with old friends. Research shows sharing a meal is linked to moreprosocial and altruistic behaviors.
  57. Cheering for your team. Root, root, root for the home team. Science says being can can improve your health and happiness.
  58. Long weekends. The second best thing next to long weekends? Four-day workweeks.
  59. Sunsets. Those little moments of awe increase feelings of well-being.
  60. The feeling you get after a long run. The runner’s high is real. Or walker’s high, if that’s what you prefer.
  61. Old yearbooks. A blast to the past may be good. Studies show nostalgia may increase feelings of optimism.
  62. Cousins. Or any other extended family that feels like your immediate family, for that matter.
  63. Flowers. They’re aesthetically pleasing and it feels downright great when someone sends you some. What’s not to like?
  64. The first signs of a new season. After a bitterly cold winter, spring sounds like the best thing in the world.
  65. The cold side of the pillow. There’s something oddly satisfying about it.
  66. Having the bed all to yourself. You can basically drool, sleep diagonally, toss and turn or do whatever you want.
  67. Your favorite comfort food. Mac ‘n cheese tastes infinitely better when you’re having a bad day, doesn’t it?
  68. Wacky family traditions. You probably have a million popsicle-stick reindeer for your Christmas tree at this point, but they make the holidays unique and give you a laugh, at least.
  69. The moment when you can’t control your laughter. You know you’re not supposed to laugh during this earnings report meeting, but your brain has other plans.
  70. Your favorite place in your house or city. Whether it’s a nook in your living room or Bow Bridge in Central Park, it’s always there when you need a little comfort and time to reflect.
  71. The glee you feel when you find an extra dollar in your bag. Bonus points if you give it to someone who needs it more than you do.
  72. Catching an item someone throws at you. Admit it, you feel a little bit like a superhero when your reflexes are on point.
  73. Snow days. You can either look at it as totally annoying or as an excuse to act like a kid again.
  74. The moment your cat does something silly. Like freaking out over a cucumber, for example.
  75. A good cry. Research shows letting out your emotions can make you feel better than before you even got upset in the first place.
  76. Your favorite scent. There’s just something comforting about it. Plus, certain aromas even benefit your well-being.
  77. A good night’s rest. Is there anything more refreshing? Not to mention it has numerous health perks.
  78. Concerts. Rock. On. Studies suggest that when you spend money on experiences, not material things, you’re happier.
  79. A perfectly ripe avocado. Here are a few ways you can use it.
  80. Opening a present. The fact that someone took the time to put thought into giving you something is a gift in itself.
  81. Sex. Here’s why you should have it as often as possible, from improved relationships to even a few health benefits.
  82. Lunch time. Taking a break from your desk will help improve your productivity. Consider it your midday contribution to your job.
  83. Fun workout classes. It doesn’t matter if it’s SoulCycle, aerial yoga or something else. The more engaged you are, the better the workout.
  84. A long, hot shower or bath. Ahhh, feel the relaxation (and reap the benefits).
  85. Old school songs. Permission to jam out to Boyz II Men? Granted.
  86. A really captivating book. Get lost in a novel — science says it’s good for your mind.
  87. Random run-ins with your friends on the street. Talk about a pleasant surprise!
  88. Winning a game. Who’s the Scrabble master? You are.
  89. Your favorite school teacher. You know the one: The teacher who inspired you to pursue your career or the one who helped you raise your SAT score. Teachers like this guy.
  90. Hitting every green light on your commute. So long, traffic.
  91. When a package has bubble wrap. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5, 45 or 85, bubble wrap is a universally joyful product. Pop, pop.
  92. Handwritten snail mail. Texting has made letters essentially obsolete, so the gift of real mail should be treasured.
  93. The opportunity to act like a kid again. This may be prompted by some of the aforementioned items (hello, bubble wrap!) but it doesn’t make a difference. Besides, the art of play can boost your well-being.
  94. Surprise parties. There’s something so inherently touching about the fact that your friends spent time thinking of a way to make you happy when you least expect it.
  95. A night in. There’s something calming in having no plans and the only person you have to answer to is the delivery guy knocking on your door.
  96. This helpful button. Sometimes there are situations that call for a giant “NOOOO.” That’s okay.
  97. That feeling you get when you fix something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pipe in the house or a knot in a necklace, it’s still an accomplishment.
  98. Coloring books. Studies show they’re a good way to relieve stress.
  99. When you accidentally get something for free. No extra $2.50 for guacamole today!
  100. Yourself. You deserve all the happiness and kindness in the world — don’t forget it.

 

25.Identify and use your strengths

We all have different strengths and weaknesses but finding out what you are really good at and using those talents can increase well being. A strengths questionnaire is available at Authentic Happiness. Using your strengths to help others or contribute to the community creates a sense of meaning and purpose.

 26.Give to others

Making a contribution to the community, however small, increases social well being. Many people feel a sense of contributing through meaningful work, but this could also mean volunteering, helping a neighbor  or doing small acts of kindness. Enjoy Take some time to do the things you really enjoy. Pleasant events can lead to positive emotions that can cancel out negative feelings.

27. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

Self medicating with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs may provide easy escapes from mood swings and stressors, but the relief is temporary. Don’t avoid the issues at hand. If you’re having emotional problems and you need support, ask for it. Seek help.

28.Make Time for Fun.

Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be reading, watching a movie, connecting with others or taking a bath. Your body needs time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge

29. Laugh.

Nothing makes you feel better about yourself or the world around you than a good laugh. It’s great medicine, especially if you can learn to laugh at yourself. Laughter can be very therapeutic so try to incorporate laughter into your day

30.Learn to relax.

Make yourself take a break. Sometimes it is hard for people to do that when they are constantly on the go, but your body needs time to relax. Yoga is a great form of relaxation as well as incorporating naps into your day

. 31.Get Plenty of Sleep.

Besides exercising and eating well, it’s important to get a good nights sleep, preferably eight hours of un-interrupted sleep. Sleep is a universal prerequisite to health and happiness. If you are experiencing problems with sleeping, you should seek help. There are all kinds of simple strategies to help you sleep better

 

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