7 Ways to Improve Mental and Emotional Health

If you're looking for ways to improve your mental and emotional health, it can feel overwhelming to consider all the things you could be doing and where to start. Hopefully, these six ideas can be a jumping ground for you to find the low-hanging fruit in your life where you can pick one thing you can start doing now, and slowly incorporate more tools along the way.

Ways to Improve Mental and Emotional Health

Finding Ways to Improve Mental and Emotional Health:

I want to start this post by acknowledging that my own mental and emotional health is something that I've personally struggled with for more than half my life. I want to be transparent in that I am currently taking medication for anxiety and while it's something I've resisted for a very long time, it's honestly been one of the most compassionate things I've ever done for myself.

So while I want to acknowledge that these other things I'm going to share are great things to reduce stress in your life, I also want to say that sometimes medication can be a great tool in your arsenal to help along the way.

Start An Exercise Routine:

I have always been an avid runner so this is very easy for me to keep up with regularly. That might not be the case for you, and the idea of running gives some more anxiety than the intent of reducing anxiety. Find a workout routine that is meaningful for you, whether that's lifting some weights in your bedroom, walking regularly, or doing yoga, find something that's easy for you to stick to.

Ways to Improve Mental and Emotional Health

Social Media Fast:

We all love social media, but I think deep down we all hate it too. If you notice your anxiety, depression, etc... is worse when you consume social media, make a plan to stay off it for a certain amount of time, or set a time limit on your phone so you can't access it after a certain time limit each day. Set a boundary and try to stick to it.

Practice Mediation to Improve Mental and Emotional Health:

Being able to sit in silence by yourself and to sit in meditation is such a challenging skill to learn and master. I find it very difficult for myself. I have learned though that being able to sit in silence and stillness is very good for me to work through thoughts, find silence in my mind, and just be able to rest.

While you can set up a yoga mat and try sitting in pure silence, I find some of my favorite ways to be in silence is by sitting in the hammock in our yard by myself. It is the perfect escape to sit in nature and practice quiet time. Find a space that will work well for you and practice being in silence. Start with just a few minutes and see how long you can work toward.

Find a Spiritual Connection:

I firmly believe as humans we are spiritual beings and we need to be connected to a higher power than ourselves. When we think we're alone in the universe and everything we do is based on our work and the own circumstances we do and don't create, I think that can be a very crippling place to be mentally.

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that I am a Christian, so for me knowing that God is in control of all the things I cannot control is a place of comfort and I'm able to go through my life open-handed seeing what doors God is opening for me, and what doors I can walk away from knowing he goes before me in all things.

Finding where you sit spiritually can be a great way for you to rest in uncontrollable situations and find comfort when life gets difficult.

Ways to Improve Mental and Emotional Health

Start an Ice Bath Routine:

We recently got a Cold Pod in the mail and it's been a great addition to my ice bath routine that I've had for a long time now. I've taken ice baths since high school and studies show that ice baths can have many benefits including:
  • Mental and Physical Resilience
  • Discipline
  • Energy
  • Relives Stress and Anxiety
  • Reduces Migraines and Headaches

They say to reach these benefits you need to work up to 2-3 plunges a week at 10-15 minutes per session. You might need to slowly work up to that amount but the benefits are great and it's a fairly simple practice to start.

I typically make ice in my freezer and dump it into my bathtub with the coldest water. But you can purchase a cold pod on Amazon and have a dedicated vessel for it that you leave up all the time.

Unplugged Screen Free Activities:

Finding activities you can do that don't involve screens is always a great way to improve mental health. Some that I like to do are puzzles, reading, and simply going on a short walk. Being outside is one of my favorite things because I feel like it grounds me in ways that most things just don't.

These are all things I do to improve my mental health, but I also cannot stress enough the importance of working with a good therapist, and not being too prideful when it comes to medication, especially if it's something you've been working through for a long time with little progress. I hope that medication won't be a long-term forever thing for me, but I am grateful to have it as a positive tool in my life right now.

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