We all have those days when we just don’t feel like ourselves. Maybe feeling a little down or perhaps struggling with anxiety or stress. When these negative feelings start to take over, it can be tough to get out of them independently. This is why it’s important to develop healthy habits that can help improve our mental health and well-being.
Why Your Psychological Well-Being Matters?
Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet it’s often neglected. Just like our physical body needs exercise and healthy food to function properly, our mental health requires the same nurturing. When we have a good sense of psychological well-being, we’re better equipped to handle stress, adversity, and negative emotions. In other words, the brain gets stronger. Um, yes please!
What habits can improve your mental health?
I am in constant ongoing process of adopting these habits, some days are hard but I try to remind myself to do any one of them:
1- Practice Gratitude
Being grateful for what you have is a great way to increase your overall happiness and well-being. Gratitude shifts your focus from negative to positive experiences, which can help improve your mood. It also has other benefits, such as improving sleep quality and reducing stress levels.
You probably hear this everywhere, but try keeping a gratitude journal where you write down five things you’re grateful for every day. Even when it feels forced, you are actually training your brain to focus on good things.
2- Slow down
We all have those overwhelming where-did-the-time-go moments that can make us question our achievements at the worst possible times. But by slowing down and having a quick rest, we can start to see a difference in our mood and outlook on our path.
It may be tough to do at first—given that we are always occupied with work, kids and other responsibilities. But mental health is as important as physical rest, you’ll be able to think more clearly about yourself and your situation.
Start by noticing your signs; it could be random mood swings, restlessness and inability to make decisions. Nothing bad ever comes out from slowing down. Taking a rest will not rob you from performing at your best.
3- Reach out
With everything that’s happening in the world today, it’s almost a crime to vent about your problem where some would misinterpret as a cry for attention. Talking to someone you trust about your problems can really lift that burden off your shoulders. Find someone you are comfortable enough to confide in and talk to them about what’s bothering you. When we keep everything to ourselves, we’re more likely to feel stressed, anxious, and irritable. We may also have trouble concentrating and making decisions.
If you are like me and concerned about taking other people’s time, take a piece of paper and a pen, write down what’s bothering you and re-read whatever it is that you have written before reaching out to someone. Some have called it journalling, brain dump or the recent trend; morning pages. No structure needed— just write what’s on your mind and read the whole thing again. By assessing your own thoughts you can recognize the root of your worries and have a clearer picture of how to loosen those knots in your mind.
4- Recall Positive Life Events
Remembering happy memories can help boost your mood and overall psychological well-being. When we focus on positive life events, we’re able to see how far we’ve come and the good things that have happened to us. This can remind us that difficult times are temporary and that better days are ahead.
My phone is bursting with photos and videos I took of simple moments; including the seemingly unimportant ones just to keep the memories. Like this delicious Nasi Dagang my mom made years ago.
5- Practice Forgiveness and Kindness
Forgiveness and kindness are important for both our mental and physical health. When we forgive others, we let go of anger and resentment and this can lead to reduced stress levels and improved mental well-being.
Being kind to others also has its benefits. It can help increase our sense of self-worth and make us feel good about ourselves. Plus, it can also lead to improved physical health.
You can see these habits written everywhere but there is a reason for it; they work. If needed, there is no fault in seeking professional help, which is a huge step in improving your wellness.
Among the 5 Habits mentioned above, my favourite would be slowing down and talking to my husband. I sometimes rush things over, overseeing the risk and miscalculating my actions. Although I am so bad at keeping a gratitude journal, I still try to use the Note app on my phone to record any little joys I find throughout the day.
Which habit are you trying today?