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5 Keys to Enhancing Your Mental Health and Staying Positive

When we think of mental health, mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder often come to mind first — but simply put, mental health means positive, psychological wellbeing. This association is partially because mental health professionals have placed too much emphasis on treating mental health crises instead of preventing them. While addressing mental illness is important, so is raising awareness about the positive things we can do to develop our psychological wellbeing. By now, most of us understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health (if not more). 

Here are 5 simple ways you can increase your wellbeing — in life and at work!

1)    Talk with a therapist.

In case you missed the memo, going to therapy is cool now — and what a relief! In the past, people hid the fact that they were in therapy because of the stigma and shame surrounding it. Now, many people are just as open about seeing a therapist to maintain their wellbeing as they are a physician or beautician, which brings me to my next very important point: Don’t only go to therapy when life gets tough (although it’s great for that, too). If you have the means to do so, keep going even when things are going well! Think of therapy like car maintenance. It enriches your life and keeps you psychologically healthy, so you’ll be better prepared for any storms that come your way. 

2)    Practice regular self-care.

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword for selling bubbly bath products. It’s a real skill we can develop to cultivate positive emotions and improve our wellbeing. It’s deeper than taking bubble baths, getting your nails done or watching your favorite Netflix show. True self-care isn’t glamorous. It’s about forming consistent habits that increase your emotional health, such as: 

·       Meditation and mindfulness 

·       Gratitude journaling

·       Adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration

·       Regular therapy or support groups

·       Physical activity

3)  Make time for movement.

Exercise is the single most effective way to change your attitude from negative to positive. The science is clear: Being active for at least 30 minutes day five days a week boosts your energy, clears your mind, and helps you manage stress. There are endless ways to get moving, like:

·       Yoga or deep stretching

·       Walking, hiking, or running

·       Bicycling, swimming, or kayaking

·       Lifting weights at the gym or doing bodyweight exercises in your backyard

·       Zumba classes or dancing with your kids! 

The key? Choose activities you actually enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with them! 

4)    Build positive relationships.

Relationship expert and author Esther Perel states, “The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.” Good psychological wellbeing is built upon a foundation of healthy, positive relationships, and maintaining a strong support system is a vital component of self-care… and survival! Do everything in your power to surround yourself with positive people, and you’ll feel more positive, too. 

5)    Give back.

Helping others is not only a selfless act, but it’s also self-care! In fact, it actually triggers the release of endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, in your body. It’s a natural way to boost your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Plus, it makes the world a better place, so get out there and GIVE, GIVE, GIVE!

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