5 Daily Mental Health Practices

September 12, 2019


Mental health has become a big topic this year. The stigmas around this health issue are finally starting to dissipate. Science is showing how important it is to treat our mental health as one with our physical health. We need to recognize the negative stimuli in our lives and build healthy habits, just as we do when we’re trying to build a better eating habits or work out routine. This article will touch on some simple practices that lend to focusing on positive mental health. 

“If we don’t pay attention to our daily habits, we will get stuck in our emotions, which very often leads to maladaptive thinking,” says therapist and well-being coach Shira Taylor Gura to Bustle over email. “This leads to negative effects on our health (physical, emotional, and mental) and ultimately on our life.”


1) Exercise

Studies have consistently shown how much physical activity can positively impact your mental health. This has been a huge tool for those that our overcoming addictions, improving self-confidence, and practicing positive self-control. There is no need for this to be a major workout! Simply taking a 15-20 minute walk everyday can create an amazing alteration in your attitude. Commit the time to make your physical activity a priority, substitute a negative habit with this and you will begin to see a positive shift. 


2) Socialize

 “We satisfy our social urges by getting on Facebook and seeing what people are up to, but it doesn’t nourish us the same way genuine connection does,” says McAlpin. In a world where social media almost feels like a necessity, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that is our social engagement. However, actually engaging in a relationship is really what aids with positive mental health. Pick up the phone and reconnect with a friend or family member, invite friends over for a dinner that you make together, go on a walk with someone whose opinion you respect and trust. 


3) Spend time outside

Even just spending five minutes in nature can boost not only your mood, but your self-esteem as well, according to research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. “Sun exposure will help your brain release the hormone serotonin, which is a natural mood enhancer,” says therapist Ada Pang.


4) Do something nice

Small acts of kindness can reduce anxiety by making someone else feel better, you feel bette. Simply opening the door for someone or giving compliments to strangers can create a positive sense of camaraderie. Acknowledging that we are all trying to cope with stress and anxiety can almost be a relief in itself. Helping others works twofold in that will help you too. 


5) Have something to look forward to

In one study from the journal Applied Research In Quality Of Life, researchers found that planning a trip elicits just as much happiness as actually going on the vacation. Being goal oriented helps us focus and be driven. The reward is that we are more successful and joyful when we reward ourselves. Make a plan to do something that will either require setting money aside or increasing your physical ability. Such as a longer vacation than usual, running a half marathon, a full day at the spa, or maybe even paying the expenses for someone else to come with you!


These are five simple ways to add a positive mental challenge for yourself. If we are not challenging our comfort zones or abilities, we simply will not see improvement. Incorporating these routines into your day can improve your overall quality of life and even have you more motivated to pick up other healthy habits as well. Consider taking on just one at a time and try to record the mental changes you see. Remember to take each day with gratitude and continually look for opportunities to take control of your mental health!














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