We all invariably suffer from some kind of mental or emotional problem at some time in our life, but unfortunately, most of us make no effort to address the situation.
Instead of paying heed to the warning signs that tell us something is not right, we attempt to divert attention and try to rough it out by self-medication or self-destructive actions.
Nurturing your mental health is therefore extremely important, as it can impact everything from stress to heart disease and other things in your life. The best thing is that it can be easily done from the comfort of your private space.
So if you are looking to boost your mood in order to build resilience and handle emotions better, these five life-changing strategies for improving mental health and well-being, while just sitting at home, can show you how.
Access an online therapy platform
There are plenty of mental health apps available in the market to help with general mental health concerns and other specific conditions like stress for example, by providing tools and activities that support and manage them.
While mental health apps are not designed as a substitute for care from a mental health professional, still they offer an excellent option of getting continuous support between therapy sessions for improvement of overall mental health.
Moreover, online therapy sites provide activities, encouragement and other tasks for daily practice, based on techniques and research which have proved to provide evidence based interventions.
Apart from convenience, mental health apps increase engagement in treatment plans and makes it easy to monitor symptoms, as a result they have soared in popularity.
Remember to consider the features and whether they are evidence based when choosing the best mental health app for yourself. Also go through the customer reviews and consider the cost of such apps.
Humans are never meant to thrive in isolation as they are social creatures, so if you devote hours and hours trying to improve your mental health, in order to function at your best, you will require the company of others.
Even if past experiences may have made us shy and lose trust in others, our social brains crave for one thing only-companionship! While phone calls and the internet have their place, there is nothing to beat the stress boosting power of quality personal interaction with friends and others.
The key is to interact with someone who is a good listener, a person you regularly talk to and who will listen carefully to your outpouring, without interrupting or criticizing you.
So, when at home, reach out to someone you trust and you can confide in. It is a sign of strength and not a weakness. Build new friendships, in case you feel you don’t have anyone to turn to.
The benefits of interacting with acquaintances and people you encounter in the home during the day, like the person who serves the morning cup of tea are immense.
Making eye to eye contact, exchanging a smile or extending a friendly greeting may lead you to never know where.
Eat a brain healthy diet
Unless you keep track of what you eat and don’t eat, an unhealthy diet may take a toll on your brain, mood, sleep, sap your energy and weaken your immune system.
Conversely, if you switch to a diet which is wholesome, low in sugar and rich in healthy fats, it will not improve your sleep but make you feel good and at your best as well.
Since all foods don’t suit everyone, due to genetics or other health factors, it is better to first experiment with the food you want to include in your diet by first cutting out the bad fats and replacing them with good ones that support brain health.
Avoid foods that adversely affect mood like caffeine, alcohol,trans fats,sugary snacks, fried food, refined carbs and instead include walnuts, cashew, almonds. Fatty fish rich in omega-3, avocados, flaxseed, leafy greens and fresh fruit such as blueberries are best.
Nature and mental health
Spending time in a green space or bringing nature inside your home can boost both your physical and well-being. Things like growing food in the garden, tending to flowers or being around pets can provide positive effects like:
- improving mood
- improving physical health
- reducing feelings of stress and anxiety
- boosting confidence and self-esteem
- keeping one active
- reduce loneliness
- keep you connected with nature
- help you feel relaxed
A 2019 review by University of Chicago psychologist, Marc Berman, reported that nature acts as a balm for busy brains. While green spaces promote cognitive development, exposure to urban environments was linked to attention defects.
Even getting outside your home and walking barefoot has been known to regulate the nervous system, strengthen immunity and reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress.
Exercise and mental health
People who exercise regularly at home have better mental health and emotional well-being with lower rates of mental illness. Exercise not only boosts concentration, mood and level of alertness but improves overall cardiovascular health as well.
Exercise also helps in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression and can be as effective as antidepressants or psychological treatment like CBT. Regular exercise makes you sleep better, and good sleep in turn helps to manage your mood.
Moreover, exercise does not have to be strenuous, as even moderate exercise is more than enough to make a difference in terms of mood and thinking patterns.