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7 Important Mental Health Tips to Try Immediately

Scientifically Proven Strategies for Improving Your Mental Health

In the modern world, it's not always easy to maintain a positive mental attitude. For countless people, daily struggles lead to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Fortunately, a number of scientific studies have uncovered some simple ways to boost your well-being. Here are seven important mental health tips you can act on right now.

Start your day with coffee. Numerous studies suggest that coffee can help prevent mild to moderate depression . While they don't know exactly why, researchers believe that the beverage helps make dopamine more effective by binding to adenosine receptors. If you do choose to drink coffee, just make sure to limit it to the morning, since caffeine is a known sleep disruptor with an exceptionally long half-life.

Meditate. A compelling body of research has shown that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses , such as depression, anxiety and pain. If you have trouble meditating, try to limit the activity to five to 15 minutes, several times a day. Over time, you will get better at quieting your mind and focusing on your senses. Like anything else, it takes practice to develop the ability to meditate effectively.

Focus on your strengths. If you're stuck in a mental rut, do something you are good at to help build your self-confidence. It's usually a lot easier to tackle difficult tasks after you've accomplished something that's in your wheelhouse. People often become overwhelmed and anxious when they are confronted with unfamiliar or unexpected problems. By utilizing your skills on something you know, you can create psychological momentum that can help you overcome more imposing challenges.

Focus on others. During times of mental distress, it can be difficult to think about anything else. That said, research suggests that people tend to experience reduced depression and anxiety when they strive to support others, rather than pursue goals related to self-image. If you are fixated on yourself and your problems, try to think of some way you can help a friend, family member or stranger in even the slightest of ways.

Go for a walk. A mountain of evidence has found that exercise can have substantial antidepressant effects . This doesn't mean you have to spend an hour a day sweating at the gym, however. The simple act of walking can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall life quality. To support your mental health now and into the future, consider going for regular walks every day , even if they only last ten to 15 minutes.

Get a coloring book. It may sound strange, but there is compelling evidence that coloring books can help support mental health in adults. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the act of coloring can have favorable effects on the psyche as a meditation practice. If you tend to ruminate about things, when you'd rather have a quiet mind; try sitting down with a coloring book for 15 to 30 minutes.

Unplug. While they can provide stimulation and engagement, social media platforms have a dark side. According to studies, the more time people spend on s ocial media, the more likely they are to suffer from increasing depression . According to the researchers, social media presents idealized representations of peers that can create envy and a distorted perspective that others are happier and more successful. If you spend a lot of time on social media, try to cut back, especially during times of mental distress.

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