words Alexa Wang
Everyone has moments in their lives when things aren’t going perfectly. This can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and even anxious about the future. While there are some signs to watch out for when you are dealing with a major mental health crisis, sometimes all we need is a little boost to help us through the day or week when life is just a little too much.
There are steps you can take to boost your mood so that you can better manage all those tough emotions. Here are 9 things you can try to give your mental health a boost.
There are studies that show that shopping therapy can genuinely improve your mental health. The caveat is that you aren’t going into debt and that you only buy things you can afford. For some, this can be as simple as finding a new pair of underwear for women and splurging on a brand you might not usually buy. Or it can be going out with a family member or friend to find the perfect new purse. Shopping can be a great way to take your mind off things and sometimes all you need is to window shop at your favorite stores.
Take the Right Supplements
Did you know that there are supplements that can help you improve your mood? Herbs like Ashwagandha and even other options like magnesium can help some people improve their mood and mental state. Check with your healthcare professional to learn about the different options that are safe for you to take. You could even explore going on something like one of these microdosing retreats to learn about how to safely take and manage the effects of psilocybins under expert supervision to really get an idea of whether or not this might be something that works for you.
Try Meditation or Mindfulness
Meditation is the practice of using your mind and body to find a state of calm. While there are many different ways to approach meditation from a mental health or religious perspective, the key is usually to focus your attention on the present moment. Think about how your body feels against the chair you are sitting in. Acknowledge the thoughts that come into your mind. Meditation can be done in any position and is often practiced for at least 10 minutes at a time. Mindfulness has a less religious history and is associated with being present and fully aware of what’s happening in the moment.
Write Down Your Struggles
More and more studies show that journaling your problems can help men and women improve their mental health. By writing down how you feel you can gain clarity into the situations happening in your life. Journaling is a fantastic way to get your feelings out and organize them, which can help you see things in a new light. It can also be an opportunity for self-reflection, as you think about the events that are distressing you. Whether it’s relationship problems or troubles at work, write down your struggles.
Go for a Brisk Walk
Need a quick boost? Go for a brisk walk for 15-20 minutes. Your body will produce dopamine which can give you an instant mood boost. Walking is good for you in more ways than one. It helps calm the mind and body, reduces stress and anxiety, improves circulation, and even strengthens bones and muscles. And of course, it can boost moods and fight depression. A brisk walk refers to walking at a rate of around 3 miles per hour; it’s faster than leisurely walking but slower than running.
Drink Less Alcohol or None at All
Alcohol is a depressant and if you are feeling down, alcohol will only heighten those emotions. Most people who want to use alcohol to cope with uncomfortable emotions probably shouldn’t drink any at all. If you want to improve your mental health, don’t be afraid to give up drinking for a season. Alcohol can cause you to feel worse and less able to deal with your problems.
Go to Bed 30 Minutes Earlier Than Usual
More rest can improve your mental health significantly. Try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier than usual by turning off technology earlier in the evening, reading a book before bed, or doing your journaling a little earlier than usual. You’ll get more sleep because your body will be able to wind down earlier, and you can still set your alarm for the same time you normally do the next morning.
Invite a Friend out for Coffee
When you are feeling down, the last thing you want to do is spend time alone. Instead of staying home or binge-watching Netflix, why not invite a friend for coffee? If they are someone you can trust, you can share a bit about what’s going on with your family, at work, or with you that is causing you to feel down.