• Elizabeth Xu

Cool ways to improve your mental health

Doing fun yet simple things can make a big difference in your life. It can boost your mood, motivate you, and help you stay calm during tough times. Take a little time in your day to try to include some of these tips.


1. Write in a journal

There are many ways you can journal. You can do gratitude journaling, emotional release or planning journaling. Whichever way you prefer, journaling has so many benefits. It can help you stay positive, clarify your thoughts, improve cognitive function, help you gain helpful self-knowledge or even help you find solutions to your problems. Best, it can help reduce the effects of stress or depression.


2. Do what you're good at

Whenever you have a tough task, take a break and do something you enjoy and are good at. This can help build your self-confidence and motivate you to finish up your tougher tasks. Try also building your strengths to compensate for your weaknesses. This can help your mental health by reminding yourself of your self-worth and bringing more hope into any of your circumstances.


3. Keep busy by trying something new

Sometimes your mental health can suffer because you dwell on your negative thoughts or worries in your life too much. But always remember that there is always hope elsewhere. Find meaning in life by trying something new. This can be anything like cooking, writing, drawing or playing sports. Anything new that can help bring your mind off negative thoughts will always improve your mental health.


4. Eat dark chocolate

One of the coolest and easiest ways to boost your mental health is to eat dark chocolate. It is rich in many components like flavonoids, caffeine, and theobromine that can boost your mood and improve your mental alertness and mental skills. Having an improved mood and better mental alertness will help with your productivity which can help your mental health.


5. Play with animals

Animals are always nice to be around. Their kindness, understanding, and cuteness make them very special support that is hard to find elsewhere. Time with them can help lower stress by boosting oxytocin in the brain to help you feel happy and help reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness. If you don’t have a pet, you can always volunteer at an animal shelter or hang out with a friend’s animal.


6. Dance to your favourite music

Dancing is another awesome and proven way to boost your mood. Just like other mood-enhancing activities, dancing also reduces cortisol and increases endorphins. This can reduce depression or anxiety and help you feel more connected to others. Those who have social anxiety or trouble expressing themselves can also benefit from dancing. It’s very simple, pick your favourite song and dance!


7. Spend time in nature

Always staying indoors can be because of bad mental health. If you find yourself bored and lonely, you can go to a park, to the beach or to the woods for a hike. Either way, going outside into nature would always feel more energized and happier. Everything about nature can have therapeutic and soothing effects on stress levels. It can be fresh air, sunlight, or silence/calmness. Sometimes when you know it’s time to go outside when you live in urban areas where the surroundings can be very stressful.


8. Watch a funny movie

It doesn’t have to be a funny movie. You can spend time with a funny friend or watch funny videos online. Anything that can make you laugh can reduce anxiety. The benefits of laughing include making you happier, improving your mood, and relieving stress. It can also have social benefits like strengthening relationships, enhancing teamwork, and helping defuse conflict. If nothing is funny you can still get similar results by smiling and being grateful


9. Take a nap

There are many mental benefits of taking naps. It can help with your productivity by increasing alertness, improving concentration, accuracy, and enhancing memory. It can also help you with your mental health by improving your tolerance and management of stress and frustration which can help your mood and stress levels.


10. Calm yourself down by reading a good book

Reading can help you find a temporary escape from your everyday stresses. Even if it is only temporary relief it can still reduce your anxiety by as much as 68 percent, according to a study at the University of Sussex. It does this by distracting you from your negative thoughts by letting something else take up that space. It could get you thinking of something else and make you feel more connected. Try picking genres of books that will interest you and make you happy such as romance, comedy, or action.