Mental health is not linear. There can be days where you feel wonderful and on top of the world, and other days where you can’t get out of bed and just don’t feel like yourself. It goes without saying that being conscious of these cyclical changes can really boost your quality of life. While sometimes it is important for you to seek professional help, such as connecting with the experts at therapygroupdc.com, there are a few things you can do at home to help you feel better again.
Here are some unusual but helpful things you can do at home to boost your mental health.
Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is pivotal to feeling rested and refreshed the following morning, but did you know it is also important for your mental health, as well? Without sleep, your body won’t function properly, and feeling sluggish will become the new normal. Make every effort to invest in proper sleep routine before you head to bed, and strive to get eight full hours every night. As an extra tip, make sure to keep your room cold — around 68 degrees fahrenheit — for optimal sleep quality.
Journal your thoughts
Journaling can be a powerful method to track your feelings and seeing what triggers your mental health high and lows. Just a few simple sentences per day can be all you need to get your feelings in order and feel less jumbled. It also doesn’t hurt to try a grateful exercise where you write down three things you are grateful for that happened that day. By filling your journal and your mind with positive thoughts, you’ll be sure to be feeling better in no time.
Nature has a powerful way of positively impacting emotions. In fact, back in 2015, the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science found that spending just 90 minutes outside can decrease activity in the brain’s subgenual prefrontal cortex. This is the area activated with negative thoughts, but when outside, these negative thoughts are kept to a minimum. So get outside, take a walk, read a book in a park, or pack a picnic with friends. Surrounding yourself with greenery can do wonders for your mental well-being!
Many people think meditation is simply sitting around while thinking and doing nothing. Even though this may be true, the simple act of meditation is actually training your brain to shift thoughts away from depressive, anxious, or stress-inducing thoughts. Plus, a simple five minute session is great for clearing your mind after a stressful day. Consider spending just two to five minutes meditating when you go to sleep and when you wake up, as this simple practice can ease your brain in and out of the day.
Snack on some dark chocolate
Chocolate isn’t always a junk food. In fact, there are some studies that show dark chocolate comes with a multitude of health benefits. The flavonoids mixed with caffeine have been shown to improve mental alertness as a whole. Next time you grab a cup of coffee, feel free to take a couple bites of dark chocolate, as well.
Volunteer with animals
Spending time with your favorite furry friends is a known booster of mental health. Time spent with animals actually lowers the stress hormone cortisol while improving oxygen flow to the brain. When combined, this results in an immediate feeling of happiness. So take the time to help animals in need while also helping yourself.
When it comes to mental health, sometimes you do need to see a professional for an expert level of care. Experts are readily available to meet with you to discuss your feelings and help you through difficult times. That’s not to say these little tricks can’t help you feel better when you’re feeling down. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.