Here’s How You Can Work on Your Mental Health – 6 Simple and Science-Backed Steps!

Here’s How You Can Work on Your Mental Health – 6 Simple and Science-Backed Steps!
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2021 was a really hard year for many people but it’s finally over and it feels like we have a chance to start again and try to focus on improving our mental health in 2022.

Of course, the pandemic is not nearly over yet but since the new year feels like a clean slate, it’s a great way to set some achievable goals that will help with improving ourselves in a variety of ways, especially mentally.

After all, what are New Year’s Resolutions for?

However, as we enter yet another year filled with uncertainty, it’s important to take it slow and be kind to ourselves.

With that being said, here are some science-backed ways to improve and maintain our mental health in 2022 and why that is so crucial.

Make sure to set realistic goals for yourself.

Whether you want to become fit or healthier or you want to focus more on a hobby like learning a foreign language, psychiatrist Samantha Boardman advises you to set small, daily challenges for yourself.

This way, you can build resilience and mental strength and gain some positive habits along the way!

A multitude of studies have shown that the more we overcome small obstacles we come up with ourselves, the readier we are for possible higher stakes issues in the future.

Of course, such small challenges every day can also increase one’s confidence in themselves and in their ability to get through any hardship.

Avoid sitting as much.

The world we live in is built in such a way that many end up sedentary but since the pandemic started, that has been even more of a problem.

Sitting in front of a computer all day might not seem like such a big problem when compared to many other challenges today but new studies have shown that even those who get their 30 plus minutes of exercise every day still experience elevated levels of stress after being seated for over 8 hours per day.

With that being said, if you want to have a better overall mood, make sure to get a standing desk or take a lot of breaks from the computer.

Try a Mediterranean-inspired diet.

It may not seem like it but the link between what we eat and how we feel emotionally is real.

As a result, some types of foods are able to help improve our mental health quite a lot.

Nicole Lippman-Barile, a holistic psychiatrist, previously wrote in an article on mindbodygreen that people should try and incorporate more leafy greens in their diets as well as things like berries, olive oil and seafood.

The reason is that all of these foods contain a healthy mix of fatty acids, healthy fats and brain-boosting vitamins.

Furthermore, to tend to your mind and body connection even more, you can mix your Mediterranean-inspired diet with a healthy dose of exercise and even a stress-easing supplement!

Look back at all your victories.

A crucial habit to a healthy mental state is acknowledging all your wins and thinking about all the things learned and gained.

By reflecting on all your previous accomplishments, you will become much more resilient to self-doubt and even breakdowns in the face of stress sources that may arise in the future.

According to a study published in the journal Emotion, people who were faced with distressing experiences were less negatively affected when looking back at a past challenge they were able to successfully overcome.

Interestingly enough, those who just remembered positive things in their past that did not involve a sense of personal accomplishment, did a lot worse than you would think.

This is because trusting in your ability to navigate obstacles whenever they arise is really important to actually overcoming them so make sure to always count your wins as often as possible.

If everything else fails, call a friend.

We are all going through a tough time but even if that were not the case, it’s still perfectly normal to struggle mentally and to need some outside help.

No matter how much you may think you can get through things alone, a simple phone conversation with a friend can do wonders for your mood, speeding the recovery process and reminding you that you are not alone.

If you still don’t believe this is the case, there are now studies on the topic!

One particular research published back in the spring, showed that chatting with a pal can significantly lower one’s cortisol levels amid tough times.

In other words, if you feel like you are struggling in any way, never hesitate to call a close one or two and get rid of all that stress for a while.

You may find that not only your mood but also your perspective on things can change by engaging with someone else instead of being in your own head constantly, battling that pesky inner voice at points where it appears to be your worst enemy.

Go on walks in nature.

Another consequence of the pandemic has been an increase in isolation and those four walls are really starting to get old!

But you don’t have to stay indoors all the time!

As long as you take all the necessary measures to protect yourself and others around you, there should be no reason not to go out and enjoy some fresh air and greenery.

After all, a new study proves that spending some quality time in nature can be really beneficial for people’s mental health and overall mood.

The research was done in Germany and proved that the more trees that lined a neighborhood’s streets, the less mood-balancing aids were needed by the locals.

It is such a great way to improve your mental state during these trying times and, most of the time, it costs nothing!

Just take some time off and walk around in nature or at least gaze at it from your window if you can – it will definitely make a massive difference!

All in all, it appears obvious that the world needs to focus on the topic of mental health now more than ever by making all kinds of services and strategies readily available to the masses.

In the meantime, it’s a good thing to work on keeping ourselves grounded and healthy mentally and emotionally by employing small but effective ways that can really change our moods daily.

You can start with the ones mentioned above and work your way towards introducing even more such positive habits for the sake of living a healthy and happy life in 2022 and for many years to come.


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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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