How to Improve Your Mental Health Besides Going to Therapy
It is a given that therapy - talk therapy, in particular - has a positive impact on your emotional and mental state. For many individuals, it is the first step to taking control of their mental health and actively improving their lives.
At the same time, most people only spend a few hours each week in therapy. As a result, you do have to consider other practices when improving your mental health. So, on this note, here are all the other ways that you can boost your mood and mind, in addition to seeking therapy!
For the longest time, meditation was seen as a more spiritual endeavor. It was reserved for people who did yoga or who identified as hippies. However, scientists and doctors have delved into this age-old technique further and have discovered that it can be incredibly helpful to your mental health.
In particular, mindful meditation is conducive to reducing anxiety and stress. This is because individuals who suffer from these issues tend to get caught up in constant worry. Furthermore, they have trouble staying in the moment as they are always considering what will happen in the future.
Meditation helps to overcome this problem. With enough practice, individuals can focus their thoughts on the current moment. What's more, they can also get better at recognizing negative and self-destructive thoughts and lessen their impact.
Thus, this is something that you may want to try for yourself. These days, there are plenty of books, apps, videos, and guided sessions that will show you how to meditate.
Do you have trouble putting thoughts or feelings into words? If so, you certainly aren't alone. At the same time, you aren't out of luck either. There is another way for you to depict your thoughts and emotions without having to utter a single way. This, of course, is through art therapy.
Research has shown that art therapy can help with a wide number of problems. These include, but aren't limited to, depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, emotional difficulties, and even substance abuse.
Best of all, you don't need any kind of artistic ability to engage in art therapy. Instead, it is simply about expressing yourself through drawing, painting, sculpting, or some other method. It doesn't matter what the end result looks like.
If you are harboring a lot of negative feelings towards someone, consider designing a postcard for them. Instead of words, channel your emotions into the various designs and elements of the card. Another task that you can try is to build and decorate a forgiveness box for someone (including yourself) that you need to forgive.
Get a Fluffy Companion
An excellent way to improve your wellbeing, as a whole, is to get a fluffy friend. This way, you will have a constant source of unconditional love and companionship in your life. Furthermore, certain pets can have a much greater positive impact on your mental health then you may have realized.
An increasing number of health professionals are "prescribing" service dogs to individuals diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. In some instances, these animals can help to predict certain episodes and ward them off. In other cases, the pups help their owners with various tasks.
Agencies such as https://usserviceanimals.org/ certify the dogs so that they can go everywhere with you. However, you don't need to be permitted a service dog for you to enjoy the benefits that pets provide. It is possible for you to have an emotional support animal or simply to have a pet that brings you joy.
Create Meaning in Your Life
It is only natural to get caught up in what is going on in your own life. However, turning the focus inwards isn't always a good thing. Sometimes, it can help to consider all the ways that you can help others.
Now, this isn't just speculation, either. Studies have shown that acts of altruism can help your mental health on several different levels. It can work to keep depression at bay, ward off stress, and improve your mood. Best of all, it can provide you with a sense of purpose.
How you choose to volunteer can be entirely up to you. For instance, you can start small by helping out a family member, co-worker, or friend. Or, you can find ways to assist your community or give to charity. Your main focus should be on improving someone else's life or to help society at last. You will be surprised at how good this makes you feel.
Head Out Into Nature
These days, people are staying indoors more than ever before. Even if they are heading out, they are often surrounded by a concrete jungle. Heading out into nature, though, has proven to have quite a few benefits for your mental state.
For one thing, fresh air and being surrounded by greenery can help to reduce stress and make you feel calmer. At the same time, heading out into the great outdoors can help to take you away from the grind of your daily life. When you have to face towering trees or activate your survival skills, you may be able to get a much better perspective on your current situation.
There are groups you can join that will take you into the wilderness. Such groups do weave therapeutic techniques into the camping trip. Or, you can just go on a hike by yourself and give yourself time to think while you are surrounded by nature. If even this is a step too far for you, you can simply take up gardening.
As you can see, there are many other options available to you in addition to therapy. If you are dedicated to improving your mental health, then consider some of these interventions. At the very least, you should give them a try and see if they work for you. After all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this experience.