Many of us want to live healthier and happier lives, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. Focusing on your mental health is a great place to start as it’s a big part of your overall well-being.

According to Psychology Today, your overall well-being consists of having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a strong sense of meaning or purpose. Research shows that when we take steps to boost our overall well-being, our mental health can reap those benefits, too. Read on for three ways to improve your mental health.  

  1. Get Active

Physical activity can help reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, PTSD, and more, according to Exercising for 30 minutes, five times a week has tremendous benefits for your physical and emotional well-being. Regular exercise can help relieve stress, boost energy, improve sleeps habits, and enhance your mood. If the thought of exercising makes you feel anxious or stressed, that’s okay. Start with 5-10 minutes a day and slowly add more time on as your body and mind feel more comfortable.

2. Manage Stress

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your mood and your health. Where do you feel stress in your body? Maybe in your neck, shoulders, and back? Maybe through your stomach with nervous “butterflies” or digestive issues? While we can’t avoid stressful situations altogether, we can control how we react to them. Carving out time for favorite hobbies or calming activities like yoga, reading, mindfulness meditation or a massage can help lower your overall stress levels. Spending quality time with family, friends, and pets can relieve stress and help provide a sense of purpose. 

3. Eat Healthy

Eating nutritious meals is not only good for our bodies, but good for our minds, too. An unhealthy diet full of caffeine, alcohol, preservatives, fried food, sugary snacks, and more can negatively impact your mood and weaken your immune system. Cut out those foods and choose foods with “good fats” that are found in fish, avocados, beans, and nuts. Strive to follow a nutrient-rich diet that includes fresh berries and leafy greens to support both your physical and mental health. These nourishing foods can help lower blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease.

Incorporating physical activity, stress management and healthy eating into your lifestyle are three of many different ways to improve your mental health. If you’re looking for additional guidance, our professional therapists and counselors at Zumbro Valley Health Center are here to help you manage your mental health. Please give us a call at 507.289.2089 to get started.