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5 Steps to Take to Improve Your Mental Health

by Dani Moody 4 days ago in how to
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Take these steps for a happier daily life and a healthier mental health

Photo from Nappy by Enyioma Nwankwo

The other night, a good friend of mine came to me expressing her urge to improve her mental health.

As she talked, I thought back to the beginning of my journey to better my mental health.

Learning how to improve your mental health is extremely important. With life throwing so many curveballs, it’s important to know how to cope and manage the stress that could come.

It’s also important to balance and improve your mental health to have a healthier and happier daily life.

In my experience, I needed to stay consistent and have self-motivation to succeed in my improvement journey. By doing so I realized these 5 things that can assist with improving mental health.

1. Set healthy boundaries

Boundaries are the space you create for yourself to take care of your wants and needs. This is something most people fail to do.

Though these may vary from person to person, healthy boundaries are preserved for you and your well-being.

Boundaries have extreme significance in terms of self-care.

Healthy boundaries vary based on you and the area of focus. At the beginning of my journey, I focused on setting healthy physical and emotional boundaries.

Physical boundaries include wanting rest, space, alone time, and not wanting to be touched in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

Emotional boundaries involve valuing your feelings and emotions. It’s also about being self-aware and knowing what you can and can not handle.

I was able to establish these boundaries by communicating what I wanted and did not want effectively and appropriately.

2. Be kind to yourself

Most of us treat ourselves poorly even if it’s not on purpose. We listen to our minds rather than our body’s needs.

Some speak poorly of themselves, others don’t practice self-care.

I have a history of being too hard on myself and damaging my own confidence. This has led to me holding myself back from my goals.

This is why we need to practice self-love and self-kindness.

The way you treat yourself is detrimental to every aspect of your life. How you treat yourself is an outline for others to know how to treat you as well.

Being kind to yourself has the benefits of lowering your stress and anxiety levels and overall making you feel good about yourself.

I was able to accomplish being kinder to myself by speaking positively, practicing healthy thinking, and indulging in self-care.

Overall, being kinder to myself changed the entire outlook I had on who I am.

3. Take breaks

In the African American community, you’re taught to work hard, get things done and never quit. That lesson has gotten me very far in life. However, taking a break is never taught to the same degree.

One important, valuable thing that I learned while “adulting” is:

It’s okay to take a break.

For example, last Saturday, after an extremely hard week, I chose to stay in bed and relax rather than clean my car (which so desperately needed to be cleaned).

My mind and body needed a break.

A few things I do when I need to take a break include:

  • Meditating
  • Watching tv
  • Taking a nap

4. Prioritize and say “no”

Saying “no” can be very difficult. If you are anything like me, you always want to help others regardless of your own life issues.

I soon learned (the hard way) that you have to prioritize yourself and your well-being before you can worry about someone else.

How can I possibly pour into others if I can’t pour into myself?

Learning to prioritize is about figuring out what is worth your time and energy and saying “no” is a big part of this.

Like I said, saying “no” can be extremely hard especially when you are so used to saying “yes.”

Thankfully, I found an easier way (that works for me) to say “no.” Instead of focusing on what to say “no” to, I focused on the things I wanted to say “yes” to throughout my day.

Soon, it became second nature.

If being productive throughout the day (and in life) is the goal, it’s important to prioritize the most important things.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

I keep a poster on my wall to remind me every day that

Your comfort zone will kill you. -unknown

For many reasons (e.g. anxiety, fear, loss, overthinking, etc.), people limit their experiences and constrict their activities and ideas. They become complacent.

When I got the idea of being a writer full-time, the next thing that came to mind was all the ways I could be unsuccessful.

Instead of giving in to those fears, I found that stepping out of my comfort zone reduced the anxiety I once had at the beginning. It also provided me with more self-confidence.

The best way to step outside of your comfort zone is to find that idea, or activity you fear and go for it!

What are some other ways you can improve your mental health?

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About the author

Dani Moody

I am an experienced freelance mental health, and personal development writer. I am 24 years old, with a B.S. in psychology.

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