7 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health Naturally

Throughout my years of working with clients, I have found that many of them – when dealing with difficult emotions, anxiety, and mild-depression – are often prescribed psychotropics medications. My concern is we don’t learn how to cope with normal ups, downs and lows in our life.

While I always encourage my clients to seek out the mental health care they need, I also believe it’s much more effective to learn the skills necessary to cope with difficult and unpleasant emotions. Our thinking often fuels our emotions; therefore, it’s important to learn the skills that help you transform negative thinking into thoughts that are more rational, less limiting and contribute to higher self-esteem and self-worth.

Alarming Concerns Over Medications

When it comes to anti-depressants—most notably SSRIs—there are several issues that should cause concern for everyone. Most notably, between 1988 and 2008, there has been a whopping 400% increase in their use. In addition to the increase of prescriptions, there are many issues and side effects that stem from antidepressants and, in some cases, their use can exacerbate certain conditions such as bipolar disorder. There is much more concern lately over long-term use of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications.

Alternatives to Medications

While I firmly believe that everyone suffering with a mental health diagnosis should work with a professional caregiver and find a treatment plan that works for them, I often remind my clients that there are a number of ways to boast your mental health and mood naturally.

Below are just a few of ones that I have found to be beneficial.

7 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health Naturally

  • Exercise – Working out, running, swimming, and just generally moving and working up a sweat is one of greatest ways to improve your mental health; studies indicate that “Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”
exercise for mental health

Exercise is just one of the ways to naturally boost your mental health.

  • Meditation – Mindful meditation is a great way for people to manage their emotions, gain awareness, and combat depression and anxiety. Research shows that routine meditation can lead to substantially lower levels of depression and increased cognitive functioning. Meditation can make your mind sharper and your mood brighter!
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Sleep and mood are closely associated and failing to get a good night’s sleep can lead to a myriad of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. In fact, most mental health issues are linked to sleep deprivation. Sleeping soundly can increase your mood as well as help you maintain a healthy weight and even improve your memory.
  • Hiking and SunshineExposure to sunlight naturally releases serotonin, the hormone associated with boosting mood and focus. A decrease in exposure to sunlight can lead to depression and increased anxiety. And one of the best ways to get some sun on you. As some of you might know, hiking is one of my favorites. Hiking is a not only a great form of exercise, and you can find hikes at all levels.  The research is growing that proves just being in nature can help reduce anxiety, depression and increase levels of happiness and well-being.
  • Going for a Walk – Just the act of getting outside and going for walk can improve your mental health and decrease depression. Breaking the cycle of sitting inside and getting out and breathing fresh air is enough to make anyone feel better. And this is simply going for a walk, not a speed-walk or jog. A twenty-minute walk through your neighborhood can get you feeling better.
music for mental health

Music to Your Ears: Listening to classical music may help with depression and anxiety.

  • Listening to Classical Music – Research indicates that classical music can boost mood and enhance memory and learning. So dust off those Mozart and Beethoven records and give them a listen. Besides being beautiful, they can make you feel better and, maybe, even smarter.
  • Journaling – Journaling provides us with an outlet to document our emotions by letting it all out. Besides allowing you to keep a record of how you feel, journaling also gives you a tool to track symptoms and triggers as well as document your progress.

Build Skills Equals Positive Side Effects

I hope you begin to think about increasing your resilience by building the “anti-depressant brain.” Using alternative treatments to naturally build a brain that is resilient. Building skills that can help you cope with the natural and normal ups and downs of life and negative thought patterns. This is not only healthy for you, but also may have a positive trickle down effect into the lives of your loved ones.

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