Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and should be treated with as much care as you do your body. It’s not just about whether you have anxiety or depression, but also about boosting your mood, reducing stress, and improving your overall happiness.
Here are 8 daily mental health habits you can add to your routine to start living a happier life.
1. Be Kind and Gentle With Yourself
To start with, you need to be kinder and gentler with yourself in every aspect of your life. This is a way to practice more self-compassion, give yourself time and space, and stop being so hard on yourself. Stop beating yourself up because you didn’t finish your to-do list or you didn’t run that extra errand or because you’re having a bad day and snapped at someone.
You are a human being and deserve to have human emotions and a human experience.
2. Identify Your Triggers
If you have mental health disorders like anxiety or depression, then it can be really helpful to identify your triggers, then create habits in your day that allow you to avoid these triggers as much as possible. Your triggers can be just about anything, but here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- People who always leave you feeling upset, sad, or worthless
- Feeling a particular way after using social media
- Being in a depressed mood after watching sad or depressing movies
- How you feel when you are in bed for too long
- The way your mood or emotions change based on what you eat or drink
The more you pay attention to your triggers, the easier it will be to develop habits that help reduce them in your life.
3. Know When It’s Time to Take a Break From Social Media
Social media can be your best friend or your worst energy when you are struggling with your mental health. While it can be a source of light entertainment, it can also be very triggering, depending on what you are most sensitive to.
If you have noticed that you get really anxious or feel on edge after checking social media, then it might be time for a break, or to at least limit how often you check it. Doom scrolling is very tempting and can become an automatic impulse, so removing apps from your phone might be necessary.
4. Write in Your Journal
One of the best habits you can incorporate into your routine for mental health is writing in a journal. Your mind is full of thoughts, feelings, worries, stressors, memories, and plans. When you struggle with your mental health, it can feel very overwhelming and like you don’t have a healthy outlet for it.
Journaling allows you to release those thoughts as if you are releasing burdens. It gives you a safe space to let it out in an honest and open way, without worrying about having to speak it aloud. When it comes to journaling for mental health, the most important thing is that you remove all rules and expectations. Journaling is exactly what you need it to be, nothing more and nothing less.
5. Be Mindful Throughout the Day
When you are mindful, you are present, which means you aren’t spending as much energy worrying about things that aren’t important at that moment. Getting into the habit of mindfulness can help tremendously with your mental health, especially if you have anxiety or high levels of stress.
If you are new to mindfulness, it is simply a state of being present and acknowledging the present moment instead of the past or future. You don’t think about what you have to do next or regret something in the past. You are right at the moment you are in, absorbing the thoughts at that moment and nothing more. It is also a great way to ground yourself, which helps tremendously with anxiety.
6. Boost Your Serotonin With Regular Exercise
When you are in a good or bad mood, when your energy levels shift, and when you feel more joy, it is likely due in part to your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that produces naturally and can go up and down quite a bit.
There are many different ways to boost your serotonin in order to improve your mental health, but exercise is definitely one of the best. This probably comes as no surprise since exercise can also help you to release endorphins, another happy chemical in your brain.
If you want to improve your mental health and be a happier person in general, try to get at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day.
7. Be Social in Whatever Way You Can
It can be easy to isolate yourself from other people when you are feeling down, but this is going to actually worsen your mental health. You still need some social interaction, even if it is only from a distance. Try to be social when you can, whether you meet a friend for coffee every weekend or you Facetime with your family who lives in another state or country.
8. Give Yourself a Break
You deserve to give yourself a break and put less pressure on yourself. Find ways to practice more self-compassion by realizing you aren’t perfect, and you don’t need to be. If your mental health is suffering because of the pressure and stress you put on yourself, then it is time to take more breaks and understand that you are human with flaws.