Integrative Nutrition Blog

Improve Your Mental Health

July 9, 2018

Image via Shutterstock.

Mental health is a foundation to well-being and happiness. When we are mentally healthy, we feel a sense of clarity, confidence, and worthiness. It allows us to show up fully in our day-to-day lives with joy, appreciation, and inner peace. When we take care of our mental health, we are likely to make wise decisions, take inspired action, foster nourishing relationships, and view life’s challenges as opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks to our success.

Stress, which can have a major impact on the quality of our mental health, is unfortunately more rampant today than ever before. Studies have found that stress is a major contributor to a person’s psyche and that there is a correlation between chronic stress and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

So what can we do? Enter self-care!

Self-care is all about recognizing that our body has needs and taking inspired action to meet those needs. Here at IIN, we acknowledge that mental health is a journey, not a destination and that no one way of approaching health will work for everyone. It’s important to follow our inner guidance to know what kind of self-care is required for our optimal mental health.

Need a little self-care inspiration? Here are ten simple ways to support you in improving your mental health:

  1. Use a gratitude and personal success journal. Write down three things you are grateful for and three things you are doing well each day.
  2. Cuddle with a pet. Spend time petting a four-legged friend! Animals have an amazing ability to soothe, comfort, and relax the nervous system.
  3. Get crafty. Spend some time coloring to alleviate anxiety and clear the mind. Check out some free printable coloring pages online.
  4. Laugh! Laughter is the best medicine, so watch a funny show, read a book that makes you giggle, go to a comedy show, or spend time with people who make you laugh.
  5. Eat omega-3 fatty acids. Improve your mental health by eating foods that are high in omega-3s, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, and wild salmon.
  6. Let your inner child play. Spend time this week doing one thing that you loved doing as a kid. Whether it’s playing on a swing, enjoying a board game, or skipping on the sidewalk, set aside some time for childlike fun and recreation!
  7. Take a nature walk. Immerse yourself in nature this week to reduce stress and boost your endorphins. Try hugging a tree for extra grounding support and anxiety release!
  8. Practice meditation. Spend five to twenty minutes each morning sitting quietly. Focus on your breath as it flows in and out and observe any thoughts in your mind as if they are just clouds passing by in the sky.
  9.  Play music. Turn on your favorite music, sing, or play an instrument. Enjoying music is a great way to activate and strengthen the right hemisphere of your brain.
  10. Turn off screens. Experiment with turning off all electronic devices (television, computer, e-reader, cell phone, etc.) at least one hour before going to bed. Not only does reduced screen time support mental health, but it also promotes a more restful sleep!

Your mental health is so important for living a happy and fulfilling life. Honor yourself this week by making self-care a priority to reduce stress and improve your mental health!

Interested in becoming an IIN Health Coach? Try one of our classes now!

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