1 in 4 people will experience mental illness.
Mental Health Fitness Tips
Focusing on building a healthy mind, body, and spirit is a positive, proactive, enjoyable way to equip yourself for the various challenges that life can bring.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a hushed forest, or a favorite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sense of peace and tranquility.
- “Collect” positive emotional moments
Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive things.
- Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them. Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting yourself or comforting yourself if you can’t solve the problem right away.
- Do one thing at a time
For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds, and smells you encounter.
Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.
- Enjoy hobbies
Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.
- Set personal goals
Goals don’t have to be ambitious. You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago; to take a walk around the block every day; to learn to knit or play bridge; to call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.
- Keep a journal
Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension, and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.
- Share humor
Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humor can go a long way to keep us mentally fit!
- Treat yourself well
Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.
- Recognize and honor your personality type
Some people are energized by lots of busy social interactions, while others find them draining. Seek out situations where you feel recharged or energized. For one person, that may be participating in a stimulating conversation. For another, that may be sitting still in a quiet room with little or no distractions.
- Just breathe
When we are stressed, we don’t breathe as fully as we should. There are several breathing techniques we can learn to help us relax and recharge. Simply reminding ourselves to take some deep breaths in a difficult situation can create a pause in the tension and help us regain a sense of calm.