Berkshires Psychology: 5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
Sometimes, it can feel impossible to keep up with the stresses, and emotional strains of the obstacles that life throws at us. Other times, the hustle and bustle can leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. Even if you’re taking steps to make wellness your primary focus, it’s completely normal to experience stress, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty.
Managing your psychological health is an essential component of resiliency, but sometimes this is easier said than done. It might mean seeking professional help from a clinical psychologist, but it also means taking simple steps to boost your overall wellness. Here are some simple steps you can take each day to take a more holistic approach to health.
1. Surround yourself with loving relationships.
The mental health benefits of a strong, meaningful social support network can be far-reaching and long-lasting. Studies show that spending time with other people is beneficial to our physical health—increasing our immunity, illness recovery rates, and longevity. Social relationships also sustain us emotionally, boosting our compassion, combatting low self-esteem, and improving our outlook on life.
Try making a list of the people in your life who always lift you up, and schedule a conversation, phone call, or some upcoming time together with them. Even during COVID-19, it’s essential to prioritize social interactions to help us build resiliency and manage various life stressors. Spending time with close friends and family members is a great way to instantly reap the mental health benefits these relationships bring to your life.
2. Get a dose of mood-boosting endorphins.
Endorphins are hormones that trigger positive feelings—and exercise is a surefire way to get a quick burst of these feel-good hormones. Research shows that physical activity increases your heart rate, putting your body systems under stress. In turn, your brain floods your body with endorphins, reducing pain perception and triggering feelings of happiness.
Whether you’re experiencing relationship difficulties, managing an obsessive-compulsive disorder, or navigating a life transition, it’s essential to take a holistic approach to your wellness. Your physical health matters, too. What’s more, studies show that when we exercise regularly, we experience less stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Plus, exercise is a great way to improve your confidence and body image.
3. Start your day with positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations might seem like token sentiments reserved for greeting cards, but when used correctly, they can be a powerful tool for embracing your self-worth. The key is finding affirmations that work for you.
When choosing affirmations, make them specific, realistic, and—above all else—honest. Aim for something that doesn’t feel too out of reach or too at odds with your specific situation. This might mean starting with neutral affirmations before stepping them up to more positive ones. For example, you might say, “There will be negative and positive thoughts, but I will always keep going” instead of “I will think positive thoughts all the time.”
Positive affirmations can help you stay optimistic, reinforce your strengths, and achieve deep self-awareness. They’re a great way to practice self-compassion and create an atmosphere of empathy in your daily life.
4. Let go of negativity.
Holding on to too much negativity in our lives can feel mentally exhausting, leaving us feeling low about ourselves. Letting go of this negativity can improve our sense of self, cultivate compassion, and realize our self-worth.
Write a list of the negative things in your life—maybe it’s a friend who is often judgmental, a bad habit you constantly berate yourself for, or a perception you have about yourself that disrupts your enjoyment of life. Then, remove those negatives from your life.
Actively make changes to spend less time with people who don’t make you feel your best, and consciously adjust your decision-making process and habits, so you stop doing things you beat yourself up for. Along the way, acknowledge your flaws and remind yourself that nobody is perfect.
5. Reach out for professional help.
There’s no shame in seeking professional support to manage mental health issues. Although tweaking your routine and making lifestyle changes can help improve your mental health, a licensed social worker or psychologist is always available to help if you’re experiencing mental health concerns. Psychotherapy provides a safe, supportive environment to explore your psychological health, learn new ways to cope with difficult times, and gain valuable insights into your mental wellness.
To find a mental health provider, reach out to a psychologist, social worker, or counselor through the Berkshire Therapy Group. Whether you’re seeking therapy for relationship problems, life transitions, or creativity blocks, we’re here to help you start feeling better. One of our experienced, compassionate psychologists will help you gain a better sense of the struggles you’re facing so you can start living a productive, fulfilling life.