3 Minute Read: Top Tips for Mental Health

3 Minute Read: Top Tips for Mental Health

A quick, three minute read, with ten top tips to keep your mental health in shape.              

Build relationships

Having good relationships with other people is the most important factor contributing to a sense of wellbeing. This can include family, friends, workmates and others in the community. Investing time and energy in your relationships can lead to great benefits for all involved

Get outside in nature

It could be country walks, a forest adventure, a picnic in a field – whatever tickles your fancy. Being in fresh air and soaking up sunshine (vitamin D) improves our mood.

Exercise regularly

Exercise has been shown to increase wellbeing as well as reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Good physical health is related to better mental health so a healthy diet, avoiding excess alcohol or drugs, getting a good night’s sleep, and regular checkups with the doctor can all help.

Identify & use strengths

We all have different strengths and weaknesses but finding out what you are really good at and using those talents can increase wellbeing. A strengths questionnaire is available at Authentic Happiness. (It’s free, but you need to register). Using your strengths to help others or contribute to the community creates a sense of meaning and purpose.

Develop gratitude

Count your blessings. Try keeping a gratitude journal and write down 3 positive things each day. This can lead to increased wellbeing.

Create flow

Flow is the state of being so highly involved in an enjoyable activity that you lose track of time. This usually happens when the level of challenge is about right for your level of skill. Flow can happen during work, hobbies, creative arts or sports.

Spirituality

For some people, being involved in spiritual or religious practices can improve wellbeing, help in coping with stress and reduce symptoms of mental illness. This can include belonging to a faith community, meditation, prayer, mindfulness or practices such as yoga and Tai Chi.

Eat well

Eating properly (3 meals or 5 smaller meals per day) including all the various food groups to provide nutrition to our bodies. Chew slowly to make sure you don’t overfill your stomach. 

Give to others

Making a contribution to the community, however small, increases social wellbeing. Many people feel a sense of contributing through meaningful work, but this could also mean volunteering, helping a neighbour or performing small acts of kindness. Take some time to do the things you really enjoy. Pleasant events can lead to positive emotions that can cancel out negative feelings.

 

Seek help

If you are struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, see your doctor or a mental health professional. Almost half of Australians will experience a mental disorder at some time in their life — depression, anxiety and substance abuse are the most common disorders.

Not sure what to do next?

If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirect’s Symptom Checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).p>You can also talk to your GP, or contact a support service such as:

  • beyondblue: online and telephone support. Call 1300 22 4636
  • eheadspace: online and telephone support and counselling to young people and their families and friends. Call 1800 650 890

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