Updated: Oct 13, 2022
By now we know that good mental health is just as important as good physical health, but many of us get stuck on what actions we can take to achieve this. Well, the UK's National Health Services (NHS) offers some helpful tips:
1. Reframe unhelpful thoughts: The way we think, feel, and behave are linked. Sometimes we develop patterns of thoughts or behaviours that are unhelpful so recognising them, and taking steps to think about things differently, can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
2. Be in the present: If we take time to be aware of ourselves and be in the present moment, noticing our own thoughts and feelings, and the world around us, we can gain a better perspective. Sometimes this is known as being more mindful.
3. Get good sleep: Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it's important to get enough.
4. Connect with others: Spending quality time with friends or family, talking to someone about how we are feeling, or finding ways to help other people can all help stop you from feeling lonely and improve your mental health and wellbeing. This can be online, by phone, or seeing someone in person.
5. Live a healthy life: Being active, enjoying the outdoors, and having a healthy, balanced diet all impact how we feel. Also, binning bad habits like smoking, and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine can have a positive effect on our mood.
6. Do something for yourself: From enjoying your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax, it's important to do things that make you happy, like trying a new hobby or learning a new skill.
Fortunately, meditation is considered to be a keystone habit: meaning it's a habit that lays the foundation for the easy adoption of other positive routines, habits, and behaviours in our life. So if you're looking for ideas on how to take good care of your mental health, mindfulness meditation is a great place to start!