Maintaining a level balance requires conscious positivity. Often, improving yourself has more to do with what you cut out than what you add in. For instance, if your workload is overwhelming, putting more on your schedule will only add to your stress. Here are five good habits to improve mental health, presented by Astudia.
1. Being Negative
Many people think being negative or positive is an inherent disposition, which researchers say may be true to some degree. Fortunately, being positive is a muscle you can exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy can help you correct harmful patterns. Seeing the bright side is not just a way to gloss over the difficulties in life. It is a skill essential to happiness and being open-minded. Start by introducing positive affirmations into your day, especially when your thoughts have become overwhelming.
2. Eating Poorly
When you’re stressed, it is easy to turn to junk food that is quick and temporarily satisfying. In the long run, it will worsen mood swings, blood sugar, and your self-image. There are many ways to incorporate fast, affordable, and healthy food into your day so you can get on the right track. From eating homemade meals that take 20 minutes to cook to choosing more nourishing options when you eat out, there are plenty of good ways to get started.
3. Comparing Yourself to Others
Social media has made it almost impossible to avoid comparing yourself to others. Whether you envy your friends’ highlight reels of vacations and promotions or you try to reach the high standards that celebrities set, these comparisons can be very harmful to your self-esteem. Practice gratitude for your life and your unique gifts to take a considerable step in redirecting your focus. Limiting time spent on social media and the type of content you expose yourself to can also help.
4. Get Organized
If you are an overachiever or a parent, you know how easy it is to let your own needs fall by the wayside. If you genuinely want to be happy and offer your best self to others, you will have to reorder your priorities. Time management is essential to fitting everything into your day. Make sure that you take breaks to actually increase the amount you can get done by letting your brain rest. Another critical skill is learning to say no to things you don’t have the time or capacity for.
5. Get Active
The rise of office jobs and working from home means people are getting less movement throughout their day. Exercise is important to mental health. It's important to stand, walk around, and give yourself a break from the desk. Smartwatches often automatically remind you to do this every hour. Otherwise, you can use a Pomodoro timer to work efficiently and take regular breaks.
In today’s highly competitive environment, it is easy to lose track of caring for your mental health. Before you know it, negativity can shift the balance. Thankfully, by doing things like getting organized, staying active, eating healthfully, a balance can be achieved — with positivity a conscious part of your day-to-day life.
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