5 Steps You Can Do Today To Improve Your Mental Health

Tell Yourself Something Positive.

Positive things set the foundation for a great day. We always greet other people and encourage other people daily, but we often miss out on ourselves. Could you take a moment today to do some self-talking to lead to a more positive day?

Self-talk or inner dialogue is found to add more years to your life, improve your physical and emotional health, and reduce daily stress. When we perceive ourselves negatively, we can end up viewing other experiences in the same way.

You can try using saying a few of these today and see how it works.

  • Today is a good day
  • I love who I am – Give yourself a reminder that you are enough and doing very well for yourself!
  • I am Confident
  • I love challenges
  • I am moving forward
  • I make great decisions
  • I am capable

Write Down Something you are grateful for.

Gratitude has been linked with improved well-being and mental health, as shown in Shawn Anchors’s book, The Happiness Advantage.

In the book, he talks about creating a gratitude journal and writing down a daily gratitude list. Start by writing down anything that comes to mind for the first couple days. Try not to use the same gratitude twice a month as you get better. Search your mind for something to be grateful for, let it fill your heart, and bask in that feeling.

Do Something for Someone Else

Research shows us that being helpful to others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. Being helpful and kind is a great way to build self-esteem. You don’t have to go out of your way to be supportive of others. Here are a few things you can do today:

  • Sit with a lonely person at a coffee shop or restaurant
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Hold the door for someone and smile when you make eye contact with them
  • Send a thank-you note to someone you know, and it can be about anything
  • Pay for coffee, the toll, or bus fare for the person behind you
  • Let people merge-in during high-traffic times
  • Listen to someone when no one else wants to
  • Bake a cake for someone’s birthday in the office
  • Bring Donuts in the morning
  • Do a chore that you usually don’t do for your spouse

You will notice that you feel better when helping someone else, even if it is a small act of kindness.

Open up to Someone.

Knowing that others value you is essential for helping you to think more positively. Being open with someone is not easy, so start with someone you trust and have a conversation with them. Being more trusting can increase your emotional well-being because as you get better at finding the positive aspects of other people, you will become better at recognizing your own.

Here are a few ways to open up to someone:

  • Initiate the conversation
  • Don’t be afraid of feelings; instead of having an opinion or statement on something, open up to how that makes you feel
  • Smile, and don’t cross your arms or legs
  • Look that person in the eye
  • Listen and respond to what the other person is saying
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Listen to someone when no one else wants to
  • Look for mutual interest to foster the conversation

Learning to open up to people can be challenging, especially when you are used to keeping to yourself, but it is possible and very well worth it in the end.

Take a Mental Break.

Often days can get long and stressful, and it’s essential to take time for yourself, especially in the moments when it all seems like too much. It’s necessary to step away from whatever was stressing you out and do anything else but that. For example, you could do a simple breathing exercise, watch a funny video or take a walk around your office.

If you are able, and the weather is beautiful, take a step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and feel the sun on your face.

A mental break in the day may be just what you need to get back to what you were doing before and give you the energy to go after any challenge that comes your way that day.

Remember that change does not happen overnight; it is practice and resilience to improve your emotional well-being. Start with one of these five tips and implement it into a daily activity. Then pick another and add to it. You will start to see daily routines and habits begin to form, and these patterns will help you to feel better through gradual change.