5 Things You Need To Do Today To Boost Your Mental Health



May 29 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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With many self-help books and medical professionals offering tips on how to boost mental health, it can be challenging to know what works. The best way to improve your mental well-being is to follow these scientifically proven methods. To close out Mental Health Awareness Month are five ways to boost your mood and lower your stress levels, all backed by research.

1. Support your gut health.

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that significantly affect how you feel. An imbalanced gut microbiota is associated with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Improving your gut health can help boost your mental health, too.

Eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to support your gut and mental health. Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds to your diet to help improve stress response. Consume foods that contain probiotics — also known as live microorganisms that help restore balance in your gut — such as yogurt, kimchi and tempeh. Prebiotic foods like cocoa and seaweed can also help restore energy levels and promote overall wellness.

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2. Try gardening.

Improving your mental health can be as simple as entering your garden. Home gardening at least two to three times a week can help relieve stress, increase relaxation and boost energy levels. Working in the garden can also boost your overall mood, causing you to be happier throughout the day. It’s also a great way to meet your body’s exercise needs — think of it as a win for your mind and body.

3. Stick to a healthy 30-minute morning routine.

An intentional morning routine can set the tone for your day. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

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  • First five minutes: Implement mindfulness methods to clear your mind. Make gratitude affirmations so you can focus on the positives in your life.
  • Next ten minutes: Make your bed, get up and brush your teeth. The recommended two minutes of brushing can be another mindfulness exercise that allows you to be in the moment. The ritual of making your bed in the morning helps promote productivity and sets you up for a successful day ahead. 
  • Next five minutes: Write something positive, such as five things you’re grateful for or a positive intention for the day. Once everything is done, get to the business and jot down your essential tasks.
  • Final ten minutes: Enjoy quality time with family and pets. This short yet meaningful bonding moment can put you in a good mood throughout the day.
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4. Spend time with a loved one.

Hang out with a family member or a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of depression and high blood pressure. Plan a weekend retreat in nature where you unplug from technology and connect. You can also gather your friends and host a simple dinner at home to reconnect with your busy friend group.

5. Mind your posture.

 A slouched posture can lead to both physical and mental health issues down the line. Poor may restrict your rib cage, compress your diaphragm and limit lung capacity, leading to lack of energy and fatigue. 

The next time you realize you’re slouching in your chair, keep your head up, shoulders back down and back long. Good posture can help reduce stress and increase confidence in your abilities and thoughts.

Better Habits Lead To Better Mental Health

Many factors can affect your mental health, but these simple yet powerful tips help promote greater wellness. Instead of pushing yourself to try everything immediately, slowly incorporate new habits into your routine.

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By: Mia Barnes

Mia Barnes is a health journalist with over 3+ years of experience specializing in workplace wellness. Mia believes knowledge is power. As the Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, Mia's goal is to cover relevant topics to empower women through information.

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