Mental well-being is ultimately a do-it-yourself project. Before you hurry off to a doctor’s office for an anti-depressant or your drugstore for another quick-fix pill, consider incorporating some or all of these six steps into your life. Maybe you are already established in some of these areas, but perhaps you can ratchet up your activity in another area. Stress, anxiety, and depression are not your destiny as you have more exciting options that won’t tax your pocketbook.
1. Increase Your Activity – Look for exercise you enjoy. I like to mix up activities so not to get bored. It matters not whether or not the activity is a individual or group activity as long as it works for you.
2. Become a lifelong learner. Take classes or learn a new skill. Besides often providing a new enthusiasm for life and increased self-confidence, it has been demonstrated that learning is a great anti-aging tool.
3. Become more social and connect with others. Social relationships are critical to our well-being so connect or improve your contacts with people around you, your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. You can do so from your home, at work, or within your community.
4. Check your diet. Many maladies can be mitigated by an improved diet and better hydration. While your diet may be acceptable for you, a check-up can never hurt and changes could be the order of the day if you want improvements.
5. Become a more active giver. Giving can take on many forms and may simply include “random acts of kindness.” Contributing your time to local community opportunities, thanking someone, or simply smiling are as fulfilling as they are giving.
6. Find things to feel grateful for. Being in the moment and actually focusing upon everything around you from the indoor plumbing, chair, roof over your head, and the literally hundreds of conveniences around and supporting you is a start. Feeling and appreciating the sensations of touch, sight, hearing, breath, relationships, and more, you will begin to experience your mood shift. Perhaps you might keep a gratitude journal, but at the least, a simple heartfelt prayer of “Thank You!” may suffice.
There are many other venues to mental well-being, but these are very positive actions that anyone can pursue at any time. Isn’t today a great time to begin? Remember that it’s never too late to finish strong!