8 Tips for Good Mental Health
Good mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness.
Here’s 8 tips for building good mental health from Healthdirect
- Build relationships
Having good relationships with other people is the most important factor contributing to a sense of wellbeing. This can include family, friends, workmates and others in the community. Investing time and energy in your relationships can lead to great benefits for all involved.
“Among human relationships, friendship is the special key to mental health. As I am healed and harmonised by responding to the offer of true friendship, so the measure of my maturity is my capacity to be a true friend.” P.16
“A friend is as near as the nearest phone” p.16
- Exercise and stay healthy
Exercise has been shown to increase wellbeing as well as reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Good physical health is related to better mental health so a healthy diet, avoiding excess alcohol or drugs, and regular checkups with the doctor can all help.
Step 7 “We took care and control of our bodies” p.13
“I can compel my muscles and limbs to do the right and healthy thing in spite of my feelings” p.15
- Develop gratitude
Count your blessings. Try keeping a gratitude journal and write down 3 positive things for each day. This can lead to increased wellbeing.
“Emphasise what is rather than what isn’t” p.25
- Identify and use your strengths
We all have different strengths and weaknesses but finding out what you are really good at and using those talents can increase wellbeing. Using your strengths to help others or contribute to the community creates a sense of meaning and purpose.
“No one is a no-hoper” p.44
“Meaning generates energy, lack of meaning depression” p.43
- Create flow
Flow is the state of being so highly involved in an enjoyable activity that you lose track of time. This usually happens when the level of challenge is about right for your level of skill. Flow can happen during work, hobbies, creative arts or sports.
“I can be ordinary. I can do whatever ordinary good people do, and avoid whatever ordinary good people avoid. My special abilities will develop in harmony only if my foremost aim is to be a good ordinary human being” p.16
- Give to others
Making a contribution to the community, however small, increases social wellbeing. Many people feel a sense of contributing through meaningful work, but this could also mean volunteering, helping a neighbour or performing small acts of kindness. Take some time to do the things you really enjoy. Pleasant events can lead to positive emotions that can cancel out negative feelings.
“The very real danger of declining mental health and wellbeing, resulting from habitual inactivity can usually be avoided by some kind of regular work..paid or unpaid….it is an investment in our mental health” p.37
“If you need help, help others. To help others best, let them help you” p.37
- Spirituality or religion
For some people, being involved in spiritual or religious practices can improve wellbeing, help in coping with stress and reduce symptoms of mental illness. This can include belonging to a faith community, meditation, prayer, mindfulness or practices such as yoga and Tai Chi.
“In Grow we believe in one another, we love one another and we trust one another”
“Our inner strength and peace, and the company and support we can be to others, especially in life’s crises, vary with the depth and harmony of our response to life as a whole.” P.56
- Seek help
If you are struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, see your doctor or a mental health professional. 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental disorder at some time in their life – depression, anxiety and substance abuse are the most common disorders.
“We begin our journey of change and growth by being able to say “I admit to personal disorder in my life”” p. 11
“The more personal disorder there is in my life, the more I need help. Yet to overcome personal disorder I need to be concerned for and to be helping others” p.15