The world is complex and stressful.
Every day, there seems to be a new problem, both in society and individually. Just when you think your life is going well, something happens to set it all back. Life can be unpredictable, including your own mental health. However, there are ways to reduce your stress and keep your mental health up when everything seems to be falling apart. Here are a few good steps you can take.
Practice Healthy Habits
If you feel stressed, depressed, anxious, or just out of it mentally, why not review your lifestyle changes first? Sometimes, it may be that you need healthier habits to feel better. These include:
- Diet. If you’re eating right, it can have a positive impact on your mental health. Meanwhile, if you eat nothing but junk food, you may feel depressed and less energetic. Talk to your doctor to see if you need a special diet.
- Sleep. Many people, especially those with a busy schedule, just aren’t getting enough sleep. Energy drinks only get you so far, so make sure that you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep, or however much your body needs. If you're having trouble falling asleep, unwind more before bed. You may need to talk to a sleep doctor if you’re still having problems.
- Exercise. Exercise gives you energy, makes you fall asleep faster at night, and releases endorphins, chemicals that make you feel great. Working out is a mental health powerhouse, so don’t just use it for losing weight or gaining muscle.
Go on a Social Media Detox
Do you spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media website? Sometimes, that may be the reason why you’re feeling so down. Social media has many benefits, but it can lead to depression and stress. Always hearing negative news from your friends, feeling stressed over accomplishing not as much as your peers, the constant gloom and doom… these are just a few examples of the negative aspects social media pushes. Changing your feed to see more positive stories may help, but so can a social media detox. Consume it less, or take a week from it. You may end up feeling better.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Another technique you can try to keep yourself together is mindfulness. Mindfulness involves the full awareness of the present, while not letting regrets of the past or fears of the future overpower you. Mindfulness is done through meditative breathing, through regulating your thoughts, and from being more aware of your surroundings. It’s a great technique because anyone can do it, yet it takes a bit for anyone to master, too. Look up a few ways to be mindful, and see if they work for you.
What’s Stressing You?
If you feel stressed, why? We all have problems, and many of us may feel overwhelmed by them. Instead of feeling that, why not write down some reasons? Sometimes, you may feel stressed due to something beyond your control, but other times, the reasons are fixable. Order your stresses from least to biggest. Work on the smaller problems first, or the top priority, then create a plan to work on the bigger ones. For example, if you have an essay due, make a plan to finish it.
If you’re introverted, or you just don’t feel like speaking about your problems, maybe you should open up. Talk to a friend who would understand your life problems, or know where you’re coming from at the very least. Your friends, particularly if you surround yourself with positive people, should be able to talk about your problems with you and come up with some ways to handle them. Or, at the very least, you’ll get some much-needed empathy.
Take Some Time To Yourself
No matter how busy you are, always have some time alone. Whether it’s watching a show you like, practicing a hobby or craft, or just taking a nice, relaxing bath by your lonesome, all these methods can help you immensely. Look at your schedule and see if there are any ways for you to take some time to yourself.
Realize You Can’t Change Everything
If you’re worried about the state of the world, do what you can to the best of your ability, but also realize that you can’t change everything. Instead, do what’s best for yourself, all while being empathetic and helpful towards others as well.
Finally, we’ll end this by admitting that it’s difficult for us to know what you’re going through, and that sometimes, it’s okay to admit you need help. If you feel overstressed, perhaps you can benefit from talking to a therapist about your problems. Some good old fashioned therapy can help you, especially if you’re unsure why you’re feeling this way and you don’t know how to tackle it.
About The Author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.
With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.