7 Innovative Approaches to Mental Health Improvement

Today, I have a collaboration with The Prevention Coalition, on ways to improve your mental health. As you all know, I've been going through my own mental health journey and I will be sharing a current update soon, but today we wanted to share 8 techniques to self-improve mental wellbeing.  

Mental health is an essential aspect of our well-being. While everyday healthy habits related to exercise, sleep, diet, and social support can be incredibly effective, there are also many outside-the-box strategies you can use to improve your mental health. Here, we explore unique approaches to mental health improvement you may not have thought to try before.

Clean and Declutter Your Home

Keeping a clean, organized, and clutter-free home can foster a sense of calm, allowing you to relax and recharge at the end of a long day. Address any clutter or organizational issues now so you can create a positive, healthy atmosphere in your house. For example, this might mean doing some deep cleaning, opening the windows to let in the fresh air, or finding organizational solutions to keep your storage from spilling into your living space.

Laugh More

Laughter has long been known to have positive effects on our mental health. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that promote feelings of happiness and pleasure. This natural high can help to reduce stress and anxiety. The next time you’re feeling down or stressed, try watching a funny movie, calling your funniest friend, or reading a humorous book.

Sing in the Car

Singing in the car is a fun and easy way to give yourself an immediate mental health boost. Not only is singing a great way to pass the time during a boring commute, but singing stimulates the brain, triggering the release of feel-good hormones. Singing also encourages you to relax the muscles in your diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply to release tension through the body.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Reflecting on things you’re grateful for can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts and emotions toward positivity. When you practice gratitude, you’ll notice and appreciate the small things in life, such as a beautiful sunset, a kind gesture from a stranger, or the love of family and friends. Writing down these moments of gratitude in a journal can help to reinforce them and provide a tangible record of the good things in your life!

Play Cosy Video Games

Happiful explains that playing cosy games is a great way to relax and unwind. Unlike high-stakes games, cosy games offer a low-pressure experience with few difficult challenges. The aim is to explore beautiful worlds and have fun, providing a much-needed escape from the stressors of daily life. Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, and Spiritfarer are a few great options to get you started! I have recently rediscovered my Nintendo DS3 and can't wait to get back into some of my old games. 

Try Virtual Reality Therapy

Virtual reality (VR) therapy is an innovative approach to mental health treatment. By immersing patients in realistic virtual environments, therapists can help them confront and overcome fears, anxieties, and other mental health challenges. This approach is particularly effective for treating phobias, PTSD, and social anxiety and offers a safe and controlled environment for patients to work through their concerns.

Try Forest Bathing

This is one I personally, have never heard of before. Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a practice that involves taking a slow and mindful walk through a natural forest environment. One Tree Planted explains that when we spend time in nature, our parasympathetic nervous system takes over, leading to a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol. This can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress while promoting an overall sense of calm. You can also just simply go for a walk or similarly, outdoor yoga is also helpful. 

Maintaining good mental health is imperative to your overall well-being, and there are many things you can do to improve it. Whether it means decluttering your home, singing in the car, or launching a nonprofit in your local community, try different strategies until you find what works best for you!