3 Surprisingly Small Things That May Help Your Mental Health

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Everyone knows that combining a crash diet with overdoing it at the gym isn’t the best way to go about improving your physical health. Just like it’s best for your body to ease into better shape by eating well and working up to a regular exercise routine, taking small, simple steps toward emotional wellness could add up to some serious mental health benefits over time.

1. Opening Doors… Literally

Rather than sitting inside at home or the office all day, leaving the house and heading outdoors can help boost your mental state. A study from Stanford showed that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area had decreased activity in an area of the brain that’s associated with depression, compared to those walking in an urban setting.

Spending time outside can relieve stress, plus safe, limited sun exposure can increase your vitamin D levels.

2. Getting Up and Active

Not only can simply spending time outside improve your mental health, but exercise has been shown to help combat symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Even a few minutes of physical activity a day can be beneficial, but be sure you start slowly and listen to your body so you don’t overdo.

3. Making Minor Lifestyle Changes

While exercising and spending time outdoors can have a huge impact on your mental health, there are some other lifestyle changes you can make as well to help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression:

  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and reduce sugar intake
  • Avoid alcohol use
  • Develop healthy sleep habits
  • Reduce stress through meditative or breathing exercises

Remember, it’s just as important to prioritize mental health as it is to pay attention to your physical health and well-being.