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Three Tips to Increase Positive Feelings and Feel Better
When I mention mental health what is your reaction? When people talk about mental health, they are often referring to a disorder – such as anxiety or depression that may require professional support and treatment. But mental health is much more than a diagnosis. Mental health includes your overall psychological well-being, such as the way you feel about yourself and others as well as your ability to manage your feelings and deal with everyday difficulties.
Although taking care of your mental health can mean seeking professional support and treatment, it also means taking steps to improve your emotional health. Making these changes will pay off in all aspects of your life, including boosting your mood, building resilience, and adding to your overall enjoyment of life.
Write down something you are grateful for
Gratitude has been clearly linked with improved well-being and mental health as well as happiness. The best-researched method to increase feelings of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or write a daily gratitude list. Generally contemplating gratitude is also effective, but you need to get regular practice to see a long-term benefit. Find something to be grateful for, let it fill your heart, and bask in that feeling.
Focus on one thing
Being mindful of the present moment allows us to let go of negative or difficult emotions from past moments or experiences that are weighing us down. Start by bringing awareness to routine activities, such taking a shower, eating lunch, or walking home. Being aware of the physical sensations, sounds, smells, or tastes of these experiences helps focus your attention. When your mind wanders, just bring it back to what you are doing.
Move your body
Your body releases stress-relieving and mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins before and after you work out, which is why exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, and try to do it outdoors. Exposure to sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which increases the level of serotonin in the brain, and spending time in nature is a proven stress reducer.
These three simple ideas can help you have positive feelings and feel better. Remember that there are times taking care of your mental health means seeking professional support and treatment, it also means taking steps to improve your emotional health.
Contact me or anyone of your County Extension offices in Arkansas for more information
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