5 Ways to Improve Mental Health
By Erica Blasso
I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in therapy for the modern woman who may be struggling with mental health conditions like anxiety, self esteem issues, and relationship conflict. I believe our mental health is more than the absence of a mental health diagnosis (for example clinical anxiety or depression) and is the balancing of many factors that contribute to a state of psychological well-being such as our emotions, social connections, and physiological health. The current state of our mental health determines how we think, believe, and act. Our mental health also affects our physical health and I believe nourishing our minds is as important as taking care of our physical body. It can be difficult and lonely to navigate your mental health on your own, so in this article I will share important contributors to mental wellbeing.
Take control over what you can, like establishing healthy daily routines.
Routines and rituals not only help ground us by allowing our body to know what to expect, they also can be positive behaviors that are beneficial for mental health like getting enough quality sleep, nourishing our body with healthy food, and finding an exercise routine that feels good (like Pilates!). Take pride in your routine and feel empowered over your mental health. It’s the one thing in your control when so much else in life is not.
Develop more compassionate self talk.
Our self talk is how we talk about ourselves, to ourselves. The stories we have about ourselves and the world make up how we believe and act. This can severely limit us in life and disconnect us from our unique strengths. Offer yourself grace and try speaking to yourself as a kind, supportive friend would.
Bring mindfulness into your day.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention on purpose. Try slowing down throughout your daily tasks and acknowledge what you are doing and why you are doing it. You may start noticing some patterns (good or bad) and get to understand your needs better. A simple way to get started is to begin bringing awareness to all your senses when you are doing mundane activities (like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, etc) and see if that allows you to become more present or even savor the little moments in your day. When done often enough, take note of any shifts in your mental health.
Simplify your life.
When we struggle with our mental health or are going through a period of overwhelm, it’s best to simplify our life as much as possible in order to conserve our energy and eliminate unnecessary stressors. Automate any recurring things in your life (like bills, subscriptions, appointments, etc). Try re-prioritizing your obligations or anything that seems unnecessary or complicated.
Invest in nourishing relationships and community.
One of the biggest contributors to mental wellbeing is feeling satisfying, healthy relationships. This may involve connecting with your values and finding like minded people, as well as learning healthy boundaries in order to feel your relationships are emotionally safe and reciprocal.
- The current state of our mental health determines how we think, believe, and act. Our mental health also affects our physical health and I believe nourishing our minds is as important as taking care of our physical body.
- Take control over what you can, like establishing healthy daily routines in order to feel empowered over your mental health.
- Our self talk can either empower us or limit us in life. Try speaking to yourself like a kind, supportive friend would in order to develop more compassionate self talk.
- Bring mindfulness into your day in order to become more present with mundane tasks, and to even savor the little moments of life.
- Invest in nourishing, safe relationships and community as they are one of the biggest contributors to mental wellbeing.
Erica Basso is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT #114828) practicing statewide in California. In her private practice she provides individual psychotherapy for the modern woman who’s struggling with anxiety, perfectionism, and relationship challenges. To learn more about working with her, visit www.ericabassotherapy.com. You can also connect with Erica on Instagram @ericabassotherapy.