5 ways to build positive mental health

Everyone has mental health – for some, it’s better and for some, it’s worse. Mental health often fluctuates and even those who generally have good mental health can have low moments.

However, there are some things you can do to look after your mental health and build a generally positive state of mental wellbeing.

Use these tips to improve your own mental health or use these as teaching points for children so that we can improve the mental wellbeing of the next generation.

Be mindful

Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present and can help to build positive mental health by reducing how much we dwell on the past or fret about the future. Not only that, but by improving our mindfulness we can appreciate the present more, become more attentive and improve our self-awareness – all of which contribute to positive mental health.

You can practice mindfulness almost anywhere e.g. while taking a walk, eating, sitting down or during your regular commute!

Kickstart your mindfulness journey with our 6-week mindfulness course that combines humour, sensitivity and true stories to teach you essential mindfulness techniques.

Stay active

Many studies have shown a link between exercise and positive mental health – when your exercise your body releases endorphins that make you feel good. Staying active doesn’t mean that you need to hit the gym every day – a simple stretch in the morning or a stroll at lunch can be enough to get your endorphins going.

Need some healthy living inspiration? Check out these books from TriggerPublishing.

Help others

Helping others is a great way to support positive mental health as it can help you achieve a sense of accomplishment and gain perspective. Often those who are considered more ‘generous’ tend to have positive mental health and strong resilience.

There are plenty of ways you can help others, such as

  • Having a conversation about their worries
  • Raising money or donating to a charitable cause (why not donate to Headucation?)
  • Look out for signs of anxiety or signs that someone is struggling with their own mental health
  • Complete a task with or for someone else
  • Volunteer with a local charity or at a local event
  • Tell your own story. Writing can be cathartic and by telling your story you could be helping someone to feel that they are not alone, that there is hope that things can get better. Our friends over at Cherish Editions provide potential authors with a great platform to do just that.

Learn new skills

Learning new skills keeps your brain stimulated, gives you a new challenge to focus on and leads to a great sense of satisfaction. Those who learn new skills regularly often report better wellbeing and mental health.

You can learn new skills to support your career, take up a new hobby or improve your knowledge of something that you’re interested in.

Not sure where to start? Develop new skills with FlourishZone or improve your mental health knowledge with Shawmind’s online mental health training courses.

Connect with people

Talking to people and forming relationships are some of the best ways you can look after your mental health but for many, it can be daunting to open up to others.

Proximity to family, friends and colleagues makes them some of the most convenient people to connect with but being vulnerable with those we know can often be more difficult than opening up to strangers.

Joining activities like gym classes or social clubs can be a good way to meet new people to build relationships with – or you can visit mental health support groups and drop-in sessions like Shawmind’s Breathe Café if you want to talk with someone impartial.

There will likely be a time in your life when you will struggle with your mental health but by building these habits into your life you will become more resilient and generally have more positive mental health.

At Shawmind, we want to make it easier for you to handle moments of poor mental health by reducing stigma and increasing awareness and support options. Help us do this for the next generation by supporting Headucation – our mission to train teachers in the basics of mental health support.

Donate to our fundraiser or sign up for one of our training courses.

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