Three Simple Ways to Boost Your Mental Wellbeing

By Jonathan Dugas

Did you know that nearly one billion people globally suffer from mental illness? No matter what type of mental health challenges you’re facing, it’s important to get the right support for you. That can look like anything from professional help from a healthcare provider, peer support groups, journaling and meditation, or speaking with a trusted friend. If you’re looking for some easy strategies to incorporate into your day right now, read on for three simple ways to boost your mental wellbeing.

The first strategy is to practice being present, also known as mindfulness. Being present and mindful means you are in the moment and are not distracted by, for example, your devices. One way, and there are many ways, to practice mindfulness is to take restorative breaks. Restorative breaks have three elements: they are different from your normal routine; they are fascinating for you; and they fit your own needs and interests. Of the many options, for most of us, just being outside meets all three elements. Even better, being outside does not have to mean you visit a national park or wilderness area! Being outside can mean sitting on your porch or balcony for 10 minutes. Nature and the natural world are all around us.

Another way you can get a boost is by learning something new. The act of learning helps boost our self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning something new can help us feel proud of ourselves because we accomplished something. The good news is that you do not have to learn something “hard” to feel accomplished. Learning simple new facts or concepts can provide the same boost as learning something challenging. You do not need to earn a new degree to learn something new! Learning can also build our social connections, especially when learning occurs with others. The shared experience of taking in information can help us connect with others around us, which is an additional way to boost mental wellbeing.

Finally, the third way you can boost mental wellbeing is to be active. It is well known that being physically active helps improve mental health. For example, some of us will feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a workout, which builds self-confidence. Sometimes, being active just forces us to take a break from the stressors we experience every day. When you have to pay attention to where you are walking or running or how much weight you are lifting, it means you are not focusing on the stressful things in your life. That mental time out can really help give our brains a break.

Perhaps the best part about these three ways to boost mental wellbeing is that none of them require technical equipment, devices, apps, money, or other people. Which method will you be giving a try?

With a PhD in Exercise Physiology, Jonathan Dugas spends his days thinking about how we can help more people be more active. With four Ironman finishes and 13 marathons and counting, he’ll see you out on the road.

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