Proven Strategies on How to Improve Mental Health Skip to main content

Mental health is an integral aspect of overall well-being. Our mental health is mainly about our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how we perceive the world, regulate our emotions, and interact with others. Strong mental health enables us to manage stress, build meaningful relationships, and make informed decisions.

In recent years, mental health issues have been openly discussed. This was not the case some years back. It is because people are more open to talking about their mental health issues.

Mental health affects how we feel, think, and act. Mental health is not just about the absence of mental illness. It is also about being able to cope with the normal stresses of life and work productively. It is just as important as physical health. It affects our relationships, sleep, and our ability to take risks and feel emotions.

Our generation is the most likely of all generations to have poor mental health. However, they are also the most likely to seek professional support.

There are some early warning signs indicating that you might be struggling with a mental health condition. These include eating too much or too little, sleeping too much or too little, lacking energy, mood swings, fighting with loved ones, and feeling confused, forgetful, on edge, angry or upset.

How Do I Manage Mental Health Challenges?

In today’s demanding world, individuals face multiple challenges that can negatively impact mental health. These include financial concerns, work-related pressures, social media influences, and personal struggles.

Guiding Principles for Mental Well-being

This article aims to provide actionable advice to improve mental health, helping individuals take charge of their well-being. The following principles form the foundation of this guide:

  • Self-awareness: Recognizing and understanding one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is crucial for managing mental health.
  • Self-care: Prioritizing physical and emotional health through activities that promote relaxation and personal growth is essential to improve mental health.
  • Seeking support: Building a supportive network of friends, family, or professionals can provide valuable guidance and assistance during challenging times, improving mental health.

Recognizing and Naming Feelings to Improve Mental Health

Acknowledge Your Emotional State

The first step towards addressing mental health concerns is acknowledging and naming one’s emotions. Our emotions, whether positive or negative, provide valuable cues about our internal state.

Ignoring or suppressing emotions can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. It simply hinders our ability to manage stress effectively, even to the point of leading us to tragic consequences.

The Significance of Languishing

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant introduced the term ‘languishing’ to describe a feeling that was not quite burnout, depression, or boredom but rather a sense of emptiness.

Languishing, characterized by a lack of motivation and engagement, can lead to decreased productivity, strained relationships, and a heightened risk of developing mental health conditions.

Just as Dr. Grant emphasizes, identifying our emotions provides clarity and a starting point for addressing them in a timely and in the right way.

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Improving Mental Health by Personalizing Mental Illness

Understand Mental Health Issues

Personalizing mental health issues can make them less overwhelming and more manageable. By assigning a tangible name or representation to mental health struggles, individuals can create a sense of ownership and control over their condition.

Lily Burana’s ‘Bruce’

Mental health advocate Lily Burana refers to her mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD, as ‘Bruce,’ creating a relatable character that represents her internal struggles.

This approach allowed her to confront her challenges with a sense of understanding and empathy. She could then easily discuss it with others as well.

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Finding Meaning in Daily Activities for Mental Well-Being

Add Purpose to Routine Tasks

Adding meaning to daily activities can create a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and connection to the present moment.

Even seemingly mundane tasks like cooking, cleaning, or exercising can take on new significance when viewed as opportunities for self-care and contribution to mental well-being.

Practical Strategies for Meaningful Engagement

Approach daily tasks with mindfulness. It is important for mental well-being to focus on the present moment and the sensory experiences associated with the task.

  • Set intentions: Frame each task with a positive intention, such as contributing to a clean and organized environment or nourishing your body with healthy food.
  • Connect with others: Share household chores or engage in conversations while completing tasks to foster a sense of connection.

Meditation Techniques for Everyday Life

Ground Yourself in the Present Moment

Meditation, a practice rooted in mindfulness, offers numerous benefits for mental well-being. By cultivating present-moment awareness, meditation can reduce stress, enhance emotional regulation, and improve focus.

Dr. Judson Brewer’s Hand-Tracing Meditation

Dr. Judson Brewer’s hand-tracing meditation is an effective method to improve mental health. It mainly involves focusing on the tactile sensations of tracing one’s hand. This practice grounds individuals in the present moment, reducing distractions and promoting a sense of calm.

Benefits of Hand-Tracing Meditation

Hand-Tracing Meditation offers a unique set of advantages that can significantly contribute to emotional and mental well-being.

  • Enhances sensory awareness: Focusing on the sensations of touch and movement promotes body awareness and reduces cognitive chatter.
  • Promotes present-moment awareness: Anchoring attention to the present moment reduces anxiety about the past or future.
  • Cultivates emotional regulation: By observing emotions without judgment, individuals can develop greater emotional control.

Acknowledging and Grieving Small Losses

Recognize the Impact of Small Losses

Recognizing and mourning all forms of loss, even seemingly insignificant ones, is crucial to improve mental health.

Small losses, such as the end of a project, a missed opportunity, or a change in routine, can contribute to a sense of sadness, disappointment, or frustration. But this acknowledgment is a way of addressing the pressing issue and tackling it the right way.

Symbolic Rituals for Processing Loss

Symbolic rituals can provide a safe and meaningful way to process small losses. Writing a letter to a lost opportunity, creating a memory box for a past endeavor, or engaging in a reflective activity can help individuals acknowledge and express their emotions.

Venting is the best way to cleanse the heart and mind of mental troubles.

The Value of ‘Sad Days’ in Mental Health Improvement Process

Embrace Emotional Fluctuations

Mental health encompasses a range of emotions, including sadness. While sadness is often perceived as a negative emotion, it can serve a valuable purpose in our emotional scenario. Sadness can signal the need for rest, reflection, and self-compassion.

Utilize ‘Sad Days’ for Rejuvenation

Designating ‘sad days’ as periods of self-care and rejuvenation can help individuals navigate emotional fluctuations effectively. During these days, individuals can engage in activities that promote relaxation, comfort, and emotional expression.

Activities for ‘Sad Days’:

  • Engaging in Restful Activities: Reading, watching comforting movies, taking naps, or spending time in nature can provide much-needed rest and relaxation.
  • Practicing Mindfulness: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness journaling can help individuals ground themselves in the present moment and manage difficult emotions.
  • Seeking Creative Outlets: Writing, painting, playing music, or engaging in other creative pursuits can provide a healthy outlet for emotions and lead to self-expression.

Writing Down Worries for Mental Well-Being

The Power of Pen and Paper

Writing down worries before bedtime, as a step toward mental well-being, can significantly reduce anxiety. This practice externalizes concerns and promote better sleep. As a result, it creates space for a calmer and more restful mind.

Benefits of Writing Down Worries:

  • Reduces Cognitive Load: By transferring worries from mind to paper, individuals can free up mental space for relaxation and sleep.
  • Creates a Sense of Control: Writing down worries provides a sense of ownership over one’s thoughts and concerns.
  • Promotes Emotional Processing: The act of writing can help individuals understand and process their emotions more effectively.

Improving Mental Health with Strategies for Restful Sleep

Establish a Healthy Sleep Routine

Restful sleep is essential for mental well-being. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding caffeine and screen time close to bedtime can significantly improve sleep quality.

Address Insomnia

Insomnia, a common sleep disorder, can negatively impact mental health. Mental exercises like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can help calm the mind and body before sleep.

Lifestyle adjustments, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine close to bedtime, are also beneficial.

The Power of Giving Back

Foster Connection and Meaning

Volunteering and helping others can significantly enhance mental well-being. Engaging in acts of service fosters a sense of purpose, connection, and gratitude.

Setting realistic goals for community engagement is key to maintaining consistency.

Benefits of Giving Back:

Promotes Social Connection: Volunteering provides opportunities to connect with others, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Enhances Self-Esteem: Helping others can boost self-esteem and contribute to a more positive self-image.

Fosters A Sense Of Purpose: Contributing to a cause or community greater than oneself provides a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

Improving Mental Health by Practicing Self-Compassion

Be Kind to Yourself

Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness and understanding, especially during challenging times. Simple exercises, such as self-affirmations or practicing mindfulness, can cultivate self-kindness.

Benefits of Self-Compassion:

Reduces Self-Criticism: Self-compassion encourages individuals to accept their flaws and imperfections rather than engaging in harsh self-judgment.

Promotes Resilience: It provides a buffer against stress and setbacks, fostering greater resilience.

Enhances Emotional Well-Being: Self-consideration contributes to a sense of self-worth and emotional well-being.


Mental health is a continuous journey requiring ongoing attention and care. By incorporating these practical strategies into daily life, individuals can nurture their mental well-being and navigate life’s challenges with greater resilience and optimism.

The field of mental health is continuously evolving, with new research and treatment options emerging regularly. As we collectively prioritize mental well-being, we can create a world where individuals are empowered to thrive and flourish.

Remember, mental health is not a destination but a journey, and seeking professional support is always an option.

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