Mental health is one of the growing major public health issues in the Asia Pacific region. It contributes to the high number of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), morbidity and mortality in the region.
Here are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing and prevent you from being ill.
1. Connect with other people
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
- help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
- give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
- provide emotional support and allow you to support others
Emotional intelligence is one of the most important qualities of a mentally resilient individual. Learning how to understand and tolerate the actions and thoughts of others is key towards controlling your own emotions.
2. Be physically active
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- raising your self-esteem
- helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
- causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
According to Harvard Health, exercise can help to reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators.
3. Learn new skills
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
- helping you to build a sense of purpose
- helping you to connect with others
4. Give to others
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
- creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
- giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
- helping you connect with other people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.
Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Read more about mindfulness, including steps you can take to be more mindful in your everyday.
6. Have good thinking habits
Be optimistic, forgive others.