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Tips to improve your mental health

Canadians are paying more attention to mental health than ever before. You should, too.

Mental illness may seem like it only affects a rare few. But according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, every single Canadian is affected directly or indirectly through a relative, friend, or colleague. Twenty per cent of Canadians will experience mental illness personally.

 
It’s usually a silent topic, but sufferers of mental illness surely aren’t alone. Mental health issues include everything from depression, to anxiety, to self-esteem, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and more—so there’s plenty of ground to cover and preconceptions to break when it comes to mental illness.

Mental Health Education 

Luckily, education is more widespread and easier to access than ever before. Schools are placing higher importance on emotional intelligence as well as academic, social, physical, and artistic skills in their curriculum, teaching coping methods for anxiety and delayed gratification to their students. Since the Y Generation is sometimes called the “sad generation,” and is the most-medicated in history, this new area of intelligence comes at a great time.

Understanding Mental Illness and Improving Our Overall Well-Being 

The topic of mental health is complex, and if you feel you are suffering from mental illness then you should consult a professional who can offer expert advice. But for many of us, regardless of age, a good boost to our mental health diet is in our own control. Here are some easy tips on how to improve your emotional and mental well-being:
 
  • Take credit for your achievements. Too often we downplay our accomplishments, goals, or tasks well-done in our own minds. It’s always nice to hear compliments from others, but one can’t rely only on those for validation or congratulations. Be your own number one fan, and watch your self-esteem soar.
  • Take care of your body. Physical health and mental health are strongly correlated. Getting enough rest, drinking enough water, eating right, exercising, getting some sunlight, and avoiding drugs and alcohol are great ways to boost your energy and your mood.
  • Surround yourself with positive people, and learn from each other. A positive attitude is one of the most contagious things in the world. But the same can be said for a pessimistic one. Make sure that the people you spend time with are going to be helpful to your self-esteem, stress levels, and outlook on life. Your mutual positive mental state will greatly improve each other’s mental health, especially if do selfless acts like volunteering or charity work, which will make everyone feel better.
  • Manage your stress levels. The damaging effects of stress on one’s physical health are well documented, but stress can be just as harmful to one’s mental and emotional health. A proper work-life balance is key to managing stress. Relaxing and meaningful activities like walking through a garden, neighbourhood, or art gallery, a new hobby like a musical instrument or crafts, writing, reading, listening to music, cooking, or just talking to a friend are all great ways to reduce stress. They’ll even help strengthen your mind too.




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