Make time for things that reduce stress, get you thinking positively and give you a sense of purpose. Slowing down and focusing on what matters most to you can improve your mental health. To get you started on the path to a more positive mental outlook, check out these tips and techniques:
- Slow it down with deep breathing. Slow breathing can help your body feel more relaxed before sleep or when you feel stressed.
- Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to your favourite food, sit outside, watch your favourite “feel good” movie, call or visit a friend. Activities that bring joy can reduce stress and feelings of anxiety.
- Notice what’s good. No matter our challenges, it helps to remember daily what we feel grateful for. It can be something as small as a song on the radio or an act of kindness received.
- Improve your eating habits. What you eat can impact mental health and brain function. Foods rich in vegetable oil, nuts, green and colorful vegetables and dark-coloured berries are great for brain health.
- Practice yoga to relax your mind and body. Yoga can take just a few minutes a day or be practiced once or twice per week.
- Mindfulness is a state of focused attention. For example, tuning into your breath to be “in the moment”. Mindfulness can help you to stop worrying about the past and future.
- Make time for things that give you a sense of purpose. Set a personal goal to walk every day, to help a neighbour, or to connect regularly with loved ones. Setting achievable goals can reduce negative thinking and improve your mental outlook.
Here are some resources to support a positive mental outlook:
- Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindful Body Scan Practice (YouTube video) – Try out a deep breathing and relaxation practice
- Yoga with Adriene – A free 20-minute online yoga practice
- Fountain of Health – More information, tips and tricks for Positive Thinking
- Canada’s Food Guides and Healthy Eating, Brain Health Foods, and Harvard’s Nutrition Source. –Tips on eating healthy and improving brain health
- My Sleep Well – Evidence-based better sleep strategies