There are many factors that contribute to a person’s mental wealth, happiness, and overall well-being.
While they do not replace therapy or the advice of a medical professional, personal stress management and mindfulness tools can help a person minimize their stress-related mental health issues and cope with anxious or intrusive thoughts.
Ways to Build Mental Wealth
Here are some of the most effective and research-based ways to tackle stress and anxiety and generate mental wealth.
1. Harness the Power of Nutrition
Forget crash diets or superfoods. Unrealistic expectations of what we should eat or how we should eat can cause more stress than it’s worth. If nutrition is something you have always struggled with, focus on making things easier first.
Make the most progress by picking cheap and simple ways to improve your nutrition for mental health, such as cutting out refined sugars and sodas for lemon water, unsweetened iced teas, and sparkling water. Increase your protein intake and focus on cheaper lean meats, such as frozen fish, to increase satiation. Certain fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve mood and mental health.
Switch to cooking sprays instead of oils to minimize your cooking oil usage, or use a convection oven like an air fryer to cut out cooking oil completely. Take the opportunity to prep multiple meals in a single cooking session to create a buffer of leftovers for days when you don’t have the energy to cook.
Swap complicated breakfast recipes or sugary cereals for oats and whey, or make sugar-free fruit smoothies with a spoonful of psyllium husks to keep yourself satiated until lunch.
2. Get Your Exercise Minimum
Committing to fitness is difficult and often unmanageable. Some people excel in sticking to their long-term goals, while others bite off more than they can chew.
Don’t give in to the urge to “make up for lost time” with a grueling workout regime. When starting from scratch, start slow, and make weekly adjustments.
When working toward mental wealth goals, pick routines that are fun rather than simply effective. Consistency means doing things over and over again, and that’s only feasible if there’s an element of enjoyment. If you prefer to dance, for example, take dancing lessons online instead of going to a spinning class.
Don’t commit to unrealistic waking hours or a daily gym schedule. Start with a simple two or three sessions a week, or 10 to 20 minutes around the block every day. Change your online feed to motivate yourself! Subscribe and follow healthy, simple recipe blogs and fitness influencers who produce content that you enjoy or actively like watching, whether it’s competitive swimming, heavy weightlifting, or yoga.
3. Improve Your Sleeping Habits
Sleep is powerful, and missing sleep has powerful consequences. Be sure to make adjustments to your sleep schedule if you aren’t getting the rest you need. Some people function best with seven hours, while others need nine. Think about what works best for you with your workload and schedule, and experiment with different sleep aids and rituals to help you out. A few good tips include:
- Cutting off caffeine use after 2-3 pm. Some people metabolize caffeine quickly, while others retain it in their system over hours and hours. Keep cutting back on caffeine until you feel sleepy at night.
- Make your room dark and cold before bedtime. This can help facilitate sleepiness.
- Always make your bed, whether before you go to bed or right after waking up. A made-up bed feels much better and makes for better sleep.
- Change your mattress if it is uncomfortable or if you often wake up with back or neck issues. Look into better pillows as well.
- Only use your bed for sleep. Refrain from surfing the web, watching videos, working, or playing video games in bed.
- Set a strict no-screens time, at least an hour before you sleep. Read a book on paper and ink instead.
- Some scents can help with sleep. Consider using a humidifier and some essential oil before going to bed or while getting ready for bed in the bathroom.
4. Use Journaling to Reflect on Your Day
Meditation and mindfulness are powerful techniques for gaining mental wealth, but many people are confused about applying them in everyday living without instruction. For most people, using a journal for mental health accomplishes many of the same things.
Journaling offers a physical, visceral experience through pen and paper and gives people a daily opportunity to reflect on their day and recount what they might be grateful for, what they accomplished, what they want to accomplish the next day, or even what they’re frustrated about.
Reflecting on your thoughts can help you re-examine them in a different light the next day or even as you are writing them down. Simply seeing your thoughts on paper can help you get a healthier perspective.
5. Utilize Positive Affirmations
While most people who struggle with negative thinking see affirmations as little more than wishful thinking, there is a reason why “fake it until you make it” is a common saying. Our brain is affected by repetition, both positively and negatively.
Learn to avoid rumination and avoid giving negative thoughts the time of day while enforcing positive thinking through affirmations, mantras, quotes, and inspirational moments. It could be a poster of your favorite athlete, a quote from your favorite inventor, or post-it notes around your room reminding you of what you’re trying to achieve.
6. Engage With Your Hobbies Socially
Isolation is a slow but sure killer of the psyche. But for many people, especially as we age, it can become more and more difficult to meet peers and make friends for support.
Focus on your hobbies and interests and expand outward. One of the many benefits of the Internet is that it has made it easier than ever for subcultures and fandoms to congregate, often locally. Plan a meetup or look around at existing local groups. Go check them out!
7. Find Your Favorite Stress Relief
Stress relief can come in any number of ways, from listening to your favorite house beats after a long week to baking a tray of cookies, painting, or squeezing things.
Short-term and periodical stress relief rituals can help us unload tension and pressure and fixate on a source of quick stress relief between work or life stressors, whether it’s a stress ball at your desk or your weekly all-out biking session.
8. Try Volunteering
When we give, we receive, in a way. Research shows that giving people things can feel even better than receiving them, especially in the context of gift-giving and volunteer work.
Pick a cause you’re interested in or passionate about, and check out a local group or organization dedicated to that kind of work. Ask around and find out what you could help with.
It might be something as simple as distributing fliers or running errands. It might be bigger things. Doing without asking anything in return is a great way to reaffirm your hopes in others as you witness all the volunteer work happening around you, and it’s a good way to do good for your mental health and engage with your empathic side.
Achieve Mental Wealth and Happiness Today
These tools can also help a person either complement their treatment plan or find ways to address ongoing worries before they turn into long-term problems. It’s important to get help whenever necessary, but do not underestimate your own ability to affect change mentally – and couple that with the guidance and advice of an experienced therapist.
So, what are you waiting for? Start generating happiness and the mental wealth you desire.