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Ways to Invest in Your Mental Health in 2019

There’s no end to the resolutions people make each year, but one thing we should all try to do in 2019 is to take better care of our minds. The importance of mental health is just beginning to get the recognition it deserves, so you may not know how to follow through with this type […]

There’s no end to the resolutions people make each year, but one thing we should all try to do in 2019 is to take better care of our minds. The importance of mental health is just beginning to get the recognition it deserves, so you may not know how to follow through with this type of resolution. These types can help you pursue better mental health in the coming year.

Take Stock of Your Strengths

If you’re like most people, you’ve spent more than enough time dwelling on your weaknesses and faults. As the new year begins, set aside some time to really think about your strengths and values. You might discover that you already have what you need to achieve an important goal or you might realize that you have a hidden talent you want to hone. Exploring your strengths can open up new doors for you in the coming 12 months.

Relax

The most important aspect to a good state of mental health is to eliminate stress from your life. In order to do this, you must eliminate distractions. Set aside a block of time to practice yoga or meditation each day. This means eliminating all distractions. Let others know you’re not to be disturbed during this period. Shut down your computer, unplug other peripheral devices, and set your phone on silent. If possible, spend this time in nature, someplace where you won’t be interrupted. This your time, so make the most of it.

Start Writing

By keeping a journal, you’ll be starting one of the most therapeutic hobbies available and you’ll also begin to learn more about yourself. You should try to spend each day writing something down in your journal, even if it’s just a couple of brief sentences. You can write about the events of the day, your thoughts at that moment, or you can explore your ideas about your future. This is your private journal, so you can write about anything you like. Later, you may want to go back and look at what you have previously written to see how you’ve changed. If you find typing your journal to be more beneficial, consider using a gigabit network tap. This will allow you to not have to worry about losing your work by having a computer or network crash.

Take More Vacations

You don’t have to do anything elaborate or go away for long. A weekend road trip is often enough to clear your head and relieve some pent-up energy. Consider taking a short trip one weekend each month. You might drive out to the coast, where you can go swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. Another time, try driving to a neighboring town you’ve never visited before to explore their shopping and dining amenities. Getting away from your daily life can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Expand Your Social Network

Socializing with others has positive effects on the brain and, as we age, maintaining strong friendships protects against cognitive decline. Try to meet new people who share your interests, so you can organize activities together. You can seek out new friendships and network with new colleagues to provide you with a broadening circle of friends. Your new friendships may even open you up to new opportunities, which might not have otherwise been available to you.

Take Up a New Hobby

Learning something new is one of the best ways to stimulate cognitive development, while also relieving stress. Look for something you have always wanted to do or something that you find interesting. Whether you enjoy sports, working out puzzles, or learning new skills, this is an opportunity for you to expand your mind and help you feel more content with your life. As you succeed at your new hobby, your brain will release endorphins, or “feel good” neurotransmitters, that will encourage you to recreate that feeling. You can improve on your skills in that one hobby or, having mastered it, take up something new.

The best strategy for improving mental health is to incorporate several of these suggestions into your life in the coming year. Remember to incorporate these things one at a time as to not overwhelm yourself. To keep your mind healthy, look for ways to strengthen it through learning and new experiences. This can simultaneously relieve stress, which is a major factor in declining mental health. As you change your lifestyle, you’ll feel healthier and you’ll be happier with your daily life.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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