Today, the 10th of October, it’s World Mental Health Day. A day that gets more attention every year and one that has also started getting more traction within companies . While we can only encourage this, it’s important to keep in mind that mental health deserves attention every day. It is important to everyone always. Besides, a depressions can’t just be ‘turned off’ and anxiety probably impacts someone’s life on the daily. To just name a few examples.
Micro Habits as a tool for mental health
You don’t have to radically change your habits to improve your mental health. The secret lies in the small changes you make. We listed five examples of Micro Habits that will have a positive impact on your mental health. Feel which one(s) could help you the most right now:
1. Be conscious of your breathing
Is your head firing hundreds of thoughts at you as soon as you wake up? Maybe even before you get out of bed? Take a minute (or two) to focus on your breathing. Keep laying or go sit at the edge of your bed with your feet firmly on the ground. The only thing that’s important, is that you’re breathing.
2. Do something fun
Do something fun, every day. Something you don’t have to do, but that gives you pure JOY. You deserve it and you’re so worth it. There’s nothing more beautiful than enjoying something with the carelessness of a child. Doing something fun doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity. Maybe singing along to your favorite song is exactly what you need.
3. Practice gratitude
Every morning, think of three things you’re grateful for. It’s easy to overlook these things when your mental health isn’t optimal, so consciously taking time to stand still definitely won’t hurt. This way you immediately plant some positive thoughts into your head.
4. Smile (at yourself)
Even if it feels unnatural (in the beginning): put a smile on your face a few times a day. It can be fake. It can feel insincere. Research shows that it works positively on your mental health. It reduces feelings of anxiety and lowers your stress levels. Mind and body are always working together, so you might as well use it to your advantage whenever you can.
5. Be honest
If someone asks you how you’re doing: be honest. You don’t have to be honest to a complete stranger, but be honest to the people that are closer to you. Make it a habit to answer honestly instead of automatically responding with ‘I’m good’. You’ll see how understanding most people are and how often others recognize (part of) your feelings. No matter how lonely you might feel sometimes… you never truly are.