5) Avoid Negative "Self-Talk": Putting yourself down, criticizing yourself, wallowing in past failures isn’t helping anyone – most importantly it is not helping you! Make an effort to limit the number of bad things you say about yourself and how often you do it. Try to remember, recognize, and praise your strengths and successes!

6) Appreciate the Little Things: Take time to sit back and notice all the great, good, or even just average, things that make your day better. Focusing on these things, no matter how small, will improve your mental health. Consider setting aside time for meditation, prayer, watching the sunset, etc.

7) Get Proper Nutrition: Good nutrition helps not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, get enough protein and carbohydrates, and allow yourself the occasional treat.

8) Minimize Alcohol and Drugs: Even though substances may help dull your pain in the moment, the long term (or even next day) effects of alcohol and drugs can be brutal. Alcohol and drug use can cause mood disturbances and cause physical discomfort long after they leave your system, and long-term use can cause you to put your job, relationships, and health on the line.

9) Smile: Research shows that a small, natural smile sends “happy” signals to your brain, even if there is nothing to make you feel happy.  So go ahead, smile, and give your mood a boost.

10) Reach Out to Others: Socializing with friends or providing charitable services to others improves confidence and sense of self-worth. Try joining a new club or volunteering at your local animal shelter or soup kitchen. Call your friends and ask them to go out to dinner or a movie. Reconnecting with people and/or doing something nice for others will help you to take the focus off of your own problems, no matter how large or small they are.

This article is for informational purposes only. Information provided on this web site is not intended to be used in place of professional psychological or medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. If you are seeking mental health treatment, we welcome a call to this office at 770-457-5577. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

Try any or all of these suggestions to help you feel better soon. To see maximum results, you must be consistent and patient. You may not see instant results, but you will feel the benefits with time.

1) Get enough rest: Most people require 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, even more for children. A good night’s sleep will help you have the physical energy to cope with life’s stresses and demands. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Turn off all electronics an hour before bed, and follow a bed-time routine to help you relax and fall asleep. Minimize discussing or thinking about stressful things before bedtime. Studies suggest that limiting caffeine and alcohol usage can promote more restful sleep!

2) Exercise: You’ve heard this advice everywhere. That’s because it’s true. Just 30 minutes of physical activity 3 to 4 times each week will improve your mood and decrease your stress. Go for a walk, run, swim, bicycle, lift weights, garden, dance around your room - get active! If you are not currently physically active on a regular basis, you should check with your medical doctor to make sure you are able to exercise safely.

3) Spend time outside: Just 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight can improve your mood. Morning light has been shown to be the most effective in lifting depression, but any sunlight will help – even on a cloudy day. Read a book on your patio or lawn, go for a walk, or sit by the pool with friends. Just get out! (Don’t forget the sunscreen.)

4) Take time to do something for yourself: In the busy rush of daily life, people often forget to do the things that make them happy. As little as 15 to 30 minutes of an activity that is “just for you” will make your whole day better. Try setting aside time each day to do something for yourself. Chose an activity each day and give it a try. Experiment with different activities until you discover some that make you feel good.

10 tips to improve your mental health

​Atlanta Psychological Services