It’s understandable to get stressed these days. But it’s not a requirement!
But we can take steps to protect our mental health every day, just like we can exercise physically to improve our bodies every day. (And, yes, exercise is good for your brain, too!) So, in addition to regular workouts, here are our top five tips to feel better every day.
- Pay attention and connect. That means keeping up relationships with family, friends, and community. It means continuing favorite pursuits, like reading. And it means trying something new, even if it’s just a card game or walking route around the neighborhood.
- Care for a pet. Studies show that petting a cat makes us feel better instantly. Add in taking a dog for a walk, and that’s a prescription for instant bliss.
- Laugh, smile, and look on the bright side. Studies show that laughter really is the best medicine, and we get the benefits even when we’re “faking” it! Plus, if you smile more often, others will be more likely to smile back.
- Meditate or pray. We lower our stress levels just by pausing to pay attention to our breathing, which is basically what we mean by “mindful meditation.” And countless people maintain serenity by talking regularly to the God of their understanding.
- Stay regular. Keep up your regimen at the gym, and make regularly scheduled health care appointments. Accountability is crucial.