Psychotherapist Sonia Singh, known as “The Happy Therapist,” says we’re constantly regulating the eight dimensions of our health: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational and social. When they’re not balanced, it can affect our wellness and mental health. She recommends these natural ways to stay mentally healthy and happy.
- Plant-based eating- This isn’t just about not eating meat, it means eating natural, unrefined and unprocessed foods and those have a positive effect on the bacteria in the gut. Eating plants, veggies, nuts and legumes takes less energy to digest and process and gives us a happy, healthy gut, which improves mood and energy levels.
- Staying physically active- It’s good for the body and it improves mental health functioning, too. Dr. Singh says when you exercise for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week, you can expect benefits including improved sleep, stress relief, improvement in mood, increased energy and an increase in mental alertness.
- Setting boundaries- Creating these limits for ourselves - whether they’re psychological, emotional or physical - helps protect our health and wellbeing.
- Practicing gratitude- Doing it shifts your inner attention away from negative emotions and thoughts by using positivity to feel grateful, and that naturally boosts happiness.
- Be socially active- If you’re socially isolated, you may suffer from loneliness, depression and anxiety, which can lead to physical symptoms like sleeplessness and compromised immune functions. So find ways to stay socially connected to others to help you feel less alone, improve your mood and avoid health risks.
- Managing stress- Dealing with persistent long-term stress can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep issues and physical symptoms like pain, muscle tension, headaches, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It’s important to find ways to help cope with stress, like prioritizing, delegating tasks and asking for help when you need it.