5 Essential Mental Wellness Activities
Mental wellness activities are essential when working to maintain mental health wellness. When going about your day-to-day routine, it can be hard to remember that mental wellness is important, and it can be hard to know where to start when improving mental health. One way to start with improving mental health is to engage in mental wellness activities that have been proven to boost health, wellness, and inner peace.
Each person is different and will feel differently about different types of mental wellness activities. Fortunately, there are many different activities a person can engage in to improve mental health, like physical activity, meditative practices, social activities, and spending time outdoors and volunteering.
Mental Wellness Activities: Be Physically Active
Research has shown that physical activity and exercise significantly improves mental health and wellness. Studies have found that regular physical activities not only improve mental wellness, but also delay the onset and progression of mental health disorders, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder (Zschucke, et. al, 2013).
A major testament to how well exercise works as a mental wellness activity is that exercise exhausts anxious or nervous energy that is pent up in the body. It also provides a means for a person to enter an environment that is unrelated to daily life stressors, like the gym, studio, track or field. Any sort of physical activity that involves exercising can significantly improve mental health.
Physical activities that promote mental wellness include:
- Cardiovascular exercises (jogging, walking, swimming, biking, etc.)
- Team sports (soccer, football, baseball, basketball, tennis, etc.)
- Outdoor activities (hiking, rock climbing, biking, jogging, etc.)
Mental Wellness Activities: Meditate
Another excellent mental wellness activity is meditation. Meditative practices have proven to be especially effective in promoting mental wellness by reducing stress and increasing focus and concentration. Research suggests that meditative practices improve self-esteem, relaxation skills, and attentiveness while lowering irritability, stress, and anxiety. Meditation also promotes a positive outlook on life (Woodyard, C. 2011).
Some meditative practices that are beneficial for mental wellness include:
- Walking meditation
- Guided imagery
- Muscle relaxation exercises
Mental Wellness Activities: Socialize
Socializing is a great mental wellness activity for improving mental health. Socializing is a wonderful way to make new friends and strengthen relationships with old friends. It also helps a person build a social support network, explore new interests and activities, and relieve stressors that create challenges for maintaining mental wellness (see these mental health wellness tips).
Research suggests that socializing regularly promotes self-efficacy, self-care, a sense of belonging and acceptance, and life-satisfaction. Each of these factors actively aids in building defenses against depression, anxiety, psychosis, stress, and other issues related to mental health. (Davidson et. Al, 2012).
Mental Wellness Activities: Spend Time Outdoors
It is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day responsibilities, like work, family, chores, cooking, cleaning, doctor’s appointments, and everything in between. It can cause so much activity, energy, and sometimes even chaos in life, that it can be hard to find inner peace. A mental wellness activity that promotes inner peace and mental wellness is to get away from the daily stress and spend time in nature. The fresh air, natural sounds, and sights, and refreshing smells can help to reduce anxiety and encourage the strengthening of inner peace and balance. Natural scenes like mountains, beaches, forests and national parks can all help reduce stress and ease the severity of mental health challenges.
Mental Wellness Activities: Volunteer
Volunteering time to charity organizations is an excellent way to boost self-esteem, self-worth and promote a healthy self-image. It also helps to improve socialization skills, encourages volunteers to learn new life skills, and spreads motivation to promote healthy and positive human behaviors. Volunteering is a great mental health and wellness activity because it helps a person feel like he or she is a part of something bigger than himself or herself. It helps promote community, camaraderie, and provides a feeling of self-satisfaction and pride that will significantly improve mental wellness.
Guarino, G. (2018, June 12). 5 Essential Mental Wellness Activities, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/5-essential-mental-wellness-activities