14 Habits for Stronger Mental Health

Good mental health is vitally important for a happy and productive life. We all do our best to be as healthy as possible, but sometimes we make mistakes or fall into bad habits. If you want to improve your mental health or introduce healthier routines, here are some ideas to get you started. 

1. Get Enough Sleep

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Getting the right amount of quality sleep is vital for health in general, but it’s vital to your mental health, too. Studies indicate that not getting enough sleep may lead to difficulty solving problems and controlling emotions and is associated with depression and suicide.

2. Cut Back on Alcohol

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Many people enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day or some drinks at a party. However, alcohol should be consumed in moderation for better health outcomes, including mental health. Alcohol can worsen mental health, and many people experience increased anxiety and depression along with their hangovers. Plus, many people see an improvement in their mental health when they cut back on drinking. 

3. Limit Screen Time

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In general, phones can house many stressful things, like work emails and social media, so limiting those distressing topics is beneficial to mental health. Screens also emit light, so using them before you go to bed can disrupt your ability to fall asleep, which is vital for your brain’s well-being. Plus, research shows that high amounts of screen time are linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression. Try reading a book before bed instead.

4. Exercise

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Exercise is good for the body and the brain. It has been found to help with symptoms of anxiety and depression. To stick with an exercise routine, try to find something you enjoy. If you hate running, walk instead. Even 15 minutes of exercise per day can benefit your health. 

5. Eat Well

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There is a significant relationship between what you eat and how you feel. Research has shown that eating better can positively impact anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. Avoid processed foods and instead focus on protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, and complex carbs.  

6. Limit Stress

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Avoiding stress is impossible, but too much can negatively impact your mental health. Consistent stress is associated with a plethora of problems, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, substance abuse, trouble sleeping, and more. Some ways to help eliminate stress are cutting out certain stressful things in your life, exercising, talking to your support system, doing hobbies you enjoy, and employing relaxation techniques. 

7. Stop Using Nicotine

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Nicotine may feel good in the moment, but it significantly impacts mental health. Studies show that when people quit smoking, their feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression lessen, and their mood improves. 

8. Spend Time with Loved Ones

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Certain loved ones might cause stress, but spending time with people you love improves mental health. Loneliness is detrimental to people and can lead to anxiety, depression, and higher rates of suicide. Talking with friends or family about stress can help improve it, and studies show that spending time with loved ones gives people a “greater sense of purpose” that helps them “find life more meaningful.” 

9. Take Your Meds

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This may seem like an obvious one, but if you use medicine for your mental health and it’s working for you, be sure to take it as prescribed. Missing doses or stopping without talking to your doctor can have unpleasant consequences.

10. Meditate

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Finding some time to meditate can positively impact mental health. Meditation can help you relax, destress, and sleep better and has been shown to help manage anxiety and depression, among other illnesses. 

11. Get Enough Vitamins

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Deficiencies in some vitamins, like vitamin D, are linked to mental health problems and depression. You should always speak with your doctor before taking supplements, so make an appointment and find a plan that works for you. 

12. Play with Your Pets

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Taking a moment to play with your pets is always fun, but there are some mental health benefits, too. In one study, most participants said their pets positively impacted their mental health, including helping reduce stress and anxiety. 

13. Get Creative

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Grab your markers and coloring books, people. Activities like drawing, coloring, writing, and music can benefit mental health. Creative outlets like these can improve concentration and self-esteem and reduce stress. 

14. Take a Vacation

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Getting away from it all can be very beneficial for mental health. Both planning and going on a vacation can improve mood. Plus, people often rest and sleep better while away, which allows for better focus and production upon returning. 

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Author: Abigail Conpropst

Title: Writer


Abigail is a writer with a background in journalism, political science, and history. She has a passion for lifestyle, health, politics, and helping others and strives to make her work accessible to everyone. She got her start at The Oswegonian as a writer, copy editor, and Managing Editor.