Better Mind

9 Simple scientific proven ways that boost your mental health

9 Simple scientific proven ways that boost your mental health

Various strategies exist to boost your mental health, ranging from well-established practices such as regular exercise and sufficient sleep to lesser-known methods like taking magnesium supplements or exposing your body to cold water. Additionally, there are approaches not yet fully accepted, such as microdosing psychedelics.

Throughout the years, many online articles covered scientifically supported self-care tips that are easily accessible. Perhaps you’ll find them beneficial too.

While some of these suggestions may have limitations, especially in dealing with significant challenges or the relentless stream of global turmoil, they offer a semblance of control in a world where influence is often limited.

Here are a few popular strategies to boost your mental health:

01. Immerse yourself in nature

Compelling evidence suggests that spending time outdoors significantly reduces stress, enhances mood, and promotes overall well-being. Studies show that gazing at intricate patterns in natural elements like ferns, flowers, mountains, and ocean waves can increase alpha waves in the brain, associated with relaxation.

Many people favor ‘forest bathing,’ a mindful woodland hike, to reap nature’s health benefits. If outdoor access is limited, experts recommend alternatives like opening a window for a fresh breeze or incorporating nature-inspired scents to bring the outdoors to you.

02. Indulge in the melodies of birdsong

Research indicates that merely being around birds can boost your mental health. While experiencing the real deal outdoors in nature is likely more potent for mental well-being, you might consider playing bird sounds the next time you really need a mood boost.

03. Streamline your space

While decluttering may not be a cure for diagnosed depression, it can still positively boost your mental health. Organizing your space can reduce exhaustion, boost productivity, and enhance overall life quality. If you’re ready to give decluttering a try, experts provide research-backed recommendations.

One surprising tip is to look but refrain from touching items during the sorting process, as studies indicate that physically interacting with possessions increases attachment.

04. Reduce consumption of highly processed foods

While it’s commonly understood that frozen pizza and chips can impact physical health negatively, what may be surprising is their potential connection to anxiety. Research indicates that individuals with diets rich in ultra-processed foods, including soda, candy, energy bars, and fruit-flavored yogurt, face a 44% higher risk of depression and a 48% elevated risk of anxiety. Not so fun if you rather want to boost your mental health!

05. Opt for these foods instead

Contrary to popular belief, there are no miracle foods to alleviate stress. However, promoting mental well-being can be achieved by incorporating a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates, which can elevate the levels of serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone.’

Certain recommended foods are particularly effective in influencing these hormones, offering good news for dark chocolate and banana enthusiasts.

06. Activate your happiness hormones

Apart from dietary choices, various methods can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. A 2023 article provides examples of how to naturally boost these hormones, from experiencing a dopamine rush after completing a task to inducing serotonin release through meditation.

For those with canine companions, good news awaits: Studies indicate that engaging in play with your pet can lead to a stress-relieving surge of oxytocin. This is a nice way to boost your mental health.

07. Organize a getaway to boost your mental health

Boosting mental health doesn’t always require a vacation; even planning one can make a significant difference, as reported by our travel team during the pandemic. Research indicates that the anticipation of a trip can substantially increase happiness.

08. Embark on a biking adventure

While any form of exercise contributes to mental well-being, biking stands out as one of the most beneficial activities to boost your mental health. Cognitive scientist Esther Walker from Outride, a nonprofit supporting youth programs, notes that regular bike rides enhance mental well-being in children.

The reasons are still under investigation, but it may relate to the executive-function skills required for coordinating movements and navigating obstacles.

09. Experiment with light therapy

Seasonal depression affects many, with its impact varying based on the season. While experts continue to explore its causes, disruptions to the circadian rhythm during darker winter days are a leading theory.

Coping strategies like therapy and hobbies can help, but light therapy, often described as ‘sitting in front of a bright box of light,’ is also recommended for its potential benefits like to boost your mental health.