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10 ways to take control of your mental health

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Mental health tends to only get attention when there’s a concern. But caring for our mental health is important all the time. Here are 10 ways to do it:

  1. Take care of your relationships. Relationships are not always easy, and some mental health conditions can get in the way. But give yourself a push if you need to. People who have close relationships (friends, family, or romantic) tend to have better physical and mental health.
  2. Get outside. Spending time in nature can result in lower stress, sharper thinking, and a better mood. Even a few minutes to look at a green space may help, research suggests.
  3. Move your body. As if you needed one more reason to exercise, being active has been shown again and again to benefit mental health. It can help with anxiety and depression, improve moods, and foster social connections.
  4. Do things for others. Another way to build social connections, and to boost levels of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, is to volunteer. It turns out that helping others is good for those you help and for you.
  5. Develop healthy sleep habits. Sleep struggles can go hand-in-hand with certain mental health challenges, like anxiety and PTSD. Don’t give up. Making simple changes to your nighttime habits may help you get better rest.
  6. Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health. When we keep mental health a secret, it sends the signal that it’s something to be ashamed of. Fight back against mental health stigma by talking about it with the people in your life just like you would a physical health issue.
  7. Be kind to yourself. Be honest. When you hear your voice in your head, is it kind or critical? If your self-talk is mostly negative, try a different approach. Look for the positives. When you make a mistake, talk to yourself with kindness and encouragement rather than blame.
  8. Find healthy ways to respond to stress. Stress is a part of life. How you respond can make all the difference. Here are 4 healthy ways to manage stress.
  9. Learn the power of your breath. Your breathing is closely linked to how you feel, from stress and anxiety to panic attacks and PTSD symptoms. Learn how your breath can help you get control of your mental health.
  10. Get help when you need it. While there are lots of ways to support your mental health on your own, it’s important to know when to turn to a proven medical treatment. Luckily there are options, depending on your symptoms and treatment preferences.

If panic attacks or PTSD symptoms are making it hard to live your life the way you want, Freespira is an at-home, drug-free treatment. You can start the program quickly and complete it at home on a flexible schedule that works for you.

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