How you can Improve your Mental Health

Author: Juliet Hollingsworth

Saturday is World Mental Health Day, with the mental health charity Mind documenting it as “the most important one ever”. According to their research this year sixty percent of adults and sixty eight percent of children questioned, reported a worsening of their mental health during the lockdown period.

The mission, this year, is to inspire everyone to make one change or take one action to look after their mental health. Using the hashtag #DoOneThing to campaign for everyone to spend some time on Saturday doing their one thing to better mental health.

Here are four small ideas for you to try this weekend so you can #DoOneThing to improve your mental health on World Mental Health Day.

Take a Walk

Exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Also, to Improve mood and self-esteem. Exercise has been known to improve the functioning of the brain. The health benefits of exercising regularly are:

  • Improved sleep
  • Improved libido
  • Stress reduction
  • Mood enhancement
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Weight reduction
  • Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

When exercise becomes part of your life the sense of well being is enormous. Commit to a brisk walk this weekend and write down how it makes you feel. If you struggle in future to motivate yourself to exercise you can read back your endorphin activated feelings of positivity.

Write a Journal

I regularly shout about the benefits of downloading your day into a journal. Research has shown impressive improvements in mental health through consistent journaling. The aim is to spend around fifteen to thirty minutes per day writing down whatever is in your mind. You may find you move between writing a factual synopsis of your day and a realm of writing that does not give anything away about your day but an outpouring of heart and soul. Whatever feels right for you on the day is right for your journal. Your journal is something that should be private and not shared with anybody, this way you know that if you ever need to write something you would not want anybody to see you can.

Digital Detox

Believed that adults spend nearly 9 hours a day on screens and children 6 ½ hours, a survey of 18-34-year olds concluded that almost half feel their social media feeds made them feel inadequate. A recent Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma highlights the problem with social media and mental health.

Whilst I hear you telling me that you do not have social media on your phone, sadly the blue light emitted from the screen of a phone or alternative screen can have a huge effect on sleep which in turn impacts mental health.

A 24 hour digital detox  where you switch off all digital items, can bring great feelings of freedom and release. If you need to be contactable there are other small steps you can take such as switching off for a few hours, giving out the landline number or turning off all data so your phone becomes an unsmart phone!


You have a lifesaving instinct known as the fight or flight response. Just as your brain instructs your body to move food through itself or your body to breathe without any conscious thought, your brain enters the fight or flight instinct when it senses a threat. You cannot consciously enter the fight or flight response and you cannot stop it with conscious thought.

Your brain decides whether something is a threat based on innate knowledge, previous experiences, and your thoughts. As a social animal you will also pick up cues from other people.

The human brain cannot differentiate between real and imaginary. So, if you witness a traumatic event your brain will react as if you were in that event. In the same way if you imagine a traumatic event through storytelling, your brain will react as if you were in the event. Your brain will perceive the thing that happened as a threat to your life. It will put you into the fight or flight response when you imagine it and if you put yourself into a similar situation. Alongside this your brain struggles to differentiate between a threat to your ego and a threat to your life. If you are feeling challenged within your ego your brain may file it as a threat to your life and send you into the fight or flight response.

When you meditate you calm the body and mind bringing it out of the fight or flight response and the anxious state. This weekend try downloading my free meditation through the popup box (bottom left hand corner) on my website.

For longer term help with meditation please contact us to find out more about joining our next Meditation Course.

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