Small Changes, Big Impact: Easy Ways to Elevate Your Mental Health

It’s no secret that mental health is an incredibly important part of overall well-being. From anxiety to depression and beyond, our emotions, moods, and behaviors are impacted by how we take care of ourselves. But with all the demands on your time, it can seem daunting and overwhelming to give yourself the attention needed for good mental health—right? Wrong! There are some simple steps you can take each day that will help keep your brain in tip-top shape!

1. Work Out

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One user shared, “Working out. Made all the difference.”

Another user replied, “I swear by this. Worst bout of depression in 2021 until I started exercising. Even now when I have a bad day, an hour of exercise makes all the difference. It’s like the sweat washes away all the negative toxins from your body or something.”

One Redditor added, “This. I can’t stress it enough. I would work out 24/7 if I could as it just blocks out all my thoughts and lets me focus on the gains.”

Another commenter said, “That’s it. For me it’s really the feeling of being in control and actively working on feeling better. It also does something to your biochemistry that is extremely beneficial but if you just look at factors that lead to depression, losing control or feeling like other people determine your fate is quite at the top of the list. I feel like I’m turning that around somewhat by working out.” 

2. Delete Social Media

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One user commented, “Not having any social media accounts.”

Another Redditor asked, “Does Reddit not count?”

The OP answered, “I also deactivated all social media except for Reddit and Twitter (which I will soon deactivate too) I feel these two platforms are different in the sense that they don’t lead the users to constantly compare themselves or expose you to falsehoods of what a ‘perfect’ life others have. This wasn’t personally the reason I deactivated, for me it was a useless time suck that I just wanted to eliminate.”

3. Keep a Gratitude Journal

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“Journal of gratitude. Writing in it every night before bed. Keeps me focused on positives,” one user replied.

One user added, “I moved to Japan. I originally visited temples and shrines because I like the environment and collecting the official seal from each. Somewhere along the way it turned into an exercise of gratitude. At each place, I think about how the aspect of the place is there for (Love, knowledge, travel, etc) has been good for me and give thanks. It gets really niche sometimes (Last month I went to a shrine about teeth!) but what that means is that there’s so much I realized I can be thankful for.”

Another user concluded, “I love this idea.”

4. Practice Sobriety

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One Redditor added, “Sobriety. More than any other single change. Second biggest? Taking one or two meds that could help with the symptoms I couldn’t resolve myself.”

“Same. Got my 2 month chip today. It’s still new but yeah,” another user replied.

One user commented, “Congrats! keep it up! It just gets better.”

Another user added, “I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference this has made for me. I am coming up on 9 months sober on July 5th. My psychiaTRIST kept asking me to quit the alcohol but I kept drinking for years. Now that I am feeling the benefits I am just blown away. I’ve already decreased my psych meds once and I feel like I am ready for another decrease.” 

5. Get Professional Help

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“Seeing someone about it,” one user commented.

Another Redditor replied, “Seeing a private therapist about it and starting ADHD medication the past 6 months has helped so much more than 5 years of various medication and therapy in the public psychiatry did it was truly wild the difference it made being properly medicated with something that actually worked for me (compared to all the antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiety medications i’ve been on) along with a therapist who genuinely was willing to help me, rather than one who just wanted me out of the psychiatric system as soon as possible.”

One also confirmed, “Counseling really helps.”

6. Take Medications

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One user commented, “My medication. Thank you Lithium and Seroquel for controlling my type two bipolar which enables me to participate in my life in a meaningful way. It has also made it possible for me to deal with unresolved issues and now I only need the meds listed above. Been almost twenty years now and not a hint of mania or depression.”

Another user replied, “How is your memory with seroquel? I’ve only been on a very low dose for 3 weeks but my memory is horrible all of a sudden. I’m also sleeping a lot.”

Another user shared, “It can take up to six weeks for it to reach therapeutic levels. The sleepiness will abate. I don’t recall specific memory issues when I started but I was also dealing with the memory issues of the depression I was slowly coming out of. Talk to your pharmacist about the side effects. They will know what you should be concerned about and what will pass.

“Getting the right meds at the right dose requires patience but it is so worth it. Hang in there. Being able to meaningfully participate in your own life once you get this sorted is a blessing I can’t describe. I am grateful every day for my meds.”

7. Make New Friends

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One Redditor shared, “Leave all my old friends behind and look for new ones to forget my old struggles. I know it’s bad but I don’t care. I love my two only friends and they are enough for me.”

Another user affirmed, “It’s not bad at all; sometimes you must leave people in the past.”

8. Positive Existentialism

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One user stated, “Optimistic nihilism. One day I realized I’m not actually going to be here forever, and the things I do now aren’t going to matter in the long run. Did something embarrassing? So what, they’ll forget about it eventually. Made a mistake at work? Dude the bosses make way more money anyway, why should I care if I already gave it my all? I’ve learned that I can be a good person and still not care, that the only opinion that matters is mine, and if someone wants to stomp all over that I don’t need them in my life. Edit: it’s officially called absurdism/existentialism! I recommend looking it up.” 

One user responded, “I call this ‘zooming out’. I do it periodically. I think it’s healthy to recognize that each of us is 1 in 8 billion living people, probably 100 billion ever. That only spans a few thousand years. The world has been around billions of years before us, and will last billions of years after we’re gone. Our tiny planet is one of billions (trillions?) of planets that have existed or will exist. We are so small.”  

Another user added, “Yes! So many people are miserable because they want to look good for everyone else, but what’s the point when in a year, a month, even a week from now no one will remember what you said or did. Most people are too absorbed in their own insecurities to focus on yours, and the ones that make it a point to focus on yours aren’t worth it. In the end, you’ll be gone and no one will remember you, even celebrities will be distant memories one day.” 

9. Delete Toxic Messages

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“Deleting my ex-wife’s emails without reading them,” one user commented.

Another user replied, “Boss move. Well done!”

10. Leave Unhealthy Relationships

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One commenter posted, “Being single again. Two weeks after being dumped, I was still feeling less emotional distress than what I did on a regular basis while in that relationship.”

11. Plant a Flower

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“Moving into a house with a garden after years in a flat, sitting out in nature is so relaxing, being able to enjoy the fruits of my labour by seeing the flowers and plants grow that I planted is so rewarding, especially when you see bees enjoying the flowers. I have honestly gone from around a 2-5 in mood up to a 9-10, even on the most difficult days, the garden is my sanctuary, I didn’t think it could make such a difference, but it does,” one Redditor added.

Another user added, “That’s happy! Nature makes such a huge difference in well being. Being outside pretty much immediately improves/regulates my mood.”

12. Go Outside Near Water

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Another user shared, “Going to the beach.”

One added specifically, “Newport Beach, Crystal Cove Beach. . . California.”

“​​Little Corona,” another commenter responded.

One user suggested, “Rio Del Mar, Capitola, Santa Cruz CA.”

13. Meditate

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“Meditation,” one user posted.

Another Redditor confirmed, “Yes meditation has done wonders. For me guided meditation. There are tons of free ones on YouTube. It can take a few times but it does help big time.”

One commenter asked, “Please suggest a good yt video if you can. If you don’t know of a good video, can you please take the pain of writing it? I will be so grateful…”

Another user said, “Look into Dr Joe Dispenza.”

14. Get a Dog

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One user shared, “Getting a dog.” 

Another user replied, “Ooff, so much agreement here. A dog gives you routine, which is key when your life is disrupted by big events.”

“Honestly, I’ve noticed my anxiety always gets a lot worse when I have no routine. Even little things like going to the gym/walking everyday, getting up at a certain time, etc helps me,” one commenter added.

Another Redditor responded, “I was going to write the same. My furry little friend has made a huge difference.”

15. Don’t Watch the News

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One user suggested, “I stopped watching the news about 7 years ago. I cannot describe how blissful ignorance is.”

Another replied, “Fr tho.”

16. CBD

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One user posted, “Unironically, smoking a bunch of weed. That’s not saying it’s a healthy way to go about it, but when I’m baked, I want to be as comfortable as possible. To get that, I actually had to clean my living space and do basic hygiene. Over time, taking care of those things was a bit easier because I wasn’t letting mountains of trash pile up. Cleaner space and slightly healthier living gave me a morale boost I wasn’t expecting and it pushed me to be more diligent in cleaning myself and my area. I’m still not in a great place mentally, but I’m leagues ahead of where I was a year ago.”

“Exact opposite for me. Weed takes away any energy I have to actually make my life better. It systematically ends up destroying any good intentions I have,” replied by one user. 

17. Get a Better Job

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“A better paying job with more interesting work, better coworkers, less hours and a boss who believes in making sure people have what they need to function instead of putting pressure on them. Give me far more time to be at home to take care of things there (and to chill, mind you) plus a bigger spending range and so much more happiness in the job itself,” one Redditor shared.

18. Quit a Toxic Job

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One online user shared, “Quitting my job!! I’ve been at a new job for about three months now and have really been doing so much better. I had previously worked in an animal control facility for about 3.5 years. I had been promoted several times, was the head of my department and several unrelated projects and was completely overwhelmed. Asking for help because I didn’t have time to do everything I needed to was met with unhelpful answers about figuring out how to balance everything. Not having any ideas of how to balance it, I was literally told, ‘It’ll be easier when you figure out how to balance everything.’ I took a $4 pay cut to go to a new job. I’m the newest and dumbest person in an art department, have no customer interaction, and don’t see animal death daily. This is the best pay cut I’ve ever taken. I’m only now starting to notice how much the compassion fatigue at animal control was affecting me.”

19. Set Boundaries With Family

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“Pulling away from family. I love them, truly, but no one needs constant reminders of mistakes in their teens when you’re almost 30. Not to mention I have the kind of family if I return such a favour that I am told I am a child for bringing up the past. I used to call my brother and sister almost daily and I stopped last month. Best decision I have made in a long time,” one user commented.

Do you have more healthy ways of keeping up your mental health aside from the list above? Share it in the comment section!

Source: Reddit.

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