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Mental Health Hacks: Simple Ways To Look After Your Wellbeing

Although my blog has been around since the start of 2019, I’ve not really written an article like this one before. But I thought it might be time to collate some of the mental health articles I’ve written. I’ll also add some additional information to complete these mental health hacks.

What Are Mental Health Hacks?

As complex as our brains are, the right techniques can easily trick them. That’s why illusions work. Mental health hacks are simple things we can do that allow us to hack our brains and improve our mental wellbeing.

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Mental Health Hacks

Affirmations

We often use affirmations without realising it, accept those affirmations tend to be negative ones. You might know these better as negative intrusive thoughts. Don’t let these negative thoughts dictate what you think about yourself. Instead, start using positive affirmations, either by saying them in your head or allowed, or by writing them in a journal. But, do it everyday so you can build a habit of it and make these positive affirmations become part of who you are.

You can find out more about affirmations by clicking here.

Self-care jar

A self-care jar is a simple way to add variety to your routine. All you need to do is create a self-care jar and fill it with self-care activities you’d like to do. Then, each day, you pick one at random and you do that self-care activity. To find out more about creating a self-care jar, click here.

Breathing exercises

There is a lot of overlap between breathing exercises and meditation, that they can basically be the same thing. A lot of the breathing exercises used come from meditation. Breathing exercises can be used to manage stress, such as when you’re going to an interview. They can also help with panic attacks. But they’re also good at helping us relax and re-centre ourselves.

Thus, adding this to your daily routine, especially after work, will help you put a line between your work/personal time. So why not end your workday with a nice relaxing breathing exercise? If you’re interested in trying out some breathing exercises, then I’ve got an article that outlines 10 breathing exercises. Click here to read it.

Cheerscrolling

We all consume far too much negative news, because doomscrolling is more attention grabbing. This is where cheerscrolling comes in. Cheerscrolling is the act of looking and reading positive news instead of negative news. So, if you add cheerscrolling to your day, especially at the start of your day, then you’ll feel more positive.

5 a day

In the UK, with have the five fruit and vegetables a day campaign, which is based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO; NHS). I don’t expect you to go from not having any of your five a day to the full five right away, but just attempt to get at least one a day to begin with. Then increase that as and when you feel ready. If you go all out at the start, you’ll end up giving up. This is why diets don’t work. It’s all about gradual lifestyle changes.

Morning routine

Creating a simple morning routine can help you form a habit that makes starting your day a lot easier. For example, you could start your day by cleaning your teeth, then going to the toilet, washing, and then having breakfast. Keep to this routine for long enough and I’ll became a habit that your brain will always choose to do. Habits are the brain’s energy saving shortcuts.

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Sleep routine

Sleep can be a major problem for a lot of us, but there is a way to have better sleep. First, establishing a waking up and going to bed routine by getting up and going to bed at the same time, no matter what. This will train your brain to know when your sleep time is. By using a morning routine as outlined above, it’ll enhance your sleep routine.

Creating a night routine will also help establish your sleep routine. Much like the morning routine, create one for getting ready for bed. A simple routine could be to clean your teeth, go to the toilet, wash, change into your nightwear, and then go to bed.

For more help around getting more sleep, check out my article about CBT-I (cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia) by clicking here.

Journalling

Journalling is the go to self-care strategy. There’s so many things you can do with journalling that can benefit your mental health, from writing about your thoughts to tracking the things you’re grateful for. I even wrote an article about 8 of the best journalling ideas to help get the ball rolling for you. Just click here to find out about these 8 journal ideas.

Water

One really simple thing to do each day is to drink more water. This makes drinking water the simplest hack of the mental health hacks. We often confuse hunger with thirst, so drinking the right amount of water each day can help you feel better. Now, some places say you should drink 2 litres of water a day. However, if you’re eating things like fruit and vegetables, then you’ll be getting a lot of your water from the food you’re eating.

Walking

Waking is something almost all of us can do. The simple act of walking can help improve your wellbeing with minimal effort. You could go for a walk around the block, walk a neighbour’s dog, or get off the bus or the tube a stop early and walk home. There’s so many ways to add a bit of walking to your day.

Green spaces

Green spaces do wonders for our mental health, and if you haven’t read my article on this topic, then you should. You can find that article here. Instead of sitting at home or in a cafe drinking your coffee, try to find a green space to sit and enjoy it. And, when you go for that walk, why not go for that walk in a park or at some other green space?

Also, if you’re looking for something to do while enjoying the good weather, you could try going for a picnic in the park. During the pandemic, my friends and I started going out for picnics so we could see each other when the rules allowed us to. It was a great way to socialise and get that the benefits of nature.

The picture is split in two with the top image being of a White man standing with his arms out happy, standing in front of a beautiful lake and mountains background. The bottom image being of a White woman with red hair, arms flung back in happiness while in a field of pink flowers. The two images are separated by the article title - Mental Health Hacks: Simple Everyday Ways To Look After Your Wellbeing

Gratitude diary

This is a simple positive psychology approach to improving your wellbeing, making it one of the easiest mental health hacks. A gratitude diary involves writing about the things you feel grateful for, which are quick to complete and easy to use (O’Leary and Dockray, 2015). This is another great reason for having a journal, because you can use this as your gratitude diary. Each day, write one thing you’re grateful for, and you’re done.

Track your achievements

We often forget to pay attention to our achievements, especially if your mental health is suffering. To combat this, start tracking your achievements, no matter how small, in an achievements diary. This, again, is something you can use a journal for.

When you’ve got enough achievements listed, why not create an achievements collage? If that interests you, then check out my article on creating an achievements collage by clicking here.

Talking

Humans are social creatures. A lack of socialising can cause our mental health to suffer, which the pandemic hammered home for all of us. You don’t have to go out and meet people every day, but why not check in with a different friend each day, either by message, a call, or video chat instead? This would help strengthen your social support network, which will increase your resilience to life’s difficulties (Verywell Mind).

Music

It might not seem like much, but music has a powerful hold over us and our emotions. Music can enhance an emotion or be used to change an emotion. So start listening to more music. Create playlists, like a happy playlist and a get pumped up playlist. Just add more of the music you like to your day and you’ll feel better.

Laughter

The saying that laughter is the best medicine exists because it can be really affective. That could involve watching something that’s comedic, telling a joke or a funny story to friends and co-workers, or watching funny pet videos. Find a way to sprinkle some of that laughter into your daily life, and feel your wellbeing improve.

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Summary

Mental health hacks have many benefits to our wellbeing. There are many ways you can hack your mental health so you can feel happier and more positive. This list of ways to hack your brain doesn’t end with my list.

You don’t have to do all of these every day, but find the ones that work for you and then find a frequency that works for you as well. I you want to do at least one or two that would work will for you daily. But if you wanted to try them all, then you may want to spread them out over a week.

As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with using mental health hacks in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.

Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.

 

 

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Refferences

O’Leary, K., & Dockray, S. (2015). The effects of two novel gratitude and mindfulness interventions on well-being. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine21(4), 243-245. Retrieved from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2014.0119 and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Karen-Matvienko-Sikar/publication/273380512_The_Effects_of_Two_Novel_Gratitude_and_Mindfulness_Interventions_on_Well-being/links/57fbf3df08ae6ce92eb2b2f4/The-Effects-of-Two-Novel-Gratitude-and-Mindfulness-Interventions-on-Well-being.pdf.

59 thoughts on “Mental Health Hacks: Simple Ways To Look After Your Wellbeing

  1. This is an awesome article! I realised there’s a lot I need to do to keep my mental health in check. I have a terrible sleeping habit and would work on it. Thanks for sharing ✌🏾

  2. Another great article, I particularly like the Self-care jar and Cheer scrolling hacks, I have never tried them but will definitely do. The last hack Laughter is so underrated, it is indeed medicine. Thanks for sharing

  3. I never thought about the hacks like illusions to trick your brain before, but it makes so much sense. There are so many things to do that can be great self care. Breathing exercises are something I do for my chronic illness and when I feel anxious. But I love the idea of a self care jar – makes self care fun and different each time. Thank you for sharing your suggestions.

    Lauren x

  4. I love the idea of incorporating laughter as a mental health hack. I’ve been intentionally watching comedy while doing mundane tasks and it has me feeling so happy. You have done so much research on mental health, I want to get your feedback on something. I’ll send you an email.
    Crystal | http://www.amazingbaby.app

  5. We definitely agree with music, walking, water, and journaling as the perfect mental health hacks. Each redirects attention to what really matters. We definitely enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for sharing. Check out our most recent post!

  6. You have all of my favorites here – self-care, sleep, affirmations, journaling. Over the past few months, I have changed what accounts I follow on social media and it does make for a much more positive feed. I highly recommend this for anyone that has negative after negative on their social media feeds.

  7. I enjoy breathing often. Doing it when dealing with something that invokes a high negative emotion can be challenging with the first few breaths. However, when I continue and push through, I really do feel better. That self-care jar tip is such an amazing idea. I think I will implement it. Thank you for this great post.

  8. This is one of a kind of post and the tips are really effective, Cheerscrolling is new for me, I was not aware of it but would definitely like to do this, social media has an impact on mental health and cheerscrolling is wonderful to give a positive start. Thanks for writing this amazing post!

    • Depending on the kind of anxiety you have, graded exposure could also be beneficial to you. I have a free graded exposure workbook on my resources page, should you be interested

  9. These are some great hacks. I specially liked the idea of creating a self-care jar. Subscribed to your blog. Cheers ☕🙂

  10. Another excellent article on mental wellness. Great tips and I will be sure to use some of them.

  11. I love that you cover an extensive list of simple everyday ways we can look out for our wellbeing! Seeing things like journaling, self-care jars, walking, and green spaces on here makes my heart swell, and I also love that you highlight the importance of solid morning and evening routines!

  12. This is a great list! So simple, yet so effective. For me, having many plants in my house works very calming, as is cuddling my pet. Watching comedians also tends to help, especially dark humour. And how boring it may seem, a stable pattern in life does to, so indeed sleeping enough (but not too much), my morning routine, etc.

  13. I love the idea of cheerscrolling! It would make a difference to the usual doomscrolling I’m used to doing on social media. I also love the idea of a self care jar 😊

  14. These are some very practical tips and recommendations for better mental and physical health. I often encourage my clients that 5-a-day is the way to go for including more fruits and vegetables in their diet. However, the new US Dietary Guidelines for Americans have increased the recommendations for fruits and veggies to 5-9 servings/day. It is doable for some, but may be very unrealistic for low income families, particularly those with larger families.

    • I’m not a big fan of fruit, and because of my depression, I rarely cook. Instead I just throw something in the oven or microwave that can be cooked with no effort. That means I rarely make it to five a day, so I can’t imagine trying to make it nine a day. I wonder if the serving sizes are the same

  15. Some great ideas! Looking after our mental health is so important. I definitely agree that a good morning routine and sleep helps! Mainly because it sets me up for the right kind of day. Thanks for sharing x

  16. These posts are great reminders of simple things we can do in life to improve our days. One of my morning routines is to make my bed, it gives me the feeling that the time for sleep is over and I won’t go back to bed. I do try the 5 items a day, but it doesn’t always work out.
    I’ve recently moved back home for a bit, and in doing so I can cover a couple of things on this list, such as green spaces and walking. Also being around friends is great again, there is a lot of laughter involved. Thanks for sharing these hacks.

  17. I for one am very glad you put this post together – you’ve done a brilliant job and I love posts like this that collate lots of ideas into bitesize chunks.

    I read “Cheerscrolling” as “cheese rolling” at first. Think I’ve got Cathedral City on the brain. I like the idea of cheer scrolling through – I don’t exactly do that, but I do go to #goldenretrievers on Instagram when I need to avoid the misery and angst everywhere else. You can’t beat cute pets.

    Laughter really is the best medicine. Studies also suggest the whole “fake it til you make it” thing actually boosts endorphins too, so smiling more and forcing yourself to laugh a little when you feel like you can’t might actually get you into the zone of wanting to do those things and make you feel a little brighter.

    Fab post!

    Caz xx

    • Thank you. I occasionally watch funny pet videos. I especially like the raccoon 🦝 ones. They’re so cute. I’d love to have one as a pet.

      I simply can’t make a fake smile. I’m not sure why, but I can only do one naturally without looking like something is very wrong with me. But, I have heard about the benefits of being able to do so. Thanks for sharing your insights

  18. Love this post- so many great mental health hacks. I’ve used a number of these things on the list. My daily routine includes journaling, connecting with nature, breathing and affirmations. Thanks for sharing.

  19. This is a great inventory of well-being habits and practices. Thanks for sharing this insightful list, I’m sure it will help and inspire many 💜

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