The mental health and wellness buzzwords floating around society don’t mean much when you don’t know how to achieve them.
People often say, “just see a therapist,” as if that’s affordable and every therapist will do well.
We’re not knocking therapy, it’s a fantastic service that can work wonder for improving mental health, but the fact remains that it’s unaffordable for many, and even those who can afford it struggle to get appointments.
While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/askreddit, I stumbled upon a post asking users to share changes they made that significantly improved their mental health.
Whether you can afford therapy or not, consider making similar changes in your own life.
Taking pleasure in simple things works wonders for improving your mental health. One user found that small pleasure in tea.
The user shared that they “found a tea I liked, and I can make a cup in the morning to drink during work and make another cup and the end of the night to relax with after I get my house picked up.”
They explained that it wasn’t the tea but the routine that helped improve their mental health. “ I think it’s just the act of making a routine action that I get to look forward to.”
Others shared that switching to tea improved their lives as well.
“I was actually going to comment that I switched to tea a couple weeks ago after a pretty bad panic attack, and I’ve been feeling awesome since. I think I’m off having coffee daily, it just messes up my gut and aggravates my anxiety,” replied one.
Tea may be the answer.
Stop Internet Battles
Why do we insist on engaging in online arguments with strangers? One user shared that their mental health improved when they stopped arguing online.
Others thought it was a good idea but questioned where to draw the line.
“How do you draw the line between discussing topics you’re interested in and having arguments?” asked one, adding, “I’m trying to manage my behavior online, and I love being a part of online communities, but it’s very difficult to do without inevitably getting wrapped up in negative interactions.”
Reddit came through, adding valuable insight into how to keep online debates friendly and fun for everyone involved.
“Debating a point is where you aren’t attacking the person you’re talking to, and you’re both separating yourselves from the disagreement. Basically, you’re attacking the idea, but you aren’t judging or directly attacking the person because of it,” explained one, saying it’s essential to stick to the topic rather than engaging in personal attacks.
Another added they try to stay on topic and avoid judging someone’s character based on their opinion on a given topic.
Cut Down on Social Media
Cutting back on dopamine-filled apps appears on nearly every list of improving your mental health, and for a good reason.
Social Media is awful for our mental health.
It’s filled with photoshopped images, highlight reels, lies, and propaganda.
One Redditor offered great advice for limiting social media time: delete the apps from your phone. “You don’t realise how often you just click into each app while bored, this stops that,” they said. “Additionally, the web versions aren’t as clean, much more clunky, and nowhere near as addictive.”
Quit a Toxic Job
We need to work to make money to live, but sometimes jobs are so toxic it’s not even worth it. Quitting those horrible situations can work wonders to make you feel better about life.
“Did that in January, and I still feel great, the stress release was incredible,” shared one user. “I’m at a better one where I actually got praised for an idea this week.”
“100%,” added another. “My sense of worthlessness was gone. I found a well-paying job that I like, I didn’t wake up every morning feeling already worn out and stressed. I was no longer spending all day in a crappy leaky windowless room and was able to take the time to be outside and feel the sun and hear the birds and the wind in the trees, I instantly went from one of the worst ruts of my life to one of the most peaceful moments that I’ll never forget.”
Many of us grow up as people pleasers. We feel guilty saying no, and ultimately hurt ourselves trying to help others.
Learning to say “no” can work wonders for improving your life, but overcoming a lifetime of social conditioning is difficult.
“Like anything, it takes practice,” offered one Redditor. “It sounds silly, but a huge leap for me was just getting comfortable saying no and not feeling the need to excuse or explain. Role-playing with a friend can help get past the awkwardness.”
Get Better Sleep
A good night’s sleep is one of the underrated heroes of a healthy life.
“Getting to bed on time and getting out of the habit of hitting snooze/browsing phone in bed did wonders for me,” shared one user.
Others asked for tips on how to get to sleep, fall asleep, and sleep through the night. Redditors offered advice like getting more exercise, using melatonin, finding a job with a set schedule, and investing in a good mattress, pillows, and sheets all make a huge impact.
Finding a great workout routine can be challenging, but the benefits are life-changing. Many users extolled the virtues of exercise, saying it boosts their mood and improves their mental health.
“If you go hard enough, you’ll notice the general frequency of anxiousness melt away,” said one.
“Exercise releases endorphins that are natural stress-relievers. Plus, it gives you a chance to take some time for yourself and clear your head,” added another.
Put in Effort to Make Friends
One user shared that their mental health improved when they stopped being lonely. They realized their mindset was holding them back and decided to try to become the person they wanted to be friends with.
“I realized the best way to have good friends and many friends is not act like a lonely sad sack, but to act like that is what I already had,” they commented. “Once I stopped acting lonely, I stopped being lonely pretty quickly.”
The Redditor expanded upon how to do that to help others who might be in a similar situation.
“Be friendly and open,” they said. “Don’t expect people to approach you but don’t come on strong or expect relationships to build and solidify quickly, let people get to know you in their own time.”
Humans are social creatures. We need friends, bonds, and connections to be happy. Sometimes we have to put ourselves out there to make it happen.
Also See: 101 Fun Things to Do With Your Friends
Cut Toxic People Out of Your Life
Not everyone you interact with has your best interests at heart. Some people are so wrapped up in their own trauma that they don’t even realize how much they’re hurting those they care about, while others purposefully cause drama because they enjoy watching it unfold.
Cutting the toxic people out of your life can work wonders to improve your overall health, even if those people are family.
“Having closure on the relationship with my narc mother has transformed my mental health. I’ve actually been able to come off my meds and out of therapy, too,” shared one user.
“Cut my parents out of my life. They were not nice people,” added another.
It’s not just family that can be toxic. We sometimes fall into toxic friendships and relationships, repeating patterns we learned as children. Some users mentioned leaving an abusive partner, while others discussed ending friendships with negative folks.
“I also found that journaling my thoughts and feelings helps me to identify patterns of behavior that were causing me distress, so I could take steps to change them,” offered one user, explaining how journaling helped improve their mental health.
You can use your journal to brain dump, which clears your mind to focus on essential things, plan your week, conduct shadow work, or keep a record of your life. The possibilities are endless, but starting a journaling habit can significantly improve your life.
Many Ways to Improve Wellness
There’s no right way to improve your mental health. Different things work for different people. Some need to see a professional because they’re struggling with mental illness that may only improve after diagnosis.
Others may suffer due to circumstances like the wrong job or partner. Changing those negative aspects of your life can lift your spirits.
Some ideas in this thread will work for everyone. Give exercise and tea a shot while reducing your screen time. You never know what will help improve your mood, so it doesn’t hurt to try!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.