Life is tough. It’s a given. But, how resilient are you against the lemons tossed your way on a daily basis?

We’ve all gone through hard times. And, somehow, miraculously,  we get through them. However, some people get through them better than others. What is their secret? Is it possible to boost your mood or handle your emotions better?

Just as physically healthy people are better able to bounce back from illness, people with good mental health are more resilient when “life happens.” Truth is that resilient people face life’s lemons head on. It enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences that could be overwhelming; somewhat of a mental reservoir of strength that people are able to call on in times of need. This doesn’t mean that resilient people experience less distress or grief than others, it simply means that they handle such difficulties in ways that foster strength and growth. And, in many cases, they emerge even stronger than they were before.

We have a few small but impactful ways on how to boost your mental health:

  • Keep your cool. Learn how to deal with stress. Aim to meditate or practice deep, focused breathing at least once or twice a day.
  • Be a joiner. Join a club, class or support group. Make plans; something to look forward could boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!
  • Show some love. Make face-to-face contact a priority. Close relationships are essential to a happy, healthy life.
  • Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Make leisure time a priority. Doing something you love or simply because it’s fun, is no indulgence. Play is an emotional and mental health necessity.
  • Laugh more. Don’t take life too seriously. Research shows that laughter can boost the immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
  • Befriend your body. Eat more brain healthy foods such as fatty fish, nuts, avos and leafy greens. Exercise, and make sure to get enough sleep.
  • Go off the grid. Disconnect regularly from from social media. Don’t fall into the “compare and despair” trap.
  • Enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine every day. Sunlight synthesizes vitamin D, which experts believe is a mood elevator.
  • Eat chocolate. Treat yourself to a couple of pieces of dark chocolate every now and then , the flavonoids, caffeine and the bromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve mental skills.
  • Reflect every day on what you already have, not what you want.
  • Give of yourself. Do something tangible to help someone else.

1/3 of South Africans suffer from some form of mental illness.

If you have made consistent efforts to improve your mental health and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.

Source: africacheck.org, lifehack.org, success.com, medibank.com.au, helpguide.org, mhanational.org, uhs.umich.edu, www.counselling-directory.org.uk, verywellmind.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.