By Dr. Wayne Martinsen, Psychiatrist/Medical Director
Dakota Family Services
Researchers analyzed the lasting effects of positive thoughts by asking study participants to write three good things a day for a week, and then monitoring their well-being after one, three, and six months. At each interval, even six months later, study participants experienced an increase in happiness and a decrease in depression. The simple act of writing down positive thoughts for ONE week had a long-lasting positive impact on their well-being.
This is just one way anyone can improve mental wellness and well-being. Here are six more.
- Meditation—Including Mindfulness.
Mindfulness and meditation allow you to experience yourself or part of your world without judgment. It can literally re-wire the brain, decrease stress, and increase immune function.
- Find Something to Look Forward to.
Something as simple as thinking about a favorite movie can increase endorphins by 27%.
- Conscious Acts of Kindness.
Small efforts count—give compliments and focus on others' strengths. Giving to friends and strangers alike decreases stress and increases mental health.
- Watch less TV.
People who watch less TV are more accurate judges of real-life risks and rewards. It leaves more time for the outdoors. Going outside on a nice day for 20 minutes boosts mood and improves working memory.
45 minutes three times per week provides the same benefits as antidepressant treatment.
- Spend money on experiences with loved ones rather than stuff.
There is so much more to healing than finding the right medication. Try one of these ways to improve your mental health and well-being so you can become your best self!