Are you looking for more natural ways to improve mental health and become more mind fit?
I have been there. I’ve struggled, too.
Constantly, I get bouts of depression and anxiety where I feel like life is just hard. Or I feel like I don’t know my purpose.
“Why am I even here?”
“How am I qualified to be a mother? What was I thinking? I shouldn’t have had kids.”
“I can’t handle it of the crops fail or if I lose another goat kid.”
Believe me. I’ve been there. And when I get these feeling, I have to feel strong. More on that later.
This post is about helping you with some ways that you can overcome and improve your mental health naturally. No meds required.
In this post:
- I’ll give you at least 10 natural ways to improve mental health.
- What exactly are the signs? A good mental health definition.
- And why you need to understand that improving your mindset is everything to do with your happiness in life.
Disclaimer: I’m sharing with you my experiences with what has helped you. If you try these and feel worse about yourself…PLEASE seek professional help. You matter.
Mental Health Definition
Really quick, I want to cover a brief introduction to why we might struggle with our mental health. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Brain Malnutrition
- Poor Physical Health
- A Negative Environment
If these ways are what targets your depression, stress or anxiety, that’s good! The natural ways to improve mental health I’m about to mention is highly capable of helping you overcome your struggle.
Sometimes our poor mental health struggle can escalate during Winter when we are cooped up indoors.
Check out these 13 ways to survive winter blues
Don’t have time to read it? Save it here to Pinterest
At the end of this post, you’ll find more of my own story and some triggers I struggle with every day. Many of these triggers have been very easy to manage. But some haven’t.
Again, please keep in mind that if your mental health struggle is genetic or severe, you should really seek professional help. But still, feel free to try these 10 natural ways to improve mental health to see what possibilities are there.
My favorite way to feed my brain.
Did you know that dark chocolate has high levels of plant chemicals called flavanols. It also has a very high level of antioxidants your brain needs to be happy.
The higher the cocoa level, the better the possibility of the chocolate working to improve your mental health. The best chocolate power for this is 70% cocoa or higher.
One thing to keep in mind, though is that its’ still important to limit the chocolate intake. Rule of thumb is 1 ounce of chocolate per day. I know it’s hard to limit chocolate…but not limiting chocolate could lead to other triggers, too. Too much of a good thing really is not always a good thing.
Coffee or Tea
More great sources of antioxidants is in these drink choices. They both contain plant-based antioxidants, which have been documented to have cognitive benefits. These benefits include:
- Increased focus
- Better concentration
- Improved memory
- Mood lifting power
I drink tea every day, but when I do miss a day – I feel it. My brain is cloudy. I don’t think straight. There really is power in these healthy natural drinks you can consume daily.
Folgers is the coffee my family has consumed for years.
If Coffee isn’t for you, you might try tea. Tea is a natural caffeinated option that is also delicious and soothing.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
You can add Omega 3’s to anything you eat easily. Here are some easy options for Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
- Fish (any kind)
- Olive Oil
Not only are they healthy for your brain, but for your heart as well.
- Good source of protein (tuna is a naturally high-protein food)
- Add variety to your diet with tuna – it’s a great way to incorporate seafood in your meals if you prefer a mild flavor
- A versatile and easy way to liven up a meal – use in cool salads or hot casseroles.An affordable and delicious option for a quick snack, lunch or dinner
- Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water has 130mg of EPA and DHA omega-3s per serving
- Delicious nut mix with pure sea salt
- Contains peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pecans
- Good source of protein, fiber, and other key nutrients
- Resealable tin for freshness
- Ideal for a smart snack or appetizer
- High in ALA Omega-3 fatty acid: 7,230mg per Tbsp
- USDA Organic, Non-GMO verified, Gluten Free, Kosher
- Fresh, cold-pressed and protected from air and light
- Enjoy right off the spoon or mix into salad dressings, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies
- Barlean’s is the #1 selling organic flax oil
- Ground organic flaxseed with great nutty taste
- 3g of dietary fiber per serving
- Rich in Omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids. No Preservatives
- 98mg of lignans per serving
- USDA certified organic & Non GMO Project verified
- Featuring a rich, full bodied flavor
- Made with the first cold pressing of the finest, select olives
- First olive oil to attain the USDA Quality Monitored seal
- Ideal for marinades, pasta, and salad dressings
- Extremely low acidity
Your brain requires sugar in the form of glucose to thrive. Did you know that the brain accounts for 20% to 30% of the body’s total energy need?
It also uses 20% to 25% of all the blood sugar that enters the stream. This is primary fuel for your brain and when it’s deprived, it becomes inflamed. The inflammation results in stress, depression and dementia.
Some good sources include:
- Whole grain breads and pasta
- Quinoa and Wild Rice
Think of these as exercise for your brain. They include:
- Memory games
- Word Scrambles
Here are a few I’ve created just for you for immediate free download:
The power of listening to something positive has been a complete game changer for my mental health. I can’t always sit down to read a book but I can take audio books and podcasts with me on our commute to town or out in the garden or barn.
Audible is the best way to listen to Audiobooks.
I teach a weight lifting class 2-3 times per week. But I know that if I didn’t have my tribe at my gym, I wouldn’t make it there. I just know I wouldn’t.
However, I truly believe that exercise truly makes a difference on mental health. If I went to the gym every day, my mindset might be better. But I just can’t get there every day, so I have to deal with 2-3 days per week and do other things at home.
Here are some ways to work out at home:
- Walk around to check livestock
- Play with the farm dog/kids
- Take a jog
- Lift safely
A good mix of cardio and weights are important if you want to make a change in your body.
Here’s more of why we choose to go to the gym as farming is becoming more and more sedentary.
Ok, this might seem like it’s a little bit “woo woo.” Another way to make your brain feel good is to be at one with the quiet. During this time, a couple of things occur:
- Your brain dumps out everything in it.
- It has room for new and better ideas.
- You can get clear on some things.
- You can plan for how you want your future to look.
I can’t tell you how you’ll feel when you try this because everyone’s experience is different. BUT, I can tell you that it’s a hard process to learn when you’re used to just doing things.
Yes, it’s hard but consistency is key. Morning has been the best for me. I can really clear out my brain, get everything on paper so that I have a more focused brain for the day.
Talking About Mental Health
Another way to be at one with your mental struggle is to talk about it.
I know how hard this can be. My own husband (aka life partner) told me I was weak because I told him I wanted to see a therapist. Funny thing is, he has since been diagnosed with anxiety that causes him to have very high blood pressure. Now, we can both talk about these things at a level where we understand each other.
And when I can’t handle life, he understands and picks up the pieces I leave behind. That’s a true life partner.
But, understand that many of our loved ones may not understand what we are going through, like mind originally did. And it’s hard to not be understood or feel like we aren’t valued. It’s so important to find someone we can talk to and not feel shamed.
This is why I’ve started talking openly about this topic of mental health on my platform. With the high rise of suicides and depression statistics in rural America, I definitely felt like I wasn’t alone (or weak) anymore.
If you are feeling like no one listens, please feel free to contact me here. I will be more than happy to listen.
More Ways that Helped Me
A combination of all of the above natural ways to improve mental health had truly helped me to feel more alive and happy in my life. But, there’s more. I wanted to share a few more ways that have been game changers in my own struggle to grow as a person.
Believing in God/Going to Church
There was a time I was so angry with God after my Grandpa passed away. I turned my back on God like he was a grudge and didn’t return to him until the Spring of 2018. I couldn’t handle my mental health struggle anymore.
He called to ME. I felt a strong need to read my bible app while sitting in the quiet rocking my baby. Starting at the beginning, I read. I pulled out quotes that helped me grow from where I was failing in life. We started sending our daughter to preschool at a church in town and I met the Pastor there, who reminded me so much of my Grandpa that I would get tears every time I encountered him.
I began going to church and took the class to become a member. The class was so empowering that I now see Faith in a whole new light. My struggles have turned into strengths because I know that God is always with me and Jesus is my savior.
As I mentioned before, I teach a weight lifting class at the local gym. I also lift weights on the farm.
But weight lifting is not the only form of exercise. I loathe cardio and running. But I found a group of friends who just happen to run right after the class I teach. Game Changer! They encourage me and we struggle together. We’ve became friends.
With them, running isn’t so bad.
I used to be so very creative and never ever wanted to do the same or be the same as anyone else. I took great pleasure in being unique.
But then, I let people’s words get to me:
- “The photo isn’t very good.”
- “You’re not a good writer.”
- “I think you should focus your time on something else.”
So, I did focus my time on other things.
Luckily, I recently listened to an audio book by Brene Brown where she talked about the power of creativity. And how we are all creative people but we don’t often choose how we use it. This inspired me.
I have since chosen to do SOMETHING creative each and every day:
- Creating products for my online store (coming soon)
- And encouraging my little girls to be creative, too.
Limiting Social Media
Social media is great but it’s also very bad if you have mental health troubles. Comparison, feeling not good enough and other triggers can sadly hurt your progress with improving your mental health.
I have found that I don’t need any social media notifications. I don’t need to be on social 24/7 and I can check notifications once a day for an hour and still be caught up.
Read/Listen more about the 7+ Ways I deal with Anxiety
Although there’s sooooo many different triggers through life that can cause a mental health struggle, I wanted to share a few of my triggers so that others can relate in regards to the mental health definition.
- Feeling Alone/lonely
- Not Finishing Tasks or Projects
- Painful Words
- Death or hardship on the Farm
And I know that these are all triggers that others (maybe even you) might feel as well. I just want you to know that you aren’t alone. The struggle is real and mindset is everything.
The Struggle is Real
All of our struggles are so real. And the worst part about it is that it’s so easy for us to hide the struggle.
We should be there for each other. But the truth is that it’s not always the case. People don’t understand – I get it! But, that’s why I’m being open and why you should be, too. Find someone who does get it and can be understanding and helpful. Because mindset is everything and has everything to do with a healthy and happy life.
I’ve given you some natural ways to improve mental health that has helped me. Let me know if you have any other things that help you and share this post with someone who needs to read it!
~ Much Love ~
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