How to Improve Your Mental Health

Written by Delia Claudette Dumpangol 

  1. Make yourself a priority by engaging in self-care

Do you often feel exhausted? Do you often feel unable to take a break? When was the last time you did something you really liked? Perhaps you have been studying or working too hard to the point where you experience burnout  and you don’t notice the mental impact it has made on you. 

Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.

Types of Self-Care that you can try today! :

( Image source )

It’s worth noting that self-care shouldn’t be considered an indulgence and it shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Looking after yourself should be an ongoing practice in building resilience and reducing chances of burnout. 

Self-care isn’t selfish! When you make time for yourself by getting sufficient rest & exercise, you will be able to do more – for yourself and for others. 

  1. Think positively 

This may sound easier said than done but many of us don’t stop to think about the way we think – about others and ourselves. Think about it. Are your thoughts more often positive? or negative? 

A study by the National Science Foundation found that the average human carries over 6200 thoughts per day, with 80% of it being negative. In another study by Cornell University, scientists found that 85% of what we worry about, never happens. 

So how do you start thinking positively? Stop, breathe and THINK about what you’re thinking about. Ask yourself if your thoughts are mainly positive or negative. More importantly, would it be something you would say to a close friend?

To start reducing negative thoughts, you should look and treat yourself like how you would treat a best friend. Comfort yourself with positive thoughts and when in doubt, ask yourself 

“Is this worry productive?” and “Am I making this more difficult for myself?”

  1. Express how you feel

Have you been bottling up your feelings? Do you have something you want to get off your chest but you’re just too afraid or stressed out by what people may say in response? Bottling up your emotions isn’t a natural or healthy state to be in. In fact, overtime it can become toxic. Repressed emotions don’t just go away. They quietly build up in the background until it starts shouting at you and you’re forced to take notice.

When we’re out of touch with our feelings, we allow them to take over us. How we feel impacts how we behave. If you don’t have the awareness of how you are feeling, your emotions can end up influencing your decisions without you even realising it. 

A brain imaging study by psychologists at UCLA revealed that verbalizing our feelings can make our sadness, anger and pain less intense. So if you are repressing your emotions, don’t hesitate to let it out to someone you trust, like a family member or a good friend. If it’s more serious, then look into meeting the school counsellor or possibly a therapist. 

KIS School Counsellor Email : (Mrs Siti)

Head of Student Well-being : (Delia) 

  1. Be compassionate to others

A little compassion can go a long way. Don’t we all love it when someone treats us with a little love and kindness? And do you notice that when you treat people with the same kindness and love that you desire, like doing a favour for example, you start to feel a little better? 

According to research done by psychologists Ed Deiner and Martin Seligman, they claimed that altruism (Definition : disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.) contributed to improvement in physical and mental health. A study done by Naomi Eisenberger at UCLA has found that providing support for others “may have unique positive effects on key brain areas involved in stress and reward responses” 

So what are you waiting for? Odds are you may have been waiting to help someone out in any way. So if sufficient evidence has been found that it can help reduce stress and improve your well-being, don’t hesitate to help, support and be there for a friend, family member or even a stranger. 



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