The Playbook For The Modern Man

These Unexpected Habits Could Be Your Ticket To Improved Mental Health

Cold showers ftw.

Yoga, meditation and getting the right amount of sleep at night are the usual habits we’d be expected to practise if we wanted to improve our overall mental wellbeing. Taking the stress out of our daily routines and stepping back to reflect on what it is that makes us happy or otherwise can also contribute to a healthier life.

But what if you’ve tried yoga and found you’re just not destined to be flexible, or you don’t have the patience for meditation, what are some habits you can adopt that will deliver similar results?

We’ve already heard from a leading mental health institute about how you can look after yourself during the lockdown, but once the rules are lifted, you’ll do well to adopt some new habits (or improve upon some current ones) that will do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

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Business Insider thinks it has the answer, as it has compiled a list of habits from users on Quorathat you would probably rather not do owing to the fact they can be pretty uncomfortable. But the users who posted them swear by them and claim their lives are far better for it.

Some of the simplest changes you can make to your usual routine can include waking up earlier, and by that, we mean before the sun even rises. We’re well aware that the very idea of getting out bed while it’s still dark outside can be enough to make even the most zen of people shudder, however, being able to take a (very) early morning walk or a quick workout while it’s eerily quiet can help your body wake up, putting you in a better mood for the rest of the day.

The mention of a quick workout segues nicely onto another habit you would do well to adopt, not just for your mental health, but your overall health and fitness, too. Exercise. We’ve previously discussed and deliberated the pros and cons of working out in the morning compared to the evening, and while there may not be a right or wrong answer, the benefits of getting your fitness fix first thing are certainly attractive.

Other users, such as Ryan Brown, suggest being more honest in your approach to friends and family by writing letters regaling your thoughts and opinions about them, regardless of whether they’re good or bad. “If you’re being really honest, each letter you write should make you quite emotional as you are writing it,”

“That is how you know you have tapped into your actual emotions and feelings – that it actually means something to you.”

One habit you may think would do more mental harm than good is to take cold showers. There will definitely be people out there who already stand under cold water in the name of hygiene. But for those that don’t, not only will you still reap the benefits of a clean body, but you will also have taken yourself out of your comfort zone. The bonus being you’re in the safety of your own home, with nobody watching, so what could possibly go wrong?

Where it’s fair to say stepping out of your comfort zone can be a daunting prospect is in the world of dating. It’s far easier said than done to just go up to someone and start talking to them, as there’s always going to be the possibility of rejection.

But next time you catch the eye of someone across the room – or as is the case right now, you match with someone on a dating app – put yourself out there. Worst case you’re rejected, but as Mark Toole says, this can be spun into a hilarious story to tell your friends. However, best-case scenario, you score yourself a date. It’s a win-win.

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