For years, doctors have been teaching me about how to have a healthy body. But I also want to have a healthy mind. Is it a vitamin thing? Maybe I should do a bunch of mental puzzles? Then I discovered that positive mental health starts with healthy mindset habits!
After almost 20 years of working on my mental health, these are my personal healthy mindset habits to help you on your journey to positive mental health.
These healthy mindset habits are going to set you up to live a happier life with positive mental health. Let’s jump in!
Why Do You Need Healthy Mindset Habits?
For you to have positive mental health, you need to have healthy mindset habits. Why?
If “you are what you eat”, then the same should apply to “You are your actions.”
When you practice healthy body habits, like eating well and working out, your body gets healthier and stronger.
When you practice healthy mindset habits, your mind gets healthier and stronger.
Positive mental health depends on healthy mindset habits because when you are suffering from anxiety or depression, you will have these habits in place to help you.
These are healthy habits for your mind!
20 Healthy Mindset Habits
Make Kindness a Part of Your Day
Being negative is much easier than being kind, but kindness is much better for your mental health. By being kind, you are training your mind to see the good. And that comes in handy when stress is high.
You know the feeling you get when someone compliments your new shoes, hairstyle, or your home? And your whole day changes. Well, it works for the giver as well.
Kindness increases the love hormone oxytocin. It also helps produce serotonin, which calms you and helps you feel happier.
Being kind can reduce stress, pain, anxiety, depression, and help stabilize your heart rate and blood pressure.
And as a bonus: you won’t feel any of that shame and guilt for treating people unkindly. –I might replay conversations with the things I could have said, but being mean just fills me with guilt. And I don’t want anyone else to feel emotional pain. You never know what someone else is going through.-
Studies have also shown that kindness is contagious. Do something nice for one person and they will share the love with others.
Your act of kindness can change someone’s entire day for the better. And your day as well. Making this healthy mindset habit a part of your life will add joy to your day.
Seeing others smile really makes my day.
Journal Your Thoughts
This healthy mindset habit is a favorite of mine! –But I also love anything to do with paper and pens!-
Keeping a journal helps you document what brings you joy, what stresses you, and helps you change your mindset.
Your journal can be a simple collection of your thoughts in a book, notes in an app, or a fully detailed journal of what makes you, well, you!
Journaling will also help you talk to your mental health team about what challenges and emotions you have felt between appointments. –On a good mental health day before I journaled, I wouldn’t remember all the nights that I had spent worrying and stressed. But now that I journal, I can look through my notes and see my mental health, and progress with my treatment faster.
It’s a wonderful and effective way to wind down. -I spend 10-20 minutes in bed writing before I sleep. It is my favorite way to banish those pesky anxieties from my mind so I can rest peacefully.–
Tip: And while writing a journal can be awkward at first, it gets easier. Writing is a muscle that needs to be developed. So start off with small things like: My name is Krystian and I like dogs. I’m x years old. I have x amount of kids, and my spouse’s names is blank. There is no perfect way to write except to start it! Write about anything and your real thoughts will start flowing!
Pair journaling with other healthy mindset habits for a complete guide to your mind: mood tracking, stop hiding your emotions, and learning about your mental health. All these healthy mindset habits are featured in this guide!
This healthy mindset habit is a favorite for mental health professionals. Using a mood tracker can help your doctor or therapist diagnose and treat you. And to see if that treatment is actually working!
Mood tracking is a great way to discover patterns in your emotions. Some you may not even be aware of! –I honestly thought I had my anxiety under control until I keep a mood tracker for a month. It turned out I was anxious 2/3 of the month and couldn’t remember it!-
When paired with journaling, you have a detailed account of what is actually triggering anxiety, depression, and stress. And can take steps feel happier. These healthy mindset habits pair beautifully together.
Mood tracking not only benefits your mind, but can be fun, too! Look at these cute mood tracker coloring sheets that are featured right here in the With Love, Me Shop. They’re also kid friendly, so if you have young kids that like to color too, you can just print an extra for them.
Show Yourself Some Love
As busy women with spouses, jobs, and families, it’s so hard to take “me” time. But that’s exactly why you need to show yourself some love. Life goes by so fast, and can be so stressful. Taking time for yourself will help you relax, unwind, and meet challenges with a better spirit.
You are amazing and deserve the same amount of love for yourself that you show to others.
- Take your coffee outside and sit while your dog does their morning business.
- Write in your journal at night.
- Put on a face mask and deep condition your hair with this amazing Hair Mask.
- Find time to take care of your body.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier and enjoy the quiet.
- Soak in a bath and watch your favorite tv show on your mobile device.
- Write kind post its notes or a love letter to yourself. Place it where you can read them often.
-Every weekend, I wash my bedding and that night; I take a long luxurious bath with lavender soap and shampoo. I exfoliate, deep condition, and treat my body with love. I watch my favorite show to help me take at least 30-60 minutes to pamper myself. The lavender helps me relax, while the hot water soothes muscle aches from a busy week. And slipping into a clean bed that smells fresh soothes my senses and helps me get the rest I need to promote a positive mindset.-
Enjoy Fun Hobbies
Life is to be enjoyed, not just getting your to do list done. I guarantee no one on their death bed has wished they had done one more load of laundry or picked up their dress at the dry cleaners.
You are not super human and you do not have to do it all. –Do you want to be like the old me and push yourself to exhaustion? Probably not.-
I love my hobbies! And I am glad that I turned my life around early enough that I could teach my daughter that life is not all about her to do list.
Having fun and stress relieving hobbies as part of your healthy mindset habits is perfect for when you are having a stressful day. It will help you relax and refocus! It also helps you show your creativity and refines your skills.
Create Micro Goals to Help You Achieve Your Larger Goals
Just like babies need to learn to crawl before they walk, you need to create a list of smaller goals to achieve your big dreams.
You won’t achieve positive mental health without taking smaller steps toward it.
Large jumps are harder to do and are just too much to sustain long term. You will not learn to run a 5k overnight, right? The same logic applies to your mental health goals.
–As I have healed my mental health, I frequently have gone back to my goal planning worksheet and have reassessed the steps I needed to complete to reach my dream of positive mental health. Having a written account has helped me stay focused, but also helps me keep my mental health team in the loop. My therapist LOVES when I bring my worksheet to appointments! It helps them create a treatment plan tailored to your personal goals! And it is much easier to write your top 3 mental health goals when you’re not on the spot in your therapist or doctor’s office.-
A dream written is a goal. It helps you discover what you want and keeps you focused on what you’re working toward. You can write your goals in a section of your journal or get this goal planning worksheet to help you write out your long term and short term goals.
RELATED POST: 85 Simple New Years Resolution Ideas for Your Best 2022
Give Yourself Time to Rest
This healthy mindset habit is essential to your physical, emotional, and mental well being.
All living creatures need to enter a state of rest. Yes, every single one. From plants, reptiles, and especially mammals; we all need to rest and sleep to thrive.
But we often try to fit everything we want to do in one day. And as the week progresses, we’re tired and running on fumes.
You need between 8-10 hours of sleep to be at your best. And ladies, you need more than men. Make restful sleep your top healthy mindset habit to see quick improvement.
If you have trouble sleeping, see a doctor.
Pair these healthy mindset habits together to get healthier physically: Give Yourself Time to Rest, Drink Water, & Get Healthy.
Having a healthy body will help your mind feel at ease.
This is not me telling you to be thin. You are beautiful at any size! I am a curvy girl myself. And Ms Marilyn Monroe herself was a size 12.
A healthy body includes:
- Being properly treated for chronic illnesses.
- You feel well physically.
- You do not have pain, trouble breathing, or mobility problems from your weight.
- You eat and drink healthier choices to give your body and brain the fuel they need to thrive.
- You and your doctors are actively working together to reach your health goals.
In the past 2 years, I have become more conscious of my body/mind connection. I have slowly been losing weight to improve my health, and my life.
And it is wonderful! I have found that having a healthier body helps boost my mood, improves my sleeping, and gives me the energy I need to do the things I love. I also no longer worry about weight related health troubles.
As a bonus, some of my chronic conditions improved as well! And my anxiety and depression have improved.
If you want to change your lifestyle, talk to your doctor, therapist, and a nutritionist to find the right balance for you!
-If you have a mental illness like I do, I recommend getting your therapist and psychiatrist involved. Radical dieting can trigger other issues with your mental health. So having your doctor involved will not only help you succeed, but help you achieve your mental health goals.-
Learn to Say No and Stop People Pleasing
Repeat after me: I do not have to do things I don’t want for people to like me.
Being a ”chameleon” and adapting yourself to the situation or people around you is not healthy. It is a coping mechanism developed to avoid confrontation.
-How do I know? Blending in and being liked was how I avoided conflict, being re-traumatized, and denied my mental illness.-
It may sound great to have everyone like you, but they didn’t know the real me. And they didn’t know my boundaries because I didn’t set them. I allowed everyone to run me into a mental and physical exhaustion. And I was not happy at all that people liked me for what I pretended to be. I just wanted people to love me for who I really was. -That’s the goal, right? To be loved unconditionally.-
It took therapy and lots of practice with trusted friends and family to learn it was safe for me to be authentic after my traumas.
Now I am much happier knowing I am loved for me.
Setting boundaries helps you thrive. Setting boundaries also helps you get to know yourself better.
Start small. If you feel comfortable, talk with trusted family and friends and tell them you want to practice setting boundaries and you would like their help. Tell them how they can help you.
Examples of small boundaries and saying no, you can practice:
- No, I won’t make chicken nuggets again. We had that at lunch.
- I am going to bed at ten tonight.
- I need help with the chores. I cannot do it all effectively.
- I do not answer work emails after work hours.
- No, I cannot come to work today. It is my scheduled day off.
- I’m sorry I cannot drive today. I did not get enough sleep to be safe.
Pair these healthy mindset habits together to get to know yourself better: Learn to Say No and Stop People Pleasing, & Stop Hiding Your Emotions.
Ditch Perfectionism for a Let’s Do This Attitude
The Goal is Progress, Not Perfection.Kathy Freston
We all want something perfect in our life. Me? I want perfect eyeliner. But if I keep washing it off and reapplying time and time again until it is “perfect,” I will never get out the door to enjoy my life.
It is time to ditch perfectionism and go for the ”let’s do this”.
Your home might not be in magazines, but you love it and it is a happy place for your family.
This blog article isn’t ”perfect”, but it is out here in the world helping people.
Perfection is holding you back. It is productive procrastination. If it isn’t perfect, you never have to see the results because you don’t put it out into the world. You don’t have to fail because it is never truly finished.
Besides, how are you checking things off your to do list if you strive for perfection every single time?
Get it done, move on, and if you have time later, come back again and tweak it. If not, oh well. It is done, and you don’t have to worry about it.
Do I really need perfect hair? Nope. A spotless home? Definitely not. My dog sees to that.
And my husband is amazing, but he is not perfect either. He is flawed, and so am I.
Being perfect is exhausting. Anyone remember Bree Van de Kamp from ”Desperate Housewives”? She had a mental breakdown when she couldn’t have perfection anymore.
It is those tiny imperfections that make us unique. Ditch perfectionism and start living a fuller life.
It is okay to not be perfect. No one is. We are all human.
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Did you know humans are 60% water? Honey, we are house plants with emotions!
Water keeps you hydrated, flushes toxins from your body, and helps regulate your blood pressure.
Water keeps you healthy. And a healthy body helps you have a healthy brain.
Adding more water to your day will help you feel better. And as a bonus, your skin will look amazing!
Need help to remember to drink all your water? Get this amazing water bottle that reminds you.
Learn to Apologize
A genuine apology is a hard to get out. But learning to apologize will help you adopt a growth mindset.
I apologize to my husband and daughter when I make mistakes, lose my temper, or just forget things like dinner.
We are all learning daily. There is no parenting, marriage, or life book for us to follow. We have to learn as we go.
And part of learning is we are going to make mistakes. Apologizing helps sets you up for success.
You are acknowledging your mistake and are making an action plan to do better. Acknowledging mistakes is part of a growth mindset. And in a growth mindset, you are open to possibility.
Tips for apologizing:
- Do not apologize just to pacify someone. Apologize when you intend to change your behavior. Apologies should be genuine.
- Do not say ”I’m sorry but you…”. This is gaslighting. You are shifting responsibility for your behavior away from yourself.
- Be heartfelt and acknowledge your mistake. ”I’m sorry I yelled. I got upset and lost my temper. Can you help me do better?”
- Change your behavior. If you apologize, work on doing better.
- Learn conflict resolution skills. A therapist can teach you to resolve problems without yelling, aggression, blame, and anger.
- Ask for feedback. When the situation is resolved, ask the person how you could have handled the situation better. Ask if you need to clarify your thoughts, ask better questions, etc. Getting feedback from your loved one can help you learn how to resolve conflicts with them.
Pair with Start Seeing Failure as Part of Growth & Learning to nurture a growth mindset.
Make Your Social Media A Positive Experience
Social media is your favorite place to be, filled with cute animal videos and fun stories from friends. Or it’s a nightmare from hell filled with arguing, rash opinions, elections & politics, stress, and hate speech.
You are not obligated to follow anyone that is not good for your mental health, just because you know them.
You are allowed to unfollow any people or groups that are not helping you reach your goals.
If they are hurting your mental health, unfollow them.
Follow With Love, Me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok. We only give you inspiration to reach your mental health goals. And some cute dog pics to help boost your mood & teach you about psychiatric service dogs.
Create a Home Sanctuary
My husband is military so we move often. And while I hung photos, I never really made those houses a home.
HUGE MISTAKE ON MY PART.
I hated living with white walls, bare floors, and my mental health suffered for it. I resented being at home. I felt uncomfortable. The anxiety and depression crept in.
So when we moved, and I hated the layout of our rental house, yet again. –As a military family, we do not get to choose the layout of government housing. It is what it is.- I learned a valuable lesson. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect for you to love it.
I read a book called ”Love the House You’re In”. And I got to work. I created a home I loved so I could feel at home.
Having a home I love has changed my mental health! I now feel at peace in my home. I sleep better. And I am happier.
Your home should be a place that you long to be. A sanctuary from stresses of the world.
Creating a home you love may be a decluttering project, a painting DIY, or a complete overhaul of your style.
Make Time for Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships are your support system.
These people are your cheerleaders, your army, your tribe. They are the people you can call when you have a bad day.
You need to nurture those relationships so you can share your inner most thoughts.
Activities to Nurture Your Relationships
- Have a lunch date.
- Hold a game night.
- Throw a “hurricane” or “storm” party. And have fun while you wait out nature.
- Hold adult sleep overs.
- Host a doggie playgroup.
- Join a photography walk.
- Go to bed early with your spouse and watch a movie and talk.
- Invite others to holiday parties and meals.
- Text friends to check on them.
Stop Hiding Your Emotions
Every animal, including humans, displays their emotions.
Example: When I was getting my degree for dog training, I learned canine body language. Dogs express their emotions through their face, tail, and body. You just have to know the signs. When a dog shrinks away or growls, we know they don’t want to be messed with. There are clear signs of how they feel, and we respond to them.
Now, back to humans.
We are biologically made to express our emotions. We make noises. We cry. We move our face; we fold our arms; we change our breathing.
Your emotions are your reaction to the world. They’re a response to stimulus. They’re the way you give feedback to other humans.
Emotions are NOT a sign of weakness.
When you have hidden your emotions for so long, you may have trouble identifying what you actually feel at first.
Pair this with mood tracking and journaling to start to identifying how you feel.
Spend Time With Friendly Pets
Pets are amazing. Not only are dogs and cats cuddly and warm, but they improve your health as well!
The benefits of spending time with pets:
- Ease depression and anxiety.
- Lower blood pressure and stabilize heart rate.
- Increase serotonin and dopamine, which calms and relaxes you.
- Ease loneliness.
Learn more about the benefits of pets here.
If you don’t have a pet, you can still interact with them.
If you want a pet, but can’t afford one, you can volunteer for a local rescue. Many rescues provide all the vet care for a dog or cat. Some even provide their food and supplies.
Take a trip to the aquarium to watch the fish. –Watching fish is sooooo relaxing!-
Visit a friend with a friendly pet. Borrow a pup and take them for a hike. Pet sit for your friend when they go on vacation.
Go visit a farm, or go horseback riding. The possibilities are endless.
Pair this with stress relieving hobbies to learn to relax.
Educate Yourself on Your Mental Health
You are your best advocate. With your mental health, education is key.
Learning about mental health, mental illness, and how to care for yourself will help you talk to your mental health team about what you need to feel better.
Whether you scour the internet for a mental health blog *cough cough, With Love, Me *, read books, or talk to mental health professionals; learning about how your brain processes your life will help you achieve a positive mindset.
I keep notes from books, blogs, and sessions with my mental health team. I put them in my journal.
I make notes about my symptoms prior to medication, and after.
Educating yourself about your own mental health will help you identify patterns, learn how to advocate for yourself, and care for your self when you are not your best.
Start Seeing Failure as Part of Growth & Learning
Failure is not the end. If everyone quit when they failed, we would not have the amazing technology we have today.
Failure is simply part of growth. You may not have it right yet, but keep practicing. You will get there.
Use this mantra to help keep you motivated!
Pair with healthy mindset habits: Educate Yourself on Your Mental Health & Journaling to help yourself develop a mental health growth mindset.
Tips to Implement Healthy Mindset Habits
You want to implement healthy mindset habits slowly. Pick 1-2 at a time and work on working them into your daily life. It takes about 66 days to form a new habit, and for some, longer.
If you do too many healthy mindset habits too soon, you will become overwhelmed and drop the habits entirely. Some of these healthy mindset habits can be combined, like journaling and mood tracking. They pair VERY well together.
Choose a few healthy mindset habits that you want to focus on, and slowly add them into your daily life.
These healthy mindset habits will help you develop the positive mindset that you want! For more information on mental health and self care, be sure to visit other posts in the blog!
What healthy mindset habits do you practice in your daily life? Tell me in the comments!
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