7 meaningful habits for better sleep
Mental health is essential to our overall well-being, but it can be challenging to prioritize it in our busy lives. While exercise, meditation, and therapy are commonly recommended to promote mental health, there are five unexpected things you can do to support your mental well-being:
1. GO TO SAUNA
Sauna bathing increases physical resistance to stress by stimulating the entire blood system. Mental stress is anchored in the body physically, and therefore we can expect an increase in mental resilience as well. Furthermore, it leads to overall relaxation and improved sleep and mood.
2. HELP OTHERS
Helping others can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Volunteering or performing acts of kindness can increase dopamine levels in the brain and promote feelings of well-being and purpose. Read more about this topic here.
3. GET A GOOD LAUGH
Laughter is the best medicine, and for good reason. Laughing reduces stress hormones, increases endorphins, and releases tension in the body. Whether it's watching a funny movie or spending time with a friend who makes you laugh, finding moments of joy in your day can significantly improve your mood and mental health. If you want to delve deeper into the topic, we wrote this article about the effects of laughter on the body.
4. SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Nature can make you feel more calm, creative and joyful and even facilitate concentration. Spending time outside is linked to better mental health, lower prevalence of mental illnesses and better cognitive performance. In general, being in nature can reduce stress and help you stay more positive. Even about this topic we wrote more here.
5. CHOOSE COLD WATER
Cold water hardening has become a hot topic over the last few years. People are voluntarily exposing themselves to cold water because it brings them joy, vitality and energy in addition to the health benefits. Research is still at its beginnings, but some studies suggest an improvement in mood and reduction of stress.
VOS TIP: Add your own activities to the VOS Mood Tracker. Record your mood along with the events, and then see in your Insights what makes you feel better and what makes you worry.
Check out the resources we used to learn more:
- Espeland, D., de Weerd, L., & Mercer, J. B. (2022). Health effects of voluntary exposure to cold water–a continuing subject of debate. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 81(1), 2111789.https://doi.org/10.1080/22423982.2022.2111789