Your mental and emotional health plays a major role in your life. Not only does it play a part in how your feel about yourself, but it also affects your relationships and ability to deal with everyday life.

People who have poor mental health tend to have more problems. This typically leads to anxiety, depression and other mental issues.

When you start to have more negative feelings and thoughts than positive ones, it’s time to reevaluate your mental health and do things that will help to improve it.

Folks who have good mental and emotional health tend to have:

  • A natural zest for life and enjoy it
  • A sense of contentment
  • A good work-play and rest-activity balance
  • Self confidence and a high self-esteem
  • Ability to build and keep meaningful relationships
  • A sense of purpose and meaning in their life and relationships
  • Flexibility to adapt to change and learn new stuff
  • Ability to handle adversity and stress

Overall, when you are healthy mentally, you’re capable of living your life to the fullest extent and be productive, build strong relationships and participate in meaningful activities. Then when life throws stress and challenges your way, you’re able to get through it and bounce back.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of black women who don’t meet this criteria, which is why it’s important to do things that can help improve our mental health. Below, you’ll find five ways to do just that.

Challenge yourself to learn or do something new

Taking up a new skill or setting a new goal can be a great way to improve your mental fitness. When you’re striving to achieve something, it can help boost your confidence and will to progress.

This could be in the form of a fitness goal, work-related goal or relationship goal. Committing to something new can also help you to take your mind off of things that are negative in your life at the moment.

Learn how to deal with stress

A lot of us don’t deal with stress too well. This is why it’s important to learn what triggers the stress in your life and how to appropriately react. Rather than getting all bent out of shape, you can use different tactics to help keep your calm. Don’t add on to the stress by making things worse.

You can take long walks, practice yoga or Tai Chi, or write in a journal. For some people, exercise is a great stress reducer. Another thing that’s important to do is to learn how to avoid stress triggers. Prevention, like in health, is key.

Set goals that are realistic

Whether you have academic, career or relationship goals, make sure that they are manageable and achievable. You don’t want to stress yourself out with goals that are going to be too difficult or impossible for you to obtain.

It’s a good idea to set small milestones that you can easily reach that will help inch you closer to your overall larger goal. A lot of black women have high standards and goals, which is great, but can be counterproductive. Aim a bit lower and get to first base before trying to reach home.

Connect with people who are positive

You don’t want to surround yourself with negative people who will bring you down mentally. Having a good support system is key to good mental health, especially if you are going through a time of depression or stress.

This can be members of your family, friends or new people that you have linked with. Try to participate in activities that will help you meet good people, such as support groups, classes or clubs.

Take special care of your body

Your physical health is important for sustaining good mental health. Without a healthy body, your brain will feel easily fatigued, cloudy and you may experience more negative thoughts than usual.

Healthy people tend to be happier people and that’s because they are well-nourished and fit. There are different ways you can promote good health, such as by:

  • Eating more nutritious meals with live foods (fruits, nuts, grains and veggies)
  • Staying away from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Exercising, which can help to minimize anxiety and depression, while boosting your self esteem
  • Getting plenty of sleep and rest because without it, you will be more agitated and increase chances of depression

This is just a tip of the iceberg for things you could do to help boost your mental health. However, this is a great place for us to start.

It’s important that you take your mental health seriously and if needed, ask for help from family and friends or seek it professionally.

It’s better to have help than to deal with psychological issues on your own. Try your best to stay healthy and away from stressors that can backtrack your progress to good mental and emotional health.

How are you maintaining a healthy mental state in today’s stressful world?

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