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Surprising things that can help improve your mental health

25 April 2023
Surprising things that can help improve your mental health

Lauren Ralph

Did you know that spending time with a goldfish can improve your mental health? Or that just remembering or planning an adventure can make you happier? It's true! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the surprising things that can help improve your mental health. We will also provide some interesting statistics to back up these claims. So, if you're looking for ways to boost your mood and feel better overall, read on!


A pet

One of the most surprising things that can help mental health is pets! Studies have shown that owning a pet can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mood. In fact, one study found that dog owners were significantly less likely to suffer from depression than those who did not own a dog, and a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that dog owners reported higher levels of well-being and satisfaction with their lives than those who did not own any pets. In addition, they also found that dog owners had greater self-esteem. A study into the effect on cats on mental health found that cat owners had a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Even a goldfish can help you! Did you know that just watching fish swim can help you relax and feel calmer?

Pets can provide companionship, reduce stress and anxiety, and help you to feel more connected to others. In addition, taking care of a pet can give you a sense of purpose and responsibility, which can be beneficial for those who are struggling with mental health issues. The most popular pet in the UK us a cat, followed by the dog, but if you're looking for a pet that is low-maintenance and easy to take care of, then perhaps go for the fish! Fish are known to have a calming effect on people, and they are also relatively easy to take care of.

A difficult hobby

You might have hobbies - but did you know learning something new and tricky could actually help your mental health? A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that people who engage in difficult hobbies have lower levels of anxiety and depression. It is thought that this is because when you are focused on learning a new skill, it can take your mind off of negative thoughts and worry. In addition, once you have mastered the skill, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-confidence. So if you're looking for a new hobby, consider something that is challenging and outside of your comfort zone!

The top hobbies in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics are gardening, cooking and DIY. So, if you're looking for a difficult hobby to take up, perhaps consider one of these!

3 x 30 minute bouts of exercise

While we all know that exercise is good for our physical health, what's better for your mental health - fast activity, or slow?

It turns out that both have benefits! A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help improve mental health, and that HIIT can be as effective as traditional moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) when it comes to reducing symptoms of depression. In addition, another study found that HIIT can help improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels. However, if you're not a fan of HIIT, don't worry! Another study found that slow-paced exercise, such as walking or yoga, can also improve mental health.

Walking has been studied and in a 12-week study, it was found that walking can help reduce symptoms of depression. Walking also has other benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health and helping to prevent obesity. Yoga has also been shown to be beneficial for mental health, and one study found that yoga can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and improve overall well-being.

So whether you prefer to go for a run or take a leisurely stroll in the park, just getting out and about can boost your mood.

What's the least amount you can do to feel the benefits?

In one study, it was found that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three times per week can improve mental health. So, if you're looking for ways to improve your mental health, even a small amount of exercise can make a difference!



Pot plants


Another surprising thing that can help mental health is plant pots. Numerous studies have shown that having pot plants in your home can improve your mood and make you feel happier overall. In one study, it was shown that people who had pot plants in their homes were more likely to report higher levels of life satisfaction than those who did not have pot plants. If you're looking for a simple way to improve your mental health, consider getting some pot plants for your home!

Did you know that the plants that help improve mental health the most include peace lilies, spider plants, and Aloe Vera? Why Studies have shown that these plants can help purify the air and reduce stress levels. In fact, a spider plant can remove up to 90% of harmful VOC's (volatile organic compounds) from the air!

This can lead to improved concentration and decreased stress levels. Plus, caring for a plant can give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. So if you're looking for a low maintenance pet that can make a big difference, pot plants are a great option.

Chocolate is another surprising thing that can help mental health.

Numerous studies have shown that chocolate can improve mood and reduce stress levels. In one study, it was shown that people who ate dark chocolate had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who did not eat chocolate. Dark chocolate can also improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage. This is because chocolate contains compounds that promote relaxation and calmness.

The compounds are known as flavonoids, and they have been shown anxiety and improve mood. If you're looking for a delicious way to improve your mental health, chocolate is a great option! Just be sure to choose dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. And if you're looking for an even bigger boost, try adding some cinnamon to your chocolate. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.

Flavonoids are also fond in green tea and red wine!



Chat with someone

Another surprising mental health tip is to chat - even about nothing much at all. In a study, it was shown that people who had regular conversations with friends or family were less likely to suffer from depression.

Even making small talk with people in shops or where you get your coffee can help. A study showed that people who did this regularly reported feeling happier than those who didn't - and it only takes a few seconds out of your day.

So, if you're looking for ways to improve your mental healthy, be sure to chat with friends and family - and your barista!

Remember happy moments

You might think that being somewhere amazing will boost your mood, but studies show recalling happy memories can be just as effective.

In one study, it was shown that people who recalled happy memories had lower levels of stress and anxiety tan those who did not recall happy memories.

Recalling happy memories can also help improve your mood and make you feel more positive about yourself. So if you're looking for a quick way to improve your mental health, try recalling some of your happiest memories!

Similarly, there are also benefits in planning a future activity! One study run by the University of Plymouth showed that people who were asked to plan a future activity felt happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who did not.

So, if you're looking for ways to improve your mental health, try adding some pot plants to your home, eating dark chocolate, chatting with friends and family, stroking that new pet (unless it's a fish!) and recalling happy memories. You may be surprised at how much better you feel!