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5 ways to improve your mental health

Blog post | 29 Aug 2023

Everyone has mental health. It affects how you think, feel and act. Just like your physical health, your mental health can be good on some days and not so good on others.

Having good mental health is essential to your overall health. According to Beyond Blue, good mental health helps to protect you against conditions such as anxiety and depression, but it's also linked to:

  • improved learning
  • creativity
  • higher levels of productivity
  • better social relationships
  • good physical health
  • increased life expectancy

Studies have shown that if you do certain activities regularly, you tend to have better mental health than those who don't.

MindSpot, a free clinical mental health service, researched which activities may help to keep your mental health from sliding into unhealthy territory. It landed on The Big 5. So, before one of life's small or colossal challenges come your way, consider The Big 5 to help keep your mental health on track:

  1. Meaningful activities
    • Do things that give you a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction — they can be small things like listening to music or watching a favourite show.
  2. Healthy thinking
    • Have realistic thoughts about yourself, the world and the future.
    • Keep perspective.
    • Treat yourself with kindness and respect, even during difficult times.
  3. Goals and plans
    • Have a goal or a plan. This may not only keep you motivated and energised, but it may give you something to look forward to. It may also stop you from dwelling on any problems of the past.
  4. Healthy routines
    • Establish healthy routines like going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. A sleep routine can help to set you up for the day.
  5. Social connections
    • Stay connected to your family and friends or tribe. This can help you to feel validated and part of a community, and it reminds you that you belong

For more information and help:

There is a wide variety of mental health support and information available in person, online and on the telephone.

You can talk to your GP or contact services such as:

  • Head to Health — For advice and to connect with local mental health services, call 1800 595 212. Check the operating times.
  • MindSpot — For clinical mental health support online, or over the phone on 1800 61 44 34.
  • SANE Australia — People living with a mental illness can call 1800 187 263.
  • Beyond Blue — Anyone feeling depressed or anxious can call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Black Dog Institute — Online help for people affected by mood disorders.
  • Lifeline — Anyone having a personal crisis can call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service — Anyone thinking about suicide can call 1300 659 467.
  • Qlife — People experiencing mental health issues related to their sexuality or gender identity (LGBTIQA+) can call 1800 184 527 or chat online.

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