11 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Mental Health

January 1st, 2016 marks the beginning of a brand new year filled with endless possibilities. It’s a chance to let go of all the trials and challenges of the past, a chance to embrace the excitement that the new year will bring. The start of the new year is the perfect opportunity to start fresh. As your trusted mental health counselor in Michigan, I’m here to help you brainstorm some fun New Year’s Resolutions that can help you make 2016 your happiest and most balanced year yet.

A Note On New Year’s Resolutions

Before I delve much farther into New Year’s resolution ideas, I wanted to touch on an important factor. When choosing your resolution, be sure to pick specific, measurable goals. For example, rather than saying “I will eat better,” for example, resolve to “avoid sugar at least three days per week.” Eating “better” is so vague that it may be hard to track your progress, which can be discouraging. By setting specific goals, you will be able to measure your progress and be encouraged by your success.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas

1. Find At Least One Thing Per Day To Be Grateful For.
Positivity breeds positivity, and negativity breeds negativity. If you focus on the positive things in your life, you will be able to draw more of them to you. Focusing on gratitude is a great way to bring more positivity into your life.

2. Choose One Day Per Week To Stay Off Of Social Media.
Studies have shown that scrolling through news feeds can actually produce feelings of depression and envy, because we tend to automatically compare ourselves to others. Putting the tablets down may help positively boost your mood.

3. Mediate For At Least 5 Minutes Per Day.
Meditation helps focus the mind on positivity, gratitude, and stillness. It’s a chance to clear your mind of all unnecessary thoughts and let it settle. You don’t have to meditate for a long time to reap the benefits.

4. Let Go Of Personal Negativity
Every time you catch yourself saying or thinking, “I can’t do that,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not pretty enough,” or anything else that puts yourself down, stop it. Instead, think the opposite (“I’m good enough,” “I am beautiful,” etc). It will make a big difference.

5. Talk To Your Support System Every Week.
Designate a few trusted individuals – your spouse, your best friend, your closest sibling, etc – to be your support team, and check in with them every week. If you’re struggling with something, they will be there to help. If you’re having a great week, they will be there to congratulate you.

6. Perform Three Random Acts Of Kindness Per Week.
Happiness is contagious. If you do something that brightens someone else’s day, you can almost guarantee that you will, in turn, feel happier. It doesn’t have to be large gesture – simply holding the door open for someone or leaving them a little note can make an impact.

7. Do The Dishes And Make Your Bed Every Day.
The cleanliness level of your environment can actually have a huge impact on your overall mood. Keeping up with these two simple tasks can be a great way to keep your environment cleaner and more organized, which can in turn boost your mood.

8. Exercise For 15 Minutes Per Day, 4 Times Per Week.
You don’t have to dedicate a significant chunk of time to exercising to reap some incredible benefits. Simply exercising a few minutes a day, a few times a week can boost your mood and your overall physical and mental wellness.

9. Recite A Positive Affirmation Every Morning.
Affirmations are a great way to get your stay started off on a positive, happy note. Choose a simple affirmation such as “I am happy, calm, and well,” or “I have everything I need to be successful,” and say it 10-15 times every morning.

10. Say Goodbye To Friends Who Bring You Down.
We tend to adopt the traits and mannerisms of those we spend the most time around. If you have a friend (or several) who tends to bring you down, let 2016 be the year to distance from that relationship. You must take care of your own personal well-being above all else.

11. Talk To A Therapist You Trust
Talking to a mental health counselor can be a powerful way to getting your life back on track and boosting your overall emotional and mental wellness. Your therapist will work hard to understand you and to find solutions that work well for your unique situation.

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