WALK or RUN For mental health at the Brain Run 5k and Mental Health Expo!

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Turn mental health AWARENESS into ACTION.

Looking for tips to improve your mental health? We'll post interesting articles and research related to exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness and more! Even making small changes to your daily routine can have a positive impact on your mental health! 

While we continue to work to increase awareness and decrease stigma, there's another important piece on which we should focus - preventing mental health problems before they occur.  As Arianna Huffington, the founder of Thrive Global, said in a recent post, "It's time to shift the mental health conversation from awareness to action."  So pick up a book, buy a plant, or schedule a walk or coffee with a friend (scroll down for more ideas) - and start today!

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TAKE ACTION!

Arianna Huffington summarizes why we should think about the small changes we can make to have a big impact on our health in her article, Microsteps: The Big Idea That’s Too Small to Fail.  Thrive Global's new initiative, Thriving Mind, is a great additional resource for how to prioritize our mental health every day.

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Exercise

The research is clear - regular exercise has a powerful impact on our mental health - even 15 minutes a day can make a difference.  

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

8 Key Ways Running Can Transform Your Body and Brain

Exercise May Help to Fend Off Depression

Sleep

Prioritizing sleep is one of the most important things we can do to improve our brain health - a good (or bad) night's sleep can impact everything from our mood to how we perform at work or school.

Sleep and Mental Health

Healthy Sleep Tips

Sleep for Student Athletes Impacts Performance

Mindfulness

Paying attention to our breathing can be a simple way to affect our mood.  

The Way You Breathe Can Change Your Mood

Try a free breathing app to get started. 


Meditation can take many different forms and has multiple benefits for mental health. 

Can Meditation Improve Your Health? Here's What to Know

Many hospitals, retreat centers, and yoga studios offer the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course developed at UMASS in 1979 by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn.  This class can be a great way to develop a meditation practice.  There are also many wonderful meditation apps available.


Relaxation is often overlooked as an important part of protecting our brain health. This Chopra Center article explains why you should make relaxing a priority: 

10 Incredible Things That Happen to Your Body When You Relax


Practicing gratitude can be a powerful tool - learn more about the benefits of gratitude and how to incorporate It into your daily routine.

The Small Miracle of Gratitude

5 Health Benefits of Gratitude


Science shows that a regular yoga practice can provide natural anxiety and stress relief.

Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

More tips for improving brain health

PETS  

Need some facts to support your argument to get a dog?   Look no further!

How Dogs Help Symptoms of Depression

Depression & The Power of Pets


JOURNALING

Putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be therapeutic and have multiple mental health benefits.

Journaling for Mental Health


ART and CREATIVITY

Engaging in creative activities has been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

The Healing Power of Art - Harvard Health

How Craft is Good For Our Health


LAUGHTER 

Even fake smiling and laughing can cause endorphins to release in our brains, which makes us feel happier. 

The Powerful Link Between Laughter and Mental Health

Social media sites make it easy to find something to smile about - check out @humorandanimals  or @mydogiscutest on Twitter, or @itsdougthepug on Instagram.


PLANTS/GARDENING

We don't always think about the therapeutic benefits of houseplants or gardening, but research shows we should consider a incorporating a little more green in our lives.

Petal Power: Why Is Gardening So Good For Our Mental Health?

Microstep for Well-Being: 5 Reasons To Bring a Plant To Work


NATURE/OUTDOORS

Spending time outdoors can do wonders for our mood, and science supports the positive impact of getting outside.

Being Outside Can Improve Memory, Fight Depression, and Lower Blood Pressure — Here Are 12 Science-Backed Reasons to Spend More Time Outdoors

Science Agrees: Nature is Good for You

20 Minute Contact with Nature Reduces Stress Hormone Cortisol


MUSIC

Music can have a greater influence on your mental health than you might realize.  

The Impact Of Music Therapy On Mental Health

10 Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music


VOLUNTEERING

This Harvard Health article outlines how the act of volunteering can have surprising benefits:

Volunteering May be Good for Body and Mind

How Volunteering Can Help Your Mental & Physical Health


ACTS OF KINDNESS

Don't underestimate the power compassion and kindness can have to reduce stress, boost our immune systems, and help reduce negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression.

Why Random Acts of Kindness Matter to Your Well-being


SOCIALIZING WITH FRIENDS (face to face)

Investing in spending time with friends leads to better emotional well-being, and has even been linked to a longer life.

Friendships: Enrich Your Life and Improve Your Health

Why Do We Need Friends? Six Benefits of Healthy Friendships


SELF-TALK

What we say to ourselves matters, and it can have a big impact on how we feel.  

Why a Shift in Self-Talk Is the Ultimate Self-Care Strategy

Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress


READING BOOKS (bibliotherapy)

Research shows that reading books can help us understand our struggles in a greater context, and simply give us a respite from our own lives as we connect with characters in their lives.

Can Reading Books Improve Your Mental Health?

8 Ways Reading Can Boost Your Mental Health


MASSAGE

Massage can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety, and can help us increase our attention to the present moment.

Massage Therapy for Anxiety and Stress

How Does Massage Help with Mental Illness?


AROMOTHERAPY

This ancient practice can have positive results, but it's a good idea to do a little research first.

The Actual Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

8 Ways Essential Oils Can Be Harmful

Disclaimer

There is an abundance of research and information available regarding ways to improve brain health.  While we will post the articles we find most interesting, it is still important to consult with with a professional if you are struggling with your mental health.  No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.