8 Tips for Creating New and Positive Mental Health Habits

– Posted in: Mental Health

winning success woman sunsetManaging a behavioral health condition is an ongoing process. For those suffering from social anxiety, depression, or any other behavioral health condition, managing and reducing symptoms can be even more difficult.

It often requires overcoming challenges, both large and small, daily.

One of the most important goals you can set is to develop new habits that help promote positive emotional growth and mental health. Good habits are the cornerstone of healthy well-being.

Here are some of the ways you can create new everyday habits that can help you:


Stay Active

It sounds so simple, yet it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Hiding inside your home and isolating yourself from the outside world isn’t helpful. It could often lead you into falling back on bad habits.

Get yourself up and moving – exercise is good for the body and the soul. Going for a run or spending time at the gym can help you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Staying active entails much more than just a gym membership, too. Take a stroll around the neighborhood. Take a walk to the local ice cream shop as a reward for all your hard work. Go to your local park and hike. Grab your dog’s leash and enjoy a relaxing walk around the block.

The important part is that you keep moving forward.


Don’t overlook the importance of getting enough sleep. This doesn’t mean you should sleep all the time. Experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep a night – every night.

It is important to create a pattern that you stick with throughout your recovery. It will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Your day never looks as difficult as you imagined it would be when you wake up fully refreshed from a good night’s sleep.


Meditation has long been acknowledged as a method for coping with stress. It has been used to aid in stress-reduction and the promotion of health and well-being in those with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce activity in the brain’s default mode network – the area that’s active when the mind wanders and starts obsessing over things like regrets or worries.

Add Positive People to Your Life

Negativity is not healthy; it also isn’t compatible with a healthy recovery.

It may hurt but you need to eliminate those people who trigger anxiety or bad feelings from your life. Replace those negative influences with positive people – people who want to change your life for the better.

These people will drop everything to help you when you feel down and understand that your recovery comes first.

Keep a Journal

Writing can be very therapeutic. It helps you get all your thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper. It can sometimes help you makes sense of what you are feeling while releasing feelings of anger or resentment – better on paper and not trapped inside you!

Writing a daily journal can also help you keep track of those things that make you grateful and happy to be in recovery.


An easy way to feel better about yourself is to help others. Studies have shown that helping people releases endorphins (those hormones that makes us feel good) in our bodies, almost in the similar way as exercise does.

Take some time out of your busy schedule to act as a mentor to someone in the early stages of therapy who was once like you. Volunteer at a local shelter (homeless, pet, etc.) or library.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Take a moment to stop everything and focus on you and the good around you. Take a few deep breaths and look for the positives around you – a beautiful sunset, a friendly hello from a neighbor, the smile on the face of the person you held a door open for, etc. These are all wonderful moments to enjoy.

When you feel down or stressed, look back on those moments and realize stressful triggers are only temporary and the good outweighs the bad. You may even make some new friends in the process!


There’s just something about smiling. It is contagious, it helps you feel better, and it has a positive effect on everyone around you. Smile as often as possible and go about your day showing the world that you’re ready to take on every challenge.


Some of these habits won’t work for everyone and some will help more than others at certain points in your life. Remember, good habits, repeated daily, improve your health mentally and emotionally. Do stuff you enjoy doing. New hobbies and activities are everywhere; stop putting them off. Successful mental health management is possible, just keep yourself busy while having fun.

Tom Connell, Executive Director at Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare, has over 30 years of experience working in the behavioral health field in the Atlanta market. He has worked in a variety of settings as well as from different ends of the care-spectrum, from prevention through population management programs to providing treatment in residential and acute care hospitals. 

1 comment… add one
Types of Meditation April 5, 2019, 12:44 pm

Great article Tom! In this era, everyone should do their constructive criticism and become a better person by learning techniques to stay positive because we people are moving towards too much negativity.

The article like this will help many people to live a mentally peaceful life

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