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6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

£1billion is going into new psychiatry staff for 2020. Wrench back control before then


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt claims it's time to reduce the "historic imbalance" between mental and physical health by injecting an extra £1bn into the NHS. However, we mustn't forget it was this government that slashed mental health budgets across 40% of NHS trusts from 2015-2016, and this extra funding is on track to hire more psychiatry staff by 2020-2021. 
If you're at all worried about your mental health, you don't have to wait for government intervention: there are ways you can take matters into your own hands for the time being. Here’s 6 DIY ways to kick start your own therapy. It's better than the doctor's waiting room, after all. 

Get a Social Network

Don’t stress about your instahabit: the much-touted stats about Internet use and poor mental health shouldn’t be a blip on your radar. The idea of Internet use correlating with depression is based on a study from 1998, well out of date with how prevalent social networking is now.
Cyber Psychology and Behaviour have found that chat sessions with an anonymous user left participants feeling significantly less isolated, and social networks full of existing acquaintances combats loneliness and boosts self-esteem. Get connected to stave off the monkey on your back.

Get back to nature

A 2014 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine linked depression to a sedentary lifestyle, so banish the binge-watching and start by going for a walk.
Bonus points if you can find a tree. The journal Health Promotion International found that human contact with nature and pastoral settings is highly effective as part of a strategy to combat mental health problems such as depression. The study also found that too little contact with the natural world is connected to a loss of physical health, so jog in the park to kill two birds with one stone. Not literally.

Get zen

Here comes the meditation spiel, but hold the anti-New Age scoffing and listen to the facts.
A study from Cognitive Therapy and Research found that an 8-week course in mindfulness and stress reduction techniques could kill or significantly reduce ruminative thinking, the negative thought spiral that leads to depression. It does this by encouraging you to focus on the present instead of feeding your anxiety about future events. The study also found that people that did the 8-week course were around 10% less likely to relapse into depression than people on anti-depressants. Go full Yoda and meditate to Force yourself feeling fine.

Get a hobby

Whether it’s cycling, woodworking or playing the tuba, filling your time with meaningful activities other than work will keep your brain at its best.
The Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology looked at employed and unemployed participants and found that social leisure activities rather than solitary ones slashed depression and psychological distress. A group activity like five-a-side, for example, is the perfect combination of workout and team building. Score.

Get big

Although steady-state runs are nice for getting you out and about, a good lifting session is just as good for keeping your cranium shipshape. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology tested lifting against steady-state runs in combating depression, and found that both resulted in significant mood-boosts. Not sure where to start? Try our 14 best beginner’s exercises to do in the gym, or a bodyweight blitz if you’re keen on staying in.

Get help

An Australian study in Social Psychiatry claimed that 71% of mental health cases in the sample had delayed treatment for at least one month due to anxiety or lack of education around mental health authorities. Not sure who to turn to? Contact your GP and they’ll take it from there.
source : menshealth.co.uk 
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