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Mind

Prevent Mental Illness & Improve Mental Health


Every year one in four of us will have a mental health problem, according to mental health charity Mind.

If you feel that depression or anxiety may be taking hold, and you're looking for ways to improve your mental health, then why not try these suggestions from The Mental Health Foundation?

How to improve your mental health


1. Tell someone how you are feeling about your mental health and ask for help


Take charge of your mental health and wellbeing by sharing your concerns. Talking can help put a problem in perspective, making you feel supported and less isolated. Remember, you don’t need to cope by yourself. Ask family, friends or local support services for help when you begin to feel overwhelmed.

2. Stay active to boost your well-being


Regular exercise can help you concentrate, sleep better and boost self-confidence. Your brain and vital organs will benefit – and you’ll feel better mentally as well. If you're new to exercise, or you've fallen out of practice, you can incorporate healthy movement into your routine with our fitness tips for beginners.

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3. Eat well to feed the brain


Ensuring you have a balanced, nutritious diet will benefit your physical health as well as improve your mental wellbeing. Looking for inspiration? Discover our delicious, healthy recipes.

4. Drink sensibly to reduce mood swings


Some people drink to help deal with feelings of fear or isolation, but any change in mood is only temporary. Recent advice suggests there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, so choose a healthier way to cope with stress and mental health problems, such as trying a new hobby or activity.

5. Keep in contact with friends


Staying in touch with friends – in person, on the phone or online – can help you remain grounded, active and supported, and in return have a positive effect on you mental health.

6. Learn a new skill


Every day’s a school day! Improve you mental health and empower yourself by learning a new skill. Learn a new language or how to play an instrument - set yourself a challenge, no matter how big or small. If you're struggling to keep your enthusiasm up while learning, read our top tips for staying motivated.

7. Do something you love to reduce stress


Taking part in an activity you enjoy can help boost self-esteem, ease stress and improve your mental health.

8. Take time out for your own well-being


A break from work - whether you're taking some annual leave or just a five-minute break - can be the difference between feeling stressed and coping with stress.

9. Accept who you are


We are all different, so rather than trying to be like someone else, be proud of who you are. Focusing on your own strengths and abilities, and learning new skills, can help boost your confidence.

10. Look outward


Caring for someone else will give you a different perspective. Nurturing your friendships, or volunteering to help others, can help you feel valued, build your self-esteem and boost your mental health.

Further mental health resources


If you're a member of Benenden Health, you can call our Mental Health Helpline for support 24/7, from day one of your membership.

The mental health of young adults is a particular concern for many and there are nine behaviours that could be a sign of mental illness in a young adult. Take a look at these behaviours and ways that a parent or loved one could help in Benenden Health’s helpful video.

Medically reviewed by Cheryl Lythgoe on 25th March 2021. Next review date: March 2022.