More than half of all Americans report that they experience stress daily. Worldwide, only 35% of people indicate the presence of daily stress. There are several factors contributing to the higher levels of stress experienced by Americans, including concerns about mass shootings, politics, work, and health care.

Studies have shown that Americans are struggling with anxiety in greater numbers than ever before. More Americans are diagnosed with anxiety disorders than any other mental illness. Despite the prevalence of stress and anxiety in today’s society, there are things you can do to effectively improve your mental health.

1. Talk to a Professional

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Discussing your problems can help improve your perspective on issues that are bothering you. Seek out professional NYC therapists who have the skills and experience to help guide you through issues that are adversely affecting your mental health. Talking to a trained therapist offers you a safe space to speak freely without fear of repercussions or breach of your privacy.

You will have time to process your concerns and contemplate resolutions for them. This can keep you from overreacting or choosing a course that will exacerbate your problems.

2. Take a Vacation

Book a trip to a perfect, peaceful vacation destination. Vacations have been proven to improve both physical and mental health. Taking time off promotes rest and relaxation. You will be able to prevent burnout and return to work recharged. People who take vacations enjoy the benefits of reduced stress even after their vacation ends.

You may feel you should put off a vacation because of the volume of work you have to do, but people who take vacations are more productive. You will return to your work and life feeling recharged and energized.

3. Spend Time at the Beach

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You will benefit from spending some time at the beach. Studies have shown that the sound of waves lapping against sand or rocks has a calming effect on people. Spending time in nature also triggers the release of serotonin, which is a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and peacefulness. You will also benefit from sunlight, which combats anxiety.

If possible, head to the ocean shore because exposure to iodine helps boost your immune system. A strong immune system prevents illness, which prevents stress illness can cause.

4. Meditate

Meditating is another way of releasing serotonin. It also triggers the release of dopamine. Dopamine is another chemical that naturally occurs in the human body. Increased dopamine levels promote mental health by improving our mood. It is also commonly released as a physiological reward for achieving a goal.

You will feel good with higher levels of dopamine because of the positive associations with this chemical’s presence. Meditating also steadies your heart rate, which helps reduce stress. It is good for your physical and mental health.

5. Practice Self Care

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Your physical wellbeing can significantly impact your mental health. If you are tired you will not function effectively, which can cause you to feel frustrated and anxious. Getting enough sleep is crucial and will ensure you feel rested at the start of each day.

Regular exercise can also boost serotonin levels, which will make you feel happy and positive. Focus on eating healthy foods that also boost serotonin levels, including eggs, nuts, turkey, pineapple, and cheese. Take time out for a spa and pamper yourself. Caring for yourself is a great way to reduce stress.

Bonus: Practice Positivity

Acknowledge how grateful you are for the good things in your life. Focus on the aspects of your life that are good and the things that you are thankful for. Give thanks regularly. Positive self-talk can be a crucial way of improving your mental outlook.

Employing these practices helps to train your mind to identify positive developments that you can build on. It also prevents you from focusing on negative developments. Negative thinking can cause depression and anxiety, which is why promoting positive thinking is a crucial way of promoting good mental health.