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8 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health When Living Abroad

OSHCstudents-Do you struggle with your mental health when living abroad? Are you seeking methods to have a healthy life? Check out 8 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health below.

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Adopting an upright posture

According to a study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry,

upright posture can have a positive effect and reduce fatigue. The preliminary studies’ conclusions suggested that adopting an upright posture may increase positive effects, reduce fatigue, and decrease self-focus in people with mild to moderate depression.

Practice positive thinking

Research continues to show that your thoughts about yourself strongly affect how you feel. The best way to change any negative feelings you may have is to counteract them with a positive one. According to psychologist, Patricia Harteneck, when we perceive ourselves and our life negatively, we can end up viewing experiences in a way that confirms that notion.

Instead, practice using words that promote feelings of self-worth and personal power. So instead of saying, I was horrible at my math test, use positive words and self-compassion like, I’ll study harder next time and then I’ll do better on the next test.

Take a walk in nature.

Is there anything quite like the green grass between your toes, the blue skies above your head, the warm sun burning your nose, hm, forgot the sunscreen?

A simple walk in nature can have the ability to boost your mental well-being, according to research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology. A 2019 study from Canadian researchers found that merely five minutes of contact with the natural world improves mood, human health, self-esteem, and general emotional well-being. According to the research study, results indicated that brief nature contact reliably improves both hedonic and self-transcendent emotions.

Time for a nice walk in the park with your dog.

Hug someone

Sometimes we just need a hug. Maybe that’s what your parents once told you, and sometimes, they’re right. According to findings from a 2011 study conducted by UCLA, oxytocin’s receptor gene is linked to self-esteem and optimism.

Oxytocin is often known as a cuddle hormone. So I’m sure you can guess what releases oxytocin, hugging, along with kissing, snuggling, and physical touches. Hugging is a great way to release that hormone and perhaps increase your self-esteem and optimism in the process.

Sounds like a good hug is sure to give a boost to your mental well-being.

Spend time with your furry friend.

Got no one to hug?

How about your dog?

Don’t have a furry friend?

A 2019 research study examined the effects and cortisol levels of college students who spent 10 minutes with animal visitation programs.

The student’s stress hormone, cortisol decreased with just 10 minutes of petting cats and dogs. The research article notes, a 10-minute college-based AVP providing hands-on petting of cats and dogs provides momentary stress relief.

So, when you go on that walk in nature, make sure to bring your furry friend with you.

Exercise.

Exercise is not only important for our physical health but our mental well-being as well. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which make us happy naturally. According to an article from Mayo Clinic, exercise can release feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals, endogenous cannabinoids, and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.

Get enough sleep.

You mean they’ve heard adults need a good eight hours of sleep each night. Well, you definitely heard right. We need a good night’s rest to recharge with enough energy for the next day. Not getting your eight hours of sleep every day has been shown to negatively affect your mental health. What makes things worse is 60 to 90% of patients with depression also have insomnia according to the Sleep Health Foundation. So, people whose emotional well-being may already be suffering are possibly causing further health problems by not being able to get their full rest.

Not only do you get grumpy and groggy from not getting enough sleep, but it’s not the best for your emotional well-being in the long run.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Expressing gratitude can work wonders for our mental well-being. Gratitude has been linked to increased happiness, mental health, and improved wellbeing according to psychologist, Patricia Harteneck. Harteneck notes that the best-researched method to increase feelings of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or write a daily gratitude list, which means, every morning before that walk, write down something you’re thankful for, no matter how grand or simple.

And at the end of the day, you know, when you go to bed early for those full eight hours, write down a few more things you appreciate before you hit the sheets, hopefully with your snugly pet by your side.

If you are international students, foreigners arriving to Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad looking for OSHC, OVHC, travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: info@oshcstudents.com and our partners for further information and assistance.

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