Seven Steps to Serenity: Daily Habits for Better Mental Health

Discover seven transformative daily habits that can significantly improve your mental health. This comprehensive guide offers practical tips, inspiring quotes, and recommended readings to help you toward better mental health.

Seven Steps to Serenity: Daily Habits for Better Mental Health
Photo by Kinga Howard / Unsplash

Keywords: #Mental Health, #Self-Care, #Mindfulness, #Healthy Habits, #Wellness, #Personal Growth, #Stress Management


Maintaining good mental health can sometimes feel like an uphill battle in the hustle and bustle of modern life. But what if the key to better mental health was not found in grand gestures but in the small, daily habits we cultivate?

Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

This article explores seven daily habits that can significantly improve your mental health. These habits are simple and practical and can be incorporated into your routine no matter how busy you are. Many articles by prestigious online publishing focusing on the benefits of mental health echo the same theme, such as Healthline, Utah State University & National Institute of Mental Health.

So, let's embark on this journey toward better mental health together. Each habit is explained in detail, providing insight into why it's beneficial and how to implement it in your daily life. They may sound obvious and simple, yet they have a profound impact on our lives.

I've also included inspiring quotes from notable individuals to motivate you on your journey. So, are you ready to transform your mental health one day at a time? Let's dive in.

1. Practice Mindfulness

"Mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of your mind," said Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

But what exactly is Mindfulness? It's the practice of being fully present in the moment, aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. It's about accepting the present moment without trying to change it.

Mindfulness can be practiced in many ways. Start with a simple meditation practice, sitting quietly for a few minutes each day, focusing on your breath. Or you could try mindful eating, paying full attention to the eating experience, and savoring each bite. You could also practice Mindfulness during everyday activities like evening walks. The key is to bring your full attention to the present moment.

Research shows that regular mindfulness practice can have numerous benefits for mental health. It can reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall mental well-being. It can also help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to manage them more effectively. Why not give Mindfulness a try? It is the key to better mental health that you've been looking for. If you found this section insightful and want to dive into this topic, then I encourage you to read my recent article titled 'Unlocking Your Full Potential: 10 Remarkable Strategies for Personal Growth and Mindfulness’'. In that piece, I explore this subject in greater detail, providing further tips and insights you might find beneficial.

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2. Exercise Regularly

As the famous quote by Jim Rohn goes, "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live."

Regular physical activity is not only good for your body, but it's also beneficial for your mind. But how does exercise improve mental health?

Exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters. These chemicals can help reduce anxiety and depression, making you feel happier and more relaxed. Exercise can also improve your sleep, essential for good mental health.

But you don't have to run a marathon or lift heavy weights to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. Even a short walk can make a difference. The key is to find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine. It could be yoga, dancing, cycling, or even gardening. I try to go to the gym, but I enjoy running 5k every week. As long as it gets you moving, it's good for your mental health. There are a lot of free apps that can help you motivate and achieve your health goals.

3. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

This ancient wisdom holds today, especially when it comes to mental health. A healthy diet can significantly improve your mood and cognitive function.

Research shows that certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants, can help protect the brain and support mental health. Foods rich in these nutrients include fatty fish, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. On the other hand, foods high in sugar and processed foods can harm mental health.

I am not a doctor or nutritionist; you should consult a professional, especially if you have allergies.

But maintaining a healthy diet doesn't mean you have to give up all your favorite foods. It's about balance and moderation. Add more whole foods to your meals, drink plenty of water, and treat yourself occasionally. Remember, food is not just fuel for your body; it also nourishes your mind.

4. Cultivate Positive Relationships

"Connection is why we're here; it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives," says Brené Brown, a research professor and best-selling author.

Humans are social creatures, and positive relationships are essential for mental health.

Positive relationships provide emotional support, help us feel understood, and give us a sense of belonging. They can also help us cope with stress and boost our self-esteem. On the other hand, toxic or unhealthy relationships can harm our mental health. This is one of the most important steps of the 7 that can make or break your path toward mental health.

So, how can you cultivate positive relationships? Start by spending time with people who make you feel good about yourself, who listen to you, and who you can trust. Be open and honest in your communications; don't be afraid to set boundaries. Also, remember that it's okay to ask for help when needed. We all need support occasionally; reaching out to others is a sign of strength, not weakness. I wrote an article - The Power of Embracing Negative Feedback: Unlock Your Potential for Growth that gives detailed insight into the benefits of feedback. I encourage you to read it.

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5. Prioritize Sleep

"Sleep is the best meditation," says the Dalai Lama. And he's right.

Good sleep is essential for good mental health. It's during sleep that our body and mind rest and rejuvenate. On the other hand, lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and even depression. (ask my wife, she knows all about sleep & rest 😄)

So, how can you improve your sleep? Start by establishing a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up simultaneously every day, even on weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, like reading a book or listening to calming music. Avoid screens before bed, as blue light can interfere with sleep. I don't even keep my phone beside me while sleeping as an alarm. Everyone should invest in an alarm clock.

Since my daughter was born 8 years ago, my wife has played gentle classical music with a 1-hour timer that helps us relax and triggers our brain to fall asleep when listening to classical music. It's like a trick we were playing for the child, but it works on us too. I recommend you try it, and you will never go back.

Also, pay attention to your sleep environment. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. And if you're struggling with sleep, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Good sleep is not a luxury; it's a necessity for good mental health.

6. Practice Self-Compassion

"Be kind to yourself. If you won't, who will?" says entrepreneur and investor Justin Kan.

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would treat a friend. It's about acknowledging your imperfections and forgiving yourself for your mistakes.

Research shows that self-compassion can significantly improve mental health. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, increase happiness, and boost self-esteem. It can also help you cope with stress and adversity.

So, how can you practice self-compassion? Start by noticing your self-talk. Are you often critical of yourself? Do you beat yourself up over your mistakes? Try to replace this negative self-talk with kinder, more compassionate words. Treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend. A great habit is to write a daily journal.  

Refer to my article - 10 Remarkable Ways to Uncover & Embrace Your True Self where you will find a Free Fillable Daily Prompt Journal

Also, remember that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws. It's part of being human. So, instead of beating yourself up over your imperfections, embrace them. They make you who you are.

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Must Read:

10 Remarkable Ways to Uncover & Embrace Your True Self;

10 Powerful Steps to Transform Your Biggest Regrets into Unforgettable Life Lessons

7. Spend Time in Nature

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home," says Gary Snyder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

Spending time in nature can have numerous benefits for mental health. It can reduce stress, improve mood, and boost cognitive function.

Nature can also help us feel more connected to the world around us. It can remind us of the beauty and wonder of life and help us gain a fresh perspective on our problems.

So, spend some time in nature each day. It could be a walk in the park, hiking in the woods, or sitting in your garden. Listen to the birds, feel the wind on your skin, and take in the beauty around you. It's a simple habit, but it can make a big difference in your mental health. It will calm your mind and disconnect you from social media and gadgets.

Sometimes I do not want to worry about bills, finances, parenting, and life. I go for long walks and leave everything behind. It's just me and nature around me. Everyone should do this for themselves. Looking after yourself is even more important in this day & age. Sometimes we are made to feel selfish just for looking after ourselves, but it is necessary for our well-being, and only then can we be a better version of ourselves. I have dedicated an article on this, and you must read it - Self-care Isn't Selfish; It's Necessary.


Improving your mental health is not a destination but a journey. It's about making small changes in your daily habits and sticking to them. It's about being kind to yourself, caring for your body, and nurturing your mind.

As Lao Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

So take that first step today. Start with one of the earlier habits, and see how it improves your mental health. Remember, every little bit counts. You do not have to incorporate all of them at once. Just take the first step and pick the next one when you are ready.

Books to Support You

  • "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
  • "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin
  • "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • "The Art of Happiness" by Dalai Lama
  • "The Mindful Way through Depression" by Mark Williams
  • "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns
  • "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk
  • "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain
  • "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown
  • "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

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