7 Powerful habits to improve mental health and be happier

Jun 30, 2022 | Emotions, Personal Development | 0 comments

This post is all about the 7 most powerful habits to improve your mental health and be happier.

Do you ever have days when you just can seem to feel good? Or days where you can´t get out of bed when you just don´t feel like yourself no matter what you try to do to change that?

Days where you are tired of always battling against yourself and your thoughts and when you feel like there is something wrong in you like you are a piece from a puzzle that just doesn´t fit no matter how you look at it?

When the uncertainty about your future and the overthinking about your past leaves you wondering, what the heck am I doing with my life?

If you have ever felt this way (or do so daily), you are not alone. There are thousands of people in the world right who feel just like you do like they don´t fit like their world is falling apart with no sense of direction.

And although from the outside it seems like people have everything under control and figured out, the truth is that on the inside we all have our fear and insecurities. And there are days and sometimes even weeks when these negative thoughts and habits get the best out of us.

But is there something we could do to change that? Some steps and/ or exercises that could help us to take control of our lives, to improve our mental health naturally, and to start feeling like ourselves again?

There actually are and today I want to share with you 7 powerful tips and habits to improve mental health and be happier.

mental health

Our life today is easier than it was 50 years ago, so why is it then that mental health issues are on the rise? Why do so many people struggle to have good mental health?

The sad truth is that all these new evolutions that have made our life easier as well as how these have shaped our world nowadays have brought negative impacts as much as positive ones. 

Here are a couple of these factors that have a negative impact on our mental health:

  • Social pressure and expectations
  • Being more exposed to aggressive behavior from video games, movies, TV series, etc.
  • Performance pressure and expectations on our career, job, finances…
  • Social Media
  • Pressure from our parents’ expectations
  • Living in an uncertain and unpredictable period of time

Most damage has been done and will continue to be done unless we take action to change that.

Now I know that is something easier than done and that most days it´s difficult to find the motivation and the will to fight for better days. But I want you to trust in yourself and know that you are capable of doing so as much as I trust in you.

With that being said, let´s begin with these 10 powerful habits to improve your mental health and be happier

Find meaning and purpose in your life

Most times when we struggle with our mental health we arrive to the point where even getting out of bed seems impossible.

“Why would I get out and live this day?”

Because what is it that makes life worth living? 

The answer actually depends on who you are asking, but the truth is that it comes down to their purpose, their reasons for being on this planet, what gives them sense and direction, and what fills their soul with joy and satisfaction.

And the best thing about purpose is that´s FREE.

Although this magical answer that fills our days with happiness and fulfillment is free it certainly is not easy to find or to define.

There is a complete lack of coherence between what we want and what we do. We wish and dream of a fulfilling life, however, do our acts align with this wish?

Most of the time the answer is no, but why is that so?

Because our ideology of purpose is wrongly based. We believe that living a purposed life is something that will “find us” one day, something will fall into, an emotion that will magically fill our lives.

Most of us also believe the myth that our purpose has to be something grand and all-consuming. 

But the truth is that a life filled with purpose, as with happiness and success, isn´t something we fall into, it’s something we cultivate. And a purpose is whatever feels your soul and makes you feel happy and satisfied, even if that means living in a cottage with the chickens as company.

Your purpose is whatever fills your soul and makes you feel happy and satisfied.

Purpose and fulfillment are something you have to go out into the world (and make an inner journey) to figure out on your own, and it´s not something that someone else dictates or defines for you.

However this task isn´t as difficult to figure out as we think, and the important thing to keep in mind is to pay attention, attention to our everyday lives because most of the time our purpose is already present but hidden behind the little things in our life.

To help you with this task, here is a list of simple activities you can try today to help you achieve (or at least define) what purpose means to YOU:


Values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live your life. They are the fundamental beliefs that guide your actions and determine your priorities. Values are the terms with which you determine if your life feels full, abundant, accomplished, and happy.

They are quite literally a life compass because values are the representation of what truly matters to you in life, about what you stand for, what moves you, and finally what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

Inside your values, you have your core values, which are the ones that define your biggest priority in life, the ones that when you say it out loud make you vibrate with emotion. These are the ones to take into account the most when defining what a meaningful life means to you.

But how can I discover what are my core values?

Here are 4 simple steps you can follow to discover not only your values but your core values:

Write your values

Review the list of examples of core values linked below and select and write down every value that resonates with you as well as the values that most accurately describe your feelings or behaviors. Add any you think of that are not on the list as well. 

A little tip that has really helped me in this step and that I highly recommend is to read the words out loud and feel what emotion they evoked in me.

Here is a list of 100 values worth checking out to find out yours!

Categorize values into related groups

Now you have a master list of your values, so the next step is to review the list and see if you can group the values into categories. 

So for example, you may have written down growth, learning, and personal development. These values are all related and could be placed in one category. 

Identify the central theme of your groups

Once you have categorized your values, choose a word (within that group) that best represents each group. You can leave the other words in the group in parentheses next to the central theme word to give the primary value more context.

Then that list would go from- learning, personal development, and growth to “Value: personal development (learning, growth)”.

Choose your core values

Now that you have your values chosen and grouped, it´s time to rank the top values in order of importance. While the number of core values people have can vary, try to choose between 3 to 5 core values.

If you have more than 5, ask yourself what values are essential to your life. And remember, in this list, the order has a meaning so make sure to list your values in order from your most meaningful to your least meaningful ones.

So continuing with the example mentioned above, let´s say I have a group of values which are growth, learning, and personal development. And I decide that the one I resonate most with is personal growth. 


Purpose can be felt in the most simple of moments, (as we said earlier, purpose doesn´t have to be something grand or Instagram-worthy)

How can you do this: take a piece of paper and write down a list of all the moments that stood out in a positive way to you during the past month.


Did you know that on average people look at their phones between 46 and 76 times a day?

You could take advantage of this by changing your wallpaper to something meaningful or a reminder of the important things in your life.

It could be a picture of a special person, place, goal… Personally, I like to have as my wallpaper my vision board as a motivational reminder to not give up.

Want to discover how you can create a vision board (a visual representation of your dream life) to help you manifest it into your life, even if you have no idea what that looks like?


When was the last time you felt like yourself? Being your best self can bring a feeling of alignment with our overall sense of purpose.

So for this activity, I want you to think back to the moments when you felt most aligned with your true self and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What were you doing at that moment?
  • What do you think made you feel this way? (was it a person, a certain place, something you experienced, or goals you achieved…)
  • What parts of yourself were shining through? (for example your kindness, a certain talent, etc.)

Are you struggling to discover what your highest self looks like or even who you are? You can follow these 4 simple steps to discover your true self today!


Based on the two lists you created on activities Nº2 AND Nº5, I want you to find similarities or patterns of the kind of people, actions, and places that make you feel a sense of purpose in your life.

The goal with this list is to have a list of actionable things you can do to boost your mood and feel more aligned with your life purpose whenever times get hard. 

(This list doesn´t have to be exhaustive or long, two to four points is more than enough)

Get quality sleep

The third habit to improve mental health is to get quality sleep.

Quality sleep is a non-negotiable thing not only for your physical well-being but also for your mental health. Sleep is a factor that influences many things in our lives from our energy levels, to our immunity and even our memory.

The sad truth is that more and more nowadays there are people who suffer from sleeping illnesses, like insomnia,  whose quality sleep is none or whose sleep schedule is altogether none existent.

Here are some tips to help get better quality sleep:

  • Create and maintain a sleep schedule, that includes waking up and going to sleep around the same hour.
  • Create a good sleeping environment, by for example sleeping in a pitch-black room, and keeping your bedroom clean and uncluttered.
  • Make sure to maintain the room´s temperature between 18 and 22 ºC

Practice self-compassion

Have you ever thought to yourself that you have to perfect in order to be accepted, or do you find it difficult to accept yourself and set unrealistic and unachievable goals for yourself?

If you have, then you probably are a perfectionist. Now when people hear the word perfectionist they usually see it as a positive trait.

But what people don´t realize is that being a perfectionist comes with a lot of overthinking over whether we are good enough, obsessing over every little detail especially when we are working on something as well as links between our self-worth and our ability to be good at everything.

Obviously, these thoughts are not what we refer to as health, and in the long term, they can really influence and have an impact on our mental health. So what can we do to overcome our perfectionism?

Many people will tell you that the key to overcoming being a perfectionist is letting go. And although that seemed to work for Elsa from Frozen, I don´t think telling a perfectionist to just let go is actually going to help them. 

I  know from personal experience that it hasn´t helped me overcome my perfectionism, quite the opposite happened actually.

So what is the key to overcoming perfectionism then? Self-compassion.

Don´t get confused over what I mean by being self-compassionate with yourself, because it doesn´t mean making excuses for yourself or seeing yourself as the victim.

Self-compassion is made up of self-kindness, common humanity, and positive self-talk.

Meaning that in order to be self-compassionate you need to first treat yourself with kindness and understanding. In some cases, this might be reminding us that we don´t have to be perfect at everything.

Other times you might need to remind yourself that we are not perfect machines, we are humans, who are allowed to make errors.

This brings me to the second pillar of self-compassion, common humanity. And finally, the third pillar is all about the way you talk to yourself.

Normally the inner dialogue of people who are perfectionists is not very positive or encouraging. I actually want you to think of the standards you hold to yourself or the kind of things you blame yourself for, would you think or expect the same things from other people, would you talk to others the way you talk to yourself?

If the answer is no, then it´s time to do some internal work to change that, through kindness, comprehension, and love.

Take care of your diet and move your body

Humans are biological machines and what we feed them with has a great impact on our health, well-being, and even our energy levels and mood.

Think of it this way, imagine your body is like a car. A car is a machine and the main source of energy is fuel. Now, in order to function properly, it needs fuel of a specific type and quality.

But what would happen if you fuel your car with the wrong fuel or one of worse quality? That the car would start having problems or stop working altogether.

Same thing with exercising. When you leave a car in a garage without moving it for long periods of time, the car will start to rust.

In case you still don´t believe how big of an impact our diet has on our mental well-being, did you know that 95% of our serotonin (also known as the happiness hormone) is produced in our gut (whose the main function is to digest and absorb ingested nutrients and to excrete waste products of digestion).

The undeniable truth is that what we eat matters not only for our physical health but also for our mental well-being.

As does moving our body regularly. With exercise, I´m not suggesting you go hard and start lifting or running if that is not something you enjoy. It doesn´t even have to be a “heavy” exercise, a simple 30-minute walk will work wonders long term.

There are many ways fun ways of moving your body aside from the traditional ones we all know ( and not always enjoy) so research different types of activities and experiment with them until you find one that you enjoy and are capable to maintain long term.

Know when to take it easy

The truth is that even when working daily on your mental health and doing all the right things, there might still be days when we wake up and feel like we are back at the starting point.

But that is OK and normal. Everyone has those days from time to time because we are humans, not robots.

The important thing you must always have in mind on those days is to try and focus on the good things and turn your thoughts around.

And if that feels impossible try to at least neutralize those negative thoughts by reminding yourself of your progress and that, although it doesn´t seem like it now, everything will be ok.

During these days remember to take it step by step and try setting one small goal, like for example making your bed, doing the dishes, or drinking 2L of water.

Social Media

Social media has become one of the constant in people’s daily lives and one of the places people spend the most time on. But what has been the consequence of it?

Most of the time social media platforms, especially Instagram promotes feelings of low self-esteem, self-worth, comparison, frustration, and unrealistic expectations of life and our personal image.

But social media doesn´t have to be a toxic negative space, because you have the power to decide what you make of social media. 

These toxic beliefs and effects exist because we allow them to. What it means to you and how it affects your life depends 100% on YOU and what you make of it.

But how can we create a safe, positive, and encouraging environment on social media?

First of all reconsider the amount of time you spend on social media, how much this benefits you, and how it makes you feel.

Then take a look at your list of followings on your social media accounts and start uncluttering by unfollowing any account that does nothing for you or makes you feel insecure and unmotivated.

Then search for accounts and people who inspire you to be and do better every day.

Take away

There are days when our mind gets the best out of us, where our worst enemy are our thoughts, and when our mental health feels like a weight in our back drowning us.

But despite this weight, it´s important to make the effort every day to show up, even in the smallest way.

To wrap it up, here is a list of the 7 tips and habits to improve mental health we just saw:

  • Find meaning and purpose in your life
  • Practice self-compassion. Remember to treat yourself with kindness, you are not a perfect machine and you deserve to treat yourself with the love and compassion you give out to others
  • Get quality sleep
  • Take care of your diet and move your body regularly. Our bodies are biological machines that need to be fueled with the right food and nutrition as well as moved regularly. So make sure to show your body some love and
  • Know when to take it easy: There are going to be days when we´ll feel like we´ve come to the starting point, even when you are doing all the right things, but that is completely okay. Remember the most important thing during these days is to take it one step at a time.
  • Social media: Although social media has been seen as a negative tool during the past few years, the truth is that we have the ability to decide what we make of it, so why not turn it into a safe, encouraging, and motivational space.

Thank you so much for investing your time in this article. I hope the tips, tools, and exercises in it will help you increase your productivity and become the boss of your time and schedule instead of the other way around.

Now, before we say goodbye I have one more question for you: What are your habits or practices that have helped you during your tough days? I´d love to read you in the comments!

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sofia success

Hey there, I´m Sofia!

 I´m a passionate, determined and happy person. I´m also a book lover and my passions include interior design, art, music and travel. I’m the creator of Sofia Success, a platform created to empower young woman to build their dream life and become their highest self.



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