Health A to Z

Mental health

The best ways to boost mental health? Find out in our guide.

Good mental health

Mental health — feeling mentally well — is as important as physical health. Good mental health makes it possible to stay in control and cope with stress even during difficult times. Managing stress well lowers heart disease risk. Poor mental health raises the risk of anxiety, depression and other mental illness. Signs of good mental health include: the ability to enjoy life, resilience — being able to bounce back from hard times; balance — successfully juggling many aspects of life; self-actualization — recognizing your strengths and potential; and flexibility — being able to change expectation.

Stay mentally fit

Exercise Physical activity promotes mental wellness. It can reduce tension, fatigue, anger and anxiety, treat mild depression and enhance self-esteem. Endorphins, the brain chemicals released during exercise, are known for relieving pain and stimulating positive feelings. Exercise, meditation and other relaxation techniques can help slash the negative effects of stress.

A healthy diet Fresh foods, proteins, omega-3s and whole grains can help optimize brain function. These foods are also good for physical health.

More info from Chatelaine
Boost your mood
Antidepressant ABC’s
The science of joy
Happy days
Three holiday sanity savers

Outside resources
Mental Health Commission of Canada