We can’t flip a switch to instantly improve our mental health, but we can implement small habits and rituals into our lives to help us boost our well-being over time. Research from Stanford’s Precision Mental Health and Wellness Center shows that when we ignore what we’re feeling and allow our stress to become cumulative, it can lead to mental health challenges down the road. But when we learn to identify when we’re feeling overwhelmed and take small steps to help us recharge, we’re far better able to take meaningful action.
Here are six science-backed Microsteps you can take on a daily basis to boost your well-being:
Each morning, repeat an affirmation that shows compassion for yourself.
Positive affirmations have been shown to improve your mood, reduce stress and negative thinking, and strengthen your sense of self.
Schedule time to go outside.
Just a few minutes during the day can make a big difference. Simply being outdoors and surrounded by nature not only improves your well-being, but inspires you to be a more creative, more present version of yourself.
Do one small thing each morning that brings you joy.
It might be meditating, walking, or making breakfast. From this foundation, you’ll be more focused and productive once you get to work.
Take a one-minute stretch break whenever you can throughout the day.
Frequent movement fuels your body and mind. Stand up, change positions, stretch — anything to get your blood flowing.
Write down three things you’re grateful for before bed.
This has been shown to lower your stress levels and bring you a greater sense of calm.
Before you get into bed, escort your devices out of your bedroom.
Our phones are repositories of our to-do lists, inboxes, projects, and problems. Disconnecting will help you sleep better, recharge, and reconnect to your wisdom and creativity.