“Learning To Say No”: 30 Things That Improved People’s Mental Health

Published 3 months ago

There is more and more importance placed on mental health day by day. Where once the focus was on maintaining physical health, studies reveal that activities meant to elevate your physical status also have a significant impact on mental health. 

Recently, an interesting discussion on the topic took place online with Redditors putting forward their personal experiences with simple steps they took that improved their mental health. From pet ownership to reading books to avoiding news, the suggestions are varied but apparently guaranteed to leave you feeling good. 

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Image source: msfaraday, Michele Blackwell / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Got a good psychiatrist who tested me for everything and found out I needed prescription strength vitamin d capsules that I take weekly and I need to give myself vitamin b shots biweekly. I cried so hard for days because I suddenly had energy and could think straight. I had been deficient for two decades because my gastro doc never tested me for deficiencies after multiple bowel resections due to crohns. But my psych caught it and changed my life.

#2 Pets

Image source: Scarlett-Spider, Chewy / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#3 I would say going for regular walks has improved my mental health a ton.

Image source: Yoshaay, Linda Knicely / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#4 Getting diagnosed with cancer. Seriously. The stressors of life become almost laughable when faced with oblivion.

Image source: PicklesAreDillicious, Thirdman / pexels (not the actual photo)


Thanks for the kind words, y’all! I start chemo for the first time today at noon, thus beginning the war of attrition over my body.

#5 Practicing gratitude deliberately. I began thinking of 3 distinct things I was thankful for, every night before falling asleep. I didn’t even write them down- just took 5 seconds to reflect, 3 things (but no generic “friendsfamilyfood” repeated answers). Simply doing this every night for several months completely changed my mood.

Image source: MrPBsErica, Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo)

I suffer from mental illness so I really hate r/ thanksimcured-type stuff but in combination with real treatment, practicing gratitude is scientifically well-established as a mood-booster, and I was shocked by what a huge difference it made.

#6 Stopped lying to myself and others, accepted myself for who I was.

Image source: KinkycoupleKA, Darius Bashar / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#7 I got a cat. He sits with me. I’ll rant and say all kinds of stuff to him and he just sits there like go ahead and get that off your chest man. Life gets lonely especially if you don’t have family, a partner, kids. It makes life a little easier.

Image source: hotbrunettegirll, Remy Gieling / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#8 Getting out of an abusive relationship

Image source: Salt_Cranberry_115, Odonata Wellnesscenter / pexels (not the actual photo)

#9 Prozac. It’s okay to use meds.

Image source: Geriatric_K, Alexander Grey / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#10 Ditching my old friends who didn’t take me seriously after a tragedy. I am no longer going to try be relatable and kind. If you treat me like s**t you’re out of my life and are dead to me.

Image source: CitrusLovingCats, Liza Summer / pexels (not the actual photo)

#11 Sounds bad but letting people deal with their own problems.

Image source: Purple-Homework764, Inzmam Khan / pexels (not the actual photo)

#12 Getting more money.

Image source: Motor-Side1957, Alexander Mils / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#13 Putting a stop to my social media use and substituting reading for my time spent there with books. I have completed six books since the beginning of January. It makes me feel really good about myself.

Image source: isweetcandy, Kateryna Hliznitsova / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#14 It sucks at how well it works. I used to hate my mom telling me that exercise would reduce my depression but she was absolutely right. The issue is that when you’re really depressed it’s the last thing you feel like doing. But nothing else has as much of a positive effect on my mental state as regular exercise.

Image source: exoticconstable, Anupam Mahapatra / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#15 Sleep is the foundation for a lot of things. Almost everything.

Image source: ClosetCentrist, Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo)

#16 Having a non toxic job. I got bullied for as long as I can remember at school home and work. My current job is the best paying and least stressful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been able to destress for the first time, I don’t worry about work on my days off, and I’m even becoming able to stand up for myself instead of locking up. No amount of self-care worked until I actually got to experience it.

Image source: Zephyr_Dragon49, Brooke Cagle / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#17 Hybrid work. I didn’t really realize how much commuting and constant office nonsense was messing with my mental health until the pandemic. Unfortunately, my employer went back to full-time RTO, and my mental health has been spiraling sense. Hopefully, I will find a new job soon.

Image source: willstr1, Alexandre Debiève / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#18 Quit alcohol, quit destructive relationships (friends, family, partner), got help, took medication regularly, exercises everyday, journaled everyday. Life changed significantly!

Image source: Spottedrhyno, luizclas / pexels (not the actual photo)

#19 Knowing it’s okay to leave some people behind.

Image source: cutiecutiegro, Mike Kotsch / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#20 Taking magnesium glycinate at night before bed has a significant affect on my daily anxiety levels.

Image source: PokemomOnTheGo, Mariana Rascão / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#21 Therapy. I planned my suicide and decided it was time to go. The first visit was like an elephant off my shoulders. I was sad it had taken me wanting to kill my self to seek help. But I was going in the right direction. I feel like being Hispanic, I was programmed to keep it in. Not share my feelings. It’s not like that anymore. Although my father sees my going to a therapist as a weakness, it’s truly such a strength.

Image source: AManWithoutDreams, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

#22 Learning to say no, let go and stop sweating the small stuff. Also knowing that if somebody has a problem with me, it’s THEIR problem.

Image source: Prestigious_Target86, Christina @ wocintechchat.com / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#23 Meeting my now wife.

Image source: Devious_Bastard, Jeremy Wong Weddings / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#24 Cardio for at least 30 minutes, preferably in sunlight or at least outdoors, 5 or more times a week.

Image source: ClosetCentrist, Gabin Vallet / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#25 Stopped watching mainstream news

Image source: PhilosopherAntique71, Amanna Avena / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#26 Moving out of my parent’s house

Image source: look1ngglass, Blue Bird / pexels (not the actrual photo)

#27 Full transparency? Psychedelics

Image source: from_random_fandom, KoolShooters / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Brains are like a snowy hill. Every thought is like a sled ride down that hill, leaving tracks. As you think the same sort of thoughts, certain grooves become deeper and deeper, your brain developing thought habits that are very difficult to break. Taking psychedelics can blanket that hill with fresh snow. The result is a lot of introspection and new perspectives on your life.

In this way, it can be a very effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. The most known psychedelics are nontoxic and non-addictive. Even more, they can be *anti-addictive,* helping addicts of other substances overcome their vice.

Now, psychs are not a magic cure-all for everyone’s mental health, and there are some risks in taking them if you have a family history of psychosis, or if you have certain heart problems. But after doing a lot of research, I wanted to give it a try, and by golly has it been a game changer.

#28 Stopped giving a f**k. About what people think, say, or do. Just do you.

Image source: FijiLover121, Avi Naim / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#29 Realizing a better work/life balance. Not everything can get done that is requested by the deadline.

Image source: 2DamnRoundToBeARock, Windows / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Working from home and not commuting daily.


Daily walks around the neighborhood even if for 10 minutes.

Realizing a better work/life balance. Not everything can get done that is requested by the deadline.

#30 I stopped caring what others think of me.

Image source: groningen1974, Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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health, mental health, mental health journey, mental space, mental wellbeing
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