What can busy adults do to maintain or improve their mental health? The good news is that even those who have pressurized jobs or are juggling financial responsibilities can make headway with mental well-being. There are dozens of effective, practical ways to maximize the satisfaction you get from life. Joining a support group is a prime example that millions of adults have used to deal with addictions, personal losses, and major challenges.

8 Ways to Maximize Mental Health &
8 Ways to Maximize Mental Health & Well-Being Pixabay

Other tactics for ramping up psychological well-being include extending a helping hand to someone who needs a cosigner on a college loan, keeping a daily journal of thoughts and feelings, getting a yearly physical exam for peace of mind, taking a stress test, meditating each morning, or evening, socializing with others, engaging in run recreational activities, and steering clear of addictive substances and behaviors. Consider these suggestions for boosting and maintaining mental well-being.

Join a Support Group

The national system of formal and informal support groups is extensive. Regardless of the kind of issue you face, there's almost certainly a support group for it. If in doubt, contact a local social service agency and let them know what you need. They will be able to direct you to a local or online group that meets regularly. Some of the largest and best attended group sessions include those for alcoholism, gambling addictions, hard drugs, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), weight loss, anger management, and excessive spending.

Help Someone Get Funding for College

In many situations, the best remedy for an emotional lull or feeling of malaise is to do a good deed for another person. Serving as a cosigner on someone's college loan application is a direct and impactful way to increase the applicant's chances of getting money for school. If you choose to be an Earnest student loan cosigner for a friend, employee, child, or sibling, your help can change their lives forever. It can also give you a deep sense of satisfaction.

Keep a Journal

Journaling became a trend back in the 1970s, and it's still going strong. The practice has all sorts of potential therapeutic effects. Some say that the mere act of writing down a few daily thoughts is an effective way of letting pent up emotions come to the surface. Others have discovered that regular journaling, which is close to making entries in a diary, helps them sort out their feelings and come to terms with negative events in the past. Diaries, in one form or another, have been around for centuries, so there's probably a deep-seated reason that human beings find relief in putting their daily thoughts on paper.

Get an Annual Physical

Get in the habit of seeing a medical doctor at least once per year, no matter your age or state of health. Prevention is the goal, and modern medicine does a commendable job of identifying serious illnesses well in advance. If you don't have a regular PCP (primary care physician), speak with a local social service agency to obtain a list of doctors who are accepting new patients.

Meditate Regularly

Meditation can serve as a stress release valve for the human brain. Some explore daily meditation after going through an intense emotional ordeal. Others find that the practice calms their nerves as they face and deal with serious physical illnesses. But you don't have to be in dire straits to get benefits from meditating. Many spend between 15 and 60 minutes each morning or evening in meditative silence. Others chant, pray, contemplate, or focus on visual images while they put their minds at ease and let the worries of everyday life wash away. Meditation can be religious or secular. The primary advantage of regular sessions is that they can help minimize stress and bring a sense of calm to any person's life.


Maintaining contact with other human beings is good for the soul, mind, emotions, and body. Humans are social creatures by nature, which is why most adults voluntarily get together with friends, coworkers, and neighbors on a regular basis. Living a healthful life means having friends with whom you can talk and enjoy leisure time. Isolation tends to breed negative attitudes, less physical activity, and a sedentary existence. Make a point to join at least one club purely for the purpose of socializing with other members. In today's online culture, in-person contact is more important than ever. Explore clubs and organizations that get together regularly for movie watching, dining out, bowling, playing games, going dancing, or discussing books.

Get Physical Recreation

The human body and brain are connected in more ways than most people suspect. Getting enough physical activity in daily life can go a long way toward creating a foundation of mental well-being and long-term happiness. Choices include sports teams, daily walks, occasional hikes, and swimming. Always clear exercise programs and other new activities with your doctor. Engage in commonsense recreation that is safe, inexpensive, and fun. In fact, enjoyment is a key ingredient that can help people stay consistent with whatever they do. Consider building a morning or evening walk into the daily schedule. Explore joining a neighborhood or work-based sports league or hiking on scenic trails each weekend.

Avoid Addictive Substances & Behaviors

There's no faster way to put your mental health in jeopardy than to get caught up in the web of addiction. Note that many of these problems refer to substances like alcohol, hard drugs, and cigarettes. Numerous behavioral traps are just as dangerous. They include excessive gambling, spending, and risk taking. The simplest tactic for dealing with the potential downside of all such activities is prevention. If you have never smoked or used drugs, don't begin just to go along with the crowd. There's nothing to be gained by adding tobacco or liquor to your life if you currently don't indulge. The same is true for hard or soft drugs, whether they're legal or not. Unfortunately, it's extremely easy to become addicted to harmful behaviors and substances, but quite difficult to break out of a lifestyle of addiction.