This is a collaborative post.

After decades of being seen as less important than physical health and stigmatised, over the past five years, mental health has finally received the spotlight it has long deserved. The continual conversation on the importance of mental health has led millions of people to assess their own mental well-being and, if necessary, seek improvements.

For most, the first port of call for mental health assistance is to visit a doctor and pursue treatment via conventional medical means – and this route should always be the first priority.

However, in addition to this crucial step, many people are seeking additional, supplementary ideas, such as those found at Rolling Paper, that can help to improve mental health and well-being – but unfortunately, doing so can sometimes be a little repetitive.

A number of suggestions for supplementary mental health boosts tend to be mentioned time and time again; exercise, spending time with friends, optimising your sleep, and so on – all of which can be very useful, of course, but not particularly innovative.

If you have wanted to try something different in your journey to improving your mental health, here are a few outside-the-box – but undeniably beneficial – ideas you might want to try…

#1 – Listen to sad songs

Brunette woman looking away from the camera with headphones on

Odd as it may sound, research has indicated that listening to sad songs can actually make people feel more comfortable. There are a few theories for why this is, but the most commonly mentioned is the fact that sad music provides a kind of emotional outlet.

As a result, rather than reaching for cheerful, happy music, consider trying sad music instead – though if doing so makes you feel worse, switch off.

#2 – Spending time alone

For some people, alone time can actually improve their mental health, providing some much-needed R&R that allows for mental recuperation that they struggle to find when surrounded by people.

If you feel that spending more time alone could benefit you, then consider visiting a local cafe or beauty spot solo, or even find out all about isolation tanks and how they may provide the alone time that you need.

#3 – Fake laughter

Brunette woman in white dress standing on beach

Of course, if you can find reasons to laugh genuinely, then do so – but even if nothing is tickling you at a particular point in time, it’s worth laughing anyway.

Numerous studies have shown that the mood-enhancing dopamine rush that fake laughter produces is identical to genuine laughter, so laugh at anything and everything for a simple, enjoyable way to improve your mental health.

#4 – Go fish

Angling may not be the kind of pastime you’ve considered before, but strange as it may sound, there are numerous mental health benefits to spending an afternoon fishing.

If you want to give it a try, it’s usually best to look for a local group you can join; there are plenty of angling clubs dotted around the country, and many offer the chance to rent equipment so you can give the idea a try without fully committing to purchasing all the gear.

In conclusion

For those seeking ways to improve their mental health above and beyond conventional medical treatment, the unusual ideas above are definitely worth a try.

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