Alternative Therapies for Mental Health

By Elena M. Aslanides-Kandis on August 29, 2023

6 Holistic Outlets to Improve Your Mental Health & Wellbeing

More and more people are realizing how important our mental health is to our overall wellbeing. While traditional medical treatments play an integral role in maintaining good mental health, holistic mental health outlets provide a complementary approach. Though not a substitute for professional help, these outlets offer unique strategies to improve your mental and overall health. 

These alternative therapies for mental health range from free, self-implemented strategies to paid therapies, with each having its own set of benefits. The biggest advantage of these outlets is their accessibility for a wide range of people. 

6 Holistic Outlets for Mental Health

Before we dig in, please note: These ideas do not substitute for medical advice. Please discuss them and alternative treatments with a mental health professional. 

Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise releases endorphins—natural mood boosters—in the body. Try regular physical activity, like running, yoga, biking or a leisurely walk. This will help manage stress, improve sleep, and boost your overall mood. 

Mental Health & Nature

Get a two-for-one mood booster by taking your physical activity outside. Spending time outdoors—surrounded by nature and fresh air—can soothe your mind. Whether physical activities like hiking, or something more relaxing like a picnic in the park or gardening, spending time in nature is a great stress relief. 

Mental Health & Nutrition

Food is fuel for both the body and the mind. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and unsaturated fats provides essential nutrients that help the brain function. This will influence a better mood and improve energy levels. 

Equally important: Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  

Art Therapy Benefits

Creative outlets for mental health—like painting, writing, dancing or music—can be excellent stress relievers. They allow for self-expression, help in understanding and managing emotions and provide a sense of accomplishment.  

Working with your hands can become a meditative activity, which brings us to…  

Meditation for Mental Health

Practices like mindfulness and meditation help train the mind to focus, reduce anxiety and manage stress. They encourage being present in the moment and have shown to improve mental health over time. 

Try the Stark County Mindfulness Walk > 

Support Groups & Positive Relationships

Connecting with others and forming supportive relationships can have profound effects on mental health. Mental health support groups offer a safe space to share experiences. On the other hand, getting together with friends or joining local interest groups helps alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

How to Incorporate These Mental Outlets into Daily Life

Successfully incorporation of these mental health outlets into your daily life relies on a few key principles. 

First, identify what works for you. Some people might find peace in painting, while others might feel recharged after a run. It’s essential to identify what best serves your needs. 

Next, don’t do something just because you’ve been told it’s good for you or because people you know are doing it. When you sincerely follow a practice, it will yield the most benefits over a longer period of time. 

Finally, start slow. There’s no need to overwhelm yourself by trying to incorporate everything at once. Start with one and gradually add more if and when you feel ready. 

Find Mental Health Resources Near You

Holistic mental health outlets provide an excellent way to improve your mood, boost your energy, and support your overall health. And because you can tailor them to your own needs, they can be fun and fulfilling.   

We encourage you to explore these options to find what works best for you. And, if you’re looking for more mental health resources in Stark County, Ohio, visit 

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