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How to Take Care of Your Mental Health?

Take Care of Your Mental Health

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Overview

Mental health problems are probably a lot more common than you think. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 450 million people worldwide who are suffering from a mental illness. The statistics indicate that 1 in 4 people will have mental health problems at some point in their lifetime.

During the quarantine period, many people have suffered from mental health issues. The stress of staying inside, possible unemployment, having to take over children’s education, and other related situations can lead to anxiety and depression.

Many people don’t seek out medical care of any kind when they experience these feelings. If you do suffer from mental health problems, it’s imperative to discuss these issues with a doctor. There is help available in the form of counseling, medical care, and medication.

It’s also important to take care of your well-being in other ways since a healthy lifestyle can greatly enhance psychological wellness. Besides seeking medical care, there are many things you can do on your own to improve your mental health.

Tips for Improving Your Mental Health

Sleep Well

1. Sleep Well:

Many people who suffer from mental health problems have trouble with disrupted sleep. A study in Lancet Psychiatry found that insomnia is, in fact, one of the biggest causal factors in the development of mental health problems.

Getting a good night’s sleep every night is vital in supporting mental health. To help get to sleep, set a regular bedtime routine for yourself, and try to sleep and wake at the same time every day. This helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

2. Follow a Nutritious Diet:

Consuming a healthy, nutritious diet is very important for good mental health. What you eat regulates your brain health, as it contributes to the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin which controls your mood. It also helps your gut health, meaning how well your body processes food. Poor gut health can contribute to low mood [1].

For a healthy diet, avoid refined sugars and processed foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and include foods that support cognitive health. Some of the best brain foods include omega-3 fatty acids that you get from fish, lentils, bananas, sweet potatoes, and kefir [2].

No to Alcohol

3. Go Substance Free:

Research shows a strong connection between drinking alcohol, smoking, and doing drugs with psychiatric disorders in both adults and younger people [3]. A study in Addictive Behaviour Reports found that adolescents who drank alcohol in the last month had a 70% chance of suffering from psychological distress.

If you want to support your psychiatric health, try to stay away from these substances, and go natural. This will also have the effect of enhancing your physical health, which supports overall mental well-being.

4. Spend Time in the Sun:

Being out in the sun is always important, but it’s particularly helpful when you’re suffering. We get Vitamin D from the sun, and research indicates that levels of this substance are strongly related to mental health.

According to Issues in Mental Health Nursing, low levels of Vitamin D are linked to depression. You can take Vitamin D supplements, but you should also get outside and engage in some activities you enjoy doing.

Lower Your Stress Levels

5. Lower Your Stress Levels:

Stress can have a very negative impact on mental health. There are many ways to calm your mind & body. Meditation and mindfulness have proven to be helpful techniques in this regard.

A review of the research published in Clinical Psychology Review found that mindfulness brought about positive psychological changes including “increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and improved behavioral regulation.”

You may also experience stress relief with Yin Yoga, which is a deeply meditative practice that targets your muscles and connective tissue. It’s slow, giving you a chance to really focus on what you’re experiencing in your mind and body. Research in PLOS ONE demonstrated that this practice increased psychological health in distressed adults.

6. Be Active:

The relationship between good mental health and exercise is well-documented. In addition, exercise can improve your brain health by improving circulation. An article published in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggested that aerobic activity like jogging, swimming, walking, and dancing can lessen depression and anxiety.

One of the most important things about staying active is to choose something you love to do, be it a sport, running, or anything else you love that keeps your body moving. Engage in some kind of physical movement at least 3 or 4 times a week, and you could see your mood improve.

Enjoy Every Moment

7. Have Fun:

There’s nothing much better for your mental health than getting up and going to enjoy some of the things you love to do. You may have additional time now during the quarantine, so it’s the perfect moment to indulge in the hobbies you love but never seem to find time for.

8. Talk to People and Socialize:

Being around the people you care about and who bring you joy is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. We need others for our psychological well-being. If you’re feeling low, don’t keep to yourself all of the time. This will only exacerbate the issue.

A study published in Electron Physician found that social support is an extremely important aspect of mental health. The results showed this is especially crucial for women, the elderly, workers, and students.

 Help Other People

9. Help Other People:

Helping others can support your own mental health because it makes you feel good about yourself. The joy of knowing you’ve made someone else’s life a little better can really do wonders for your own sense of well-being.

There are many ways you can do this. Look into volunteering in your local community. You can also have a look at the people around you and see where you can contribute. During the pandemic, there are many people who need extra help.

You may have an elderly or disabled neighbor who needs assistance with errands, for example. Open your eyes to what others are going through, and it will likely help you feel better about yourself.

10. Seek Out Help:

One of the most important things to do when you’re suffering from mental health problems is to ask the people around you for help. Confide in your friends and family and accept their support.

In addition, you should seek out resources in your community. Talk to your doctor about getting counseling, and other possible options. Knowing that there are people and medical care around to support you is in itself very helpful in dealing with your emotions.

11. Explore the Meaning of Existence:

Looking for your own personal meaning and the purpose of your life is important in good mental health. Human beings need to feel that there’s a larger reason for their existence.

If you have religious beliefs, this may be part of your exploration. However, you don’t have to be devout to explore greater meaning. It’s a question of figuring out your special contribution to the world.

Love Yourself

12. Accept Yourself:

It sounds simple, but it’s not all that easy to come to accept yourself for who you are and love yourself. It’s a lifelong process that’s crucial to work on because it’s vital to your mental health.

Ask the people close to you what qualities they appreciate about you, to remind you why you’re special. Then make your own list of the things that you like about yourself and your accomplishments. Look at it often; especially when you are having doubts and low self-esteem.

Mental Health Questions and Answers

Q: What are the five signs of good mental health?

A: Some of the signs of positive mental health include the ability to form and develop good relationships with other people, the ability to learn from experience, the ability to deal well with change, the ability to express a range of emotions and deal with them appropriately, and the ability to realize your potential [4].

Q: How do you maintain good mental health?

A: There are various ways to calm your mind and body and improve your mental health. Some examples may involve practicing meditation, writing in a journal, listening to music that calms you, or engaging in breathing activities for relaxation.

Q: How can I improve my mental health without medication?

A: The best ways to maintain good mental health without medication are exercising, eating a nutritious diet, spending time with others, and doing things that give you joy.

Q: What are the best foods for mental health?

A: Avoid processed foods and sugars for good mental health. Include some of the best brain foods, examples of which are fatty fish, berries, walnuts, and green, leafy vegetables [5]. Other foods that are good for mental wellness include yogurt, beans, and whole grains [6].

Q: How can I be mentally happy and healthy?

A: There are many ways to enhance your mental health so you can be happier. Take care of your body by eating well and being active, and look for ways to reduce your stress levels. You can do mindfulness and meditation, or you may find some stress relief with Yin Yoga.

Conclusion

Taking care of your mental health is crucial for overall well-being and happiness in life. It’s imperative to speak with your doctor if you are having mental health problems so you can begin to find solutions.

However, various non-medicinal ways can greatly improve your well-being. These include being active and following a nutritious diet, being around others, helping people, doing the things you love to do, and finding methods to lower the amount of stress in your life.

The path of life can be tough and sometimes fraught with obstacles. But there are things you can do to make it better. Try some of these suggestions, and your life could immensely improve. Recovery is possible.

Author

Melissa Feldman

Health and Wellness Writer

Melissa Feldman lives in Toronto, Canada and works as an independent research writer. She spent almost 20 year...

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