Mental health is crucial for leading a healthy life. But, for some, it’s just not an area of their lives that they normally pay attention to. We often develop unhealthy habits in our personal lives that can lead to developing mental health problems. In this blog, we will be exploring the 11 best ways to improve your mental health.
Mental health is a growing issue, with over 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem at any given time.
It’s crucial to balance your physical and mental health, as both are equally important in evaluating our health and happiness.
Improving your mental health or taking self-care is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. It’s an investment by you, in yourself.
Good mental health is key to good relationships, communication, learning, and positively contributing to society. Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Fatigue, Tension, Anger are some of the main factors that affect our mental health negatively.
It’s a good sign that you are here and prioritizing self-care. Here are some of the 11 best ways to improve your mental health.
11 best ways to improve your mental health
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your immune system at the start of the day.
When we exercise, our body reduces the stress hormone cortisol and produces special hormones called endorphin and serotonin. These hormones make us feel more relaxed and pleased and decrease anxiety, depression, and elevating our mood.
Doing 30 minutes of exercise a day for 3-5 days a week can drastically improve your mental health.
Although exercising will not help you get rid of your mental health problems, research has found that it may improve your day and night.
Being consistent and improving yourself day by day is better than doing nothing.
Meditation has been with us for around 3000 years and is one of the simple and best ways to improve your mental health. It has shown a positive and great effect on people’s personalities or well-being.
It’s a practice to help you understand your feelings, make you calm, clear your mind and become more present at the moment.
A study conducted in 2014 shows that meditation has a moderate effect on improving anxiety. It also found that meditating can change the structure of your brain. One of the most popular meditations is mindfulness – focus on your breath, watch it in and out, notice when your mind wanders, and then bring it back. It’s the simple move of mindfulness meditation.
Our brain cannot multitask; rather than working in parallel, our brain works in serial, and this is what mindfulness helps in – It helps us stay focused on one thing at a time.
Meditation is one of the top ways for me to improve my mental health. It has been more than 1.5 years of incorporating mindfulness in my life. I can proudly say that it has profoundly affected me and has helped me be a better version of myself.
A healthy diet not only affects your body but also nourishes your mind. Foods are our main sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. A proper nourished diet provides mental stability to your body.
The reason behind your bad mental health can also be a poor diet. Poor diet has a pronounced effect on our life. It drains both our physical and mental energy.
Try eating live foods; live foods are created through the natural interaction of sun, soil, air, and water.
Always try to fill your plate with some fresh vegetables, fruits or include a salad in your every meal.
Fruits like avocado, kiwi, blueberries are fulfilled with anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant qualities that can drastically enhance your mental health by reducing the effects of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Reducing the use of digital screens
We are all stressed these days, and many people think the major reason for this stress is Social media and digital devices.
Many of us enjoy staying online on social media, but excessive use can lead to anxiety and depression, causing mental health problems.
It goes like this, When we start working on something important, we seem to focus in the beginning, but then our phone rings, and our focus on that work gets lost. It is how these devices or social media works.
They are designed in a way so that they can grab our attention, keep us online, and have us repeatedly checking our screen for updates.
The decision is yours whether you want to continue to spend your time on digital devices or do something you love.
Research has found that sleep deprivation can drastically affect your mood and mental health negatively. Not getting good sleep can make your mental problem worse.
Improper sleep harms your mental and physical health by causing hypertension, depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, etc.
Try to always sleep at a regular time and practice good habits to sleep better. Always remember that it’s not the quantity of sleep; rather, it’s the quality of sleep that is more important. Your sleep should be uninterrupted, so eliminate all distractions before sleeping.
Consuming alcohol in large amounts negatively affects your health. According to the WHO, In 2012, alcohol caused around 3.3 million deaths worldwide — that is more than AIDS, TB, and violence combined –
As soon as you take the first drink, it starts affecting your health by changing your blood pressure and alerting the heart rate. It is the brain that suffers the most from alcohol.
Three particular regions are most affected by alcohol in your brain.
Limbic system: responsible for emotions such as fear and anger.
Cerebral cortex: responsible for thinking, remembering, and learning.
Cerebellum: responsible for motor controlling and balancing in our body.
When you drink alcohol, it affects the brain cells negatively in these regions, causing stress and depression. It also affects the growth of your brain several neurotransmitter systems like dopamine, serotonin, gamma-Aminobutyric acid(GABA), which are the body’s naturally occurring important hormones.
Drinking makes you happy initially, but in the long run, you will have to pay for it.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to quit drinking; rather, you need to drink more responsibly or in moderation, and you are good to go.
Not taking too much pressure
It would be best to put pressure on yourself because sometimes putting pressure on yourself helps you achieve extraordinary things in your life.
It’s not wrong to put pressure on yourself unless it’s not negative pressure. Putting negative pressure or too much pressure on yourself can negatively affect your mental health.
It may lead to stress, anxiety, depression, or in the long run, it may also lead to serious mental health disorders.
Try not to do too much at once. Keep the focus on the one hand at a time, be polite with yourself, and you will do amazing things in whatever you do.
Listen to your favorite music
Don’t just listen to the songs, rather enjoy them. Music works best when you enjoy each beat. I am writing this while listening to and enjoying a beautiful song (Incredible – by James TW).
According to the new report of the Global Council on Brain Health, music positively affects overall well-being, improves mood, and manages stress.
Research shows that music can positively affect the brain’s neurotransmitter system like dopamine and oxytocin(the love hormone). Music may help lower the levels of cortisol(stress hormone) in your body, which may result in improvement of mental health.
Research also shows that listening to music at work can improve overall productivity. If you are unhappy or something eating you, try listening to your favorite music to improve your mood and relieve that feeling of stress and depression.
Forgiving a person who did wrong to you is not easy. Getting angry at them and thinking about them fills you up with negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts in your mind and overthinking about that person may drain your mental power drastically.
Forgiveness is recognized as an important contributor to successful relationships and good health. Research has shown that forgiveness is linked to reduced anxiety, depression, and major mental health disorders.
Learn to spread love by forgiving the people who hurt you.
According to a study by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress levels by 60%. Reading is one of the strongest methods in helping the brain and body calm. Reading a book for only 60 minutes a day makes you smart, calm and can offer you wisdom.
A 2013 study shows that people who read books show fewer symptoms of stress and depression.
If you haven’t incorporated this good habit into your life, then it’s never too late. Read every book like it’s a part of you, and it will take you to amazing places.
Traveling is a great way to escape the stress and commitments of daily life.
The feeling of pre-traveling enhances your mood and fills you with new energy levels.
Traveling offers you to meet new people, learn new things, inherit a new environment, and a lot of challenges that are crucial for you. It also increases your productivity towards your work.
Although traveling doesn’t eliminate the stress or depression from your life, but reduces the impact of these and gives you more strength to handle daily life situations.
With the current pandemic situation, this is the best time to pick one of these ways to improve your mental health or get back on the health track. Always charge your mind with positive thoughts and focus on developing good mental habits.
I hope that by reading this article, you could find ways that may help you improve your mental health. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do land them in the comment box.
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