The old proverb says that prevention is the best medicine, and it works the same for our mental health.
Slowly but surely, we’re breaking the mindset that well-being is only about physical health. People are becoming aware of the fact that they need to take care of their minds, especially if they lead a high-paced lifestyle.
External factors play a huge part in our mental health – we can be under a lot of pressure from different spheres of our lives, we fear being judged or misunderstood, we get stuck in toxic relationship cycles with parents, partners, or work colleagues.
While some mental health issues are more deep-rooted and should be dealt with using professional help, small things can sometimes help us when we feel down or burdened by negative thoughts.
1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Eating nutritious foods can significantly improve our mental well-being. When we eat healthy food, we’re providing our brain with nutrients that promote happiness and prevent depression. Incorporating more fresh plant-based food into our diet can help your energy regulation.
Exercise is also beneficial. Regular exercise can alleviate anxiety, relieve stress, improve memory, improve sleep, and improve overall mood, according to several studies. Regular exercise is a treatment in treating depression. Exercise stimulates neural development by activating endorphins (the “happy” chemical) and gives us a feeling of wellbeing. Good lifestyle practices, such as exercising and eating well, are the easiest ways to improve mental health.
2. Get enough sleep
We’ll have less energy during the day if we don’t get enough sleep. When we don’t have enough energy, we’ll have less brain capacity to be effective at work, control our relationships, and manage our emotions—all of which can have a detrimental effect.
When we dealing with a loss, studying for college finals, or trying to achieve a tight deadline at work, we’re likely to have trouble sleeping. Stressful conditions can hurt our mental well-being. If we want to be happier, healthier, and more efficient, get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
3. Do what you love
Invest time and effort in our interests, whether professional, a side business, or a hobby. We will experience feelings of pleasure, self-satisfaction, and inspiration when we do whatever we love. It can also boost your self-confidence. Our passions and interests help us develop a stronger sense of self-identity and uniqueness, which is crucial for creating a more optimistic outlook.
4. Use Social Media Consciously
There’s an explanation why today’s youth mentally more overwhelmed than previous generations: social media. Overuse of social media links to a variety of negative consequences, according to several reports. The critical issue is that people on social media make “highlight reels” of their lives. These posts give the false image of what “life should be,” causing envy and unhappiness.
Since we can get sucked into continually checking the app or website to see new content, social media can also trigger anxiety. However, social media isn’t a negative thing. We can try to limit our time spent on it. The first step is to become aware of how much time we spend now on the platforms. The next step is to define our daily distractions from this media.
5. Stay connected
Humans naturally long for a sense of connection and community. Making new friends is a simple way to improve our mental health, even though it happens digitally. Loneliness is a negative emotion, and it can hurt our self-esteem and happiness. Humans are social beings, and having friends is essential.
It is also good to stay connected with nature. Outdoor breaks and fresh air are significant but we need to see some green, too. By being around grass and trees, such as during a short walk, gardening, or even a run, we’re helping our body to alleviate that intense attention strain that many of us experience. So, make sure to be connected with people and also nature!
Remember that our body needs good maintenance. Mental health can not be ignored because the impact can be significant in our daily life. If we’ve made consistent efforts to improve our mental and emotional health and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, or in our relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.
Following these self-help steps will still benefit us, though. In fact, input from a caring professional can often help motivate us to take better care of ourselves.
We cannot become the leaders we want to be, and fulfill our potential if we are constantly fighting a battle inside of us.