5 BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
In this fast-paced world, we often losing track of our mental health in our efforts to improve our physical health and in maintaining positive well-being. But the truth of the matter is that having positive mental health is just as important to our overall well-being. Mental health is the cornerstone of a healthy life and positive well-being. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being; affecting and shaping how we experience everything from daily tasks to physical ailments.
Good mental health provides space for the right frame of mind to help cope with life, positively. It helps us in constructively handling stress, overcome challenges, and help us recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. Strong and positive mental health is not just the absence of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, or other psychological issues, but rather the presence of positive characteristics. Mental health is extremely important at every stage of life, and recognizing problems and actively working to overcome them instead of succumbing to stress is also an essential element of positive mental health.
To be fit and healthy overall begins with taking care of your mental health; be it to cope with a particular mental health problem, or simply to feel more positive and energetic, there are plenty of ways to take control of your mental health, starting today! Here are 5 practices to better your mental health:
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for your physical and mental health. Numerous studies have shown how sleep can affect our mood by regulating the information transmitting-chemicals in our brain. These chemicals are especially important in managing our moods and emotions. The lack of sleep disrupts their functioning, making you feel annoyed, tired, and anxious. Chronic insomnia can increase your risk of getting depression. Additionally, researchers have stressed the importance of sleep quality over quantity. Too little sleep (less than eight hours) or too much sleep (more than 12 hours) can result in higher depressive symptoms and lower well-being, but sleep quality significantly outweighed quantity in promoting mental health and well-being. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure you have a regular sleep schedule and get enough quality sleep every night.
Shutting down digital screens for at least an hour before bed, avoiding heavy foods and caffeinated drinks at night can assist in this effort. Also, switching from regular tea or coffee to a refreshing herbal tea, like our Daily Calm Tea which is specifically made to help relieve stress and anxiety, can be a great help in promoting quality sleep.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity and exercise are some of the most vital factors in promoting positive overall health, and they are especially essential in determining mental wellness. Exercise has been known to affect our moods and happiness. Be it intense or moderate, exercise helps releases stress-relieving and mood-boosting endorphins chemicals in the body and brain that can help put you in a good mood. Being active is a proven natural mood elevator, self-esteem booster, and makes you feel, sleep, and concentrate better. It is an excellent antidote for stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, exercise also aids with weight loss, strengthens muscles, and boosts energy-- all beneficial and vital for healthy and positive well-being.
Exercise does not have to be confined only to hitting the gym or doing heavy sports. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy- gardening, a walk in the park, housework, etc. It is also recommended that one should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity at least five days a week.
- Eat Well
Eating well is not only important for your physical health, but it is also important for your mental health. What you eat can have a long-lasting impact on your mental health. Your brain needs an ample amount of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. Lack of a nutritious balanced diet not only affects your brain, but also disrupts your sleep, lowers your energy, and weakens your immune system. That is why it is important to include a diet that is healthy and beneficial to your brain. A diet that benefits your physical health also benefits your mental health.
Caffeine, alcohol and sugar can have an immediate unhealthy effect on your brain. Cutting down on these items can be a great way to help boost your mental health. Also, switching to a wholesome natural diet instead of processed or junk foods can give you more energy, improve your sleep and mood, and help you to look and feel your best.
- Connect With Others
Human beings are social creatures by nature, and it is important to have strong, healthy relationships with others. Make an effort to talk to people and maintain relationships whenever you get the chance. You may find it hard and challenging, but there is nothing better than having someone who supports and listens to you. Communicating with someone who cares about you is the greatest way to calm your nerves and relieve stress. Interacting with others can easily put the brakes on damaging stress responses like “fight-or-flight.” It also releases stress-busting hormones, making you feel better even if you are unable to alter the stressful situation itself.
Having friends and family is important not just for your self-esteem, but also for providing support when you are feeling down. Also, there is nothing better than interacting with someone face-to-face. It helps you boost your confidence and lets you live in the moment. But this is not always possible. Give them a call, drop them a text or chat with them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open. It is good for you!
- Do Something You Enjoy
Doing something that you enjoy is a great way to boost self-esteem and beat stress. It is important to take a timeout from your busy schedule once in a while and partake in things that spark joy and interest in you. Concentrating on personal hobbies like sketching, playing the guitar, gardening, or dancing can help you forget your worries for a while and lighten your mood. It is important to make time just for yourself without having to worry about others.
An hour of painting lets you express yourself creatively and relax your mind. A walk at the park gets you active and energized, and gives you the chance to meet new people.
What you are willing to do and sacrifice for can make all the difference when it comes to improving your mental health. The power to manifest is in you, and the sooner you start working on it, the better you will feel. Do not wait until you are in a crisis to make your mental health a priority. Try to make these simple practices a habit while you are able and strong. It can come in handy when you need it most. Slowly putting in place routines, habits, and regular patterns will help you feel better through gradual change.