Our mental health and well-being is much more than the absence of mental disorders. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is an integral part of our health, and certainly, there is no health without mental health. It is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities to deal with the normal stresses of life, and is able to work productively.
Mental health isn’t just about being free from depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems. Rather, being mentally and emotionally healthy means having positive personality traits that can boost your mood, build resilience, and promote your overall well-being.
Researches have shown that people with higher psychological well-being are more likely to live longer and healthier lives. There are various ways to improve your mental health and we’ll be talking about it today.
Why does mental health matter?
You may be familiar with the negative effects stress can have on our bodies. Recently, researchers have also shown that negativity can literally promote the growth of cancerous cells in our bodies. Other physical ailments include increased blood pressure, diabetes, and more.
When we get sick, we do everything to recover from the illness through diet, medication, and supplements. But sadly, most of us never pay enough attention to take care of our mental health.
Our mental health is the way we feel about ourselves and others, as well as our ability to deal with the difficulties in our life. It impacts every element of our lives, from our personal relationships with near and dear ones to our performance at work. It can even affect our ability to sleep well and feel positive emotions such as happiness, gratitude, and fulfillment.
Caring for our mental health is a crucial part of our lives. In this article, we will help you explore simple and effective ways with which you can improve and take control of your mental health and well-being.
Ways To Improve Your Mental Health and Well-being:
1. Adopt a Healthy Diet
Every meal is an opportunity to nourish your whole body, including your brain. The kind of food you eat determines how well your mind and body function. Unhealthy eating habits can adversely affect your mood, disrupt your sleep, and weaken your immune system.
Adopting a healthy diet can be a great part of your overall treatment, without a second thought. The best nutritional plan is to have a varied diet with plenty of nutritious stuff like fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, green veggies, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids; while cutting down on the sugar along with packaged and processed foods.
2. Develop a Healthy Sleep Habit
Various researches have shown that sleep deprivation causes significant negative effects on your mental health. It not only amplifies emotional and psychological problems but also affects your hormones and increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Developing a healthy sleeping habit is crucial for optimal health. Quality sleep at night isn’t just about shutting your eyes off for 7-8 hours. It is about getting the restful sleep that helps you be energetic and productive during the day. Make a habit to reserve your bedtime only for sleep while putting aside your work and shutting down the screens.
Also read: 6 Positive Ways To Help You Sleep Better
3. Do Exercise Regularly
Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression, and its impact on your overall health cannot be emphasized enough. Your body and your mind are essentially linked together, and you know that very well. When you exercise, your body releases stress-relieving endorphins. It uplifts your mood, makes you feel more relaxed, and helps you sleep better.
When you feel stressed, your brain gets negatively affected and due to its connections, the rest of the body gets affected as well. Researchers have shown that participating regularly in aerobic exercise, even for 30 minutes, decreases overall levels of tension stabilizes your mood, and improves your self-esteem.
4. Learn Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that has been linked to multiple benefits, including an increased level of happiness and focus, reduced stress, and better resilience. It can positively change your perspective about life and how you approach its challenges.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to be more present in the moment, instead of dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. You learn to listen to and accept your thoughts and feelings that arise within you. It is a practice that requires dedication, and over time, you will start to feel better and become more self-aware.
Also read: 5 Meditation Techniques For Beginners
5. Connect With Others & Build Relationships
Man is a social animal and our relationships give us a sense of belonging. Right now, more people are feeling isolated than ever in the US. Studies have shown that loneliness and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Hard to believe, right? But, it’s true.
Being around positive people can uplift your mental well-being. It provides you an opportunity to share positive experiences and gives you emotional support. Focus on strengthening the relationship that you already have with your close ones, as well as expanding and building deeper connections with the wider world through other people.
6. Practice Self Care and Gratitude
Taking time to care for your mental and emotional health is important. Self-care includes doing things that make you feel good about yourself, such as reading books, watching movies, getting restful sleep, exercising, doing meditation, or even learning more about a subject. It fuels your mind and keeps it away from stress and anxiety.
More recently, it has been scientifically validated that expressing gratitude can improve your mental or psychological well-being. Whether you send a letter to tell people how much you appreciate them or simply take a moment to silently acknowledge in your heart the things you have, expressing gratitude will keep you focused on positive things in life every day.
7. Find a Meaningful Purpose in Life
Living your life with meaningful purpose is a revolutionary thing. It fills you with energy and vitality as well as increases your life satisfaction. In terms of medical science, finding a meaningful purpose is essential to your mental health as it helps in rewiring your brain cells and forging new neural connections.
Your purpose doesn’t really have to mean changing the entire world. Instead, it could be as delicate as being kind to people every day. If you feel your life lacks a higher purpose, just don’t worry. There’s always a way for everything if there’s a will. Just think about how you’d like to be remembered at the end and work towards those goals. This will give you a good reason to get out of bed, beyond earning money.
You’ve got all the power to develop healthy habits that can nurture your mental and emotional well-being. You just have to realize it. Pick up the things from this article that resonate the most with you. Write them down and gradually start working on them.
Make sure to begin by setting small and realistic goals in your everyday life. This way, you will be able to see the positive impacts these practices will have on your mental health.
Hello reader, I’m Abhishek Shankhwar, a passionate health enthusiast and a digital marketer by profession. As a health and wellness writer, I feel obligated to inform, inspire, and reach out to so many people. In the meantime, you’ll always find me reading books, writing inspiring content, and cooking delicious food. Connect with me on LinkedIn.