Mental health in 2019 is a widely discussed topic. Many are fighting for the stigma to be lifted, and for mental health to be discussed more freely. The overall psychological well-being of an individual is extremely important as it dictates not only the way you feel about yourself but also the way you feel about others, as well as, your ability to deal with feelings and manage the day to day tasks. There are numerous ways you can improve your mental health, besides seeking professional support. Making some small changes will positively impact your life, help to improve your mood, and also build resilience.
Be kind to yourself
Research has shown that the way we think about ourselves can have a dramatic effect on how we feel. If we perceive our lives negatively, then we are more likely to experience bias, that will affirm this notion. Instead, using positive self-talk and phrases that promote feelings of self-worth and personal power are far more beneficial to our mental health, as difficult as it may seem. Shifting the way that we think is half of the battle, therefore attempting to change these negative thoughts, and instead of putting a more positive spin will be more beneficial to us in the long run.
Set clear priorities
If you are constantly finding your mind flicking through different scenarios for the future, all just as vague as the last one, then the chances are you need to set yourself realistic targets. These can be short term or long term, however, they need to be realistic and achievable. If it helps, you can separate professional goals with personal goals, which will help you maintain focus, and stop your mind from racing through different variations of the future. Having career goals will help you maintain focus at work, and having personal goals will help you keep your emotions in line. Another benefit to making clear priorities is the sense of accomplishment that will hopefully come along when they are completed. This will give a small boost to your confidence, as well as give the impression that you are making progress, and improve your feelings of self-worth.
Focus on one thing
Being mindful of what is happening in the present moment can facilitate letting going of any negative inhibitions, as well as difficult emotions from the past that may be weighing on our conscience. Mindfulness in itself is an entire concept that requires a lot of practice to successfully accomplish living in the moment, however, there are small steps that you can take to begin focusing on one thing at once. Pay much more attention to particular activities that may seem routine, such as taking a shower. Really focus on what you are doing, e.g. what temperature it is on, how long you have spent washing your hair, things of that nature. Also notice the sounds, smells, and tastes of these routine activities. It can be difficult at first, as your mind will definitely wander onto other topics, however, the more you practice the less this will occur, just continue to focus on the smaller activities. Practicing this every day will eventually lead to you being able to focus your mind on one thing and should lead to a general improvement in your mental health.
Eat a good meal
Your brain needs nourishment as much as the rest of your body, which is why when talking about mental health, it is extremely important to discuss your diet. In moderation, carbohydrates have been shown to increase our serotonin levels; serotonin is a chemical that is well known to have a calming effect on your mood. Foods that are rich in protein increase a number of chemical messengers, such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and tyrosine, which help to keep your mind stimulated. It is also common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that aid almost all of the cells within your body, more specifically those impacting your mood-regulating brain chemicals. To round off a well-balanced diet you will also need foods that are rich in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as fish and nuts. It is well documented that the nutrients found within these foods directly impacts mood, and restores the structural integrity required within the brain cells for basic cognitive functions.
It has been found that meditation alters the way your brain works, and the way your body responds to stress. This can be hugely beneficial when attempting to deal with mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Meditation could now be considered mainstream, with many individuals looking to incorporate meditation as part of their daily, or weekly routine. Studies have shown that it can be used to reduce stress, and also has found that, ideally, you should aim for around ten minutes per day, four or fives times a week. The main thing is to be consistent. It links into mindfulness as well, as it can help you maintain focus on one specific aspect, that you have complete control of.
Get enough sleep
Sleep can be as important to our mental health as our diet. It is the time when our body can repair itself, and our brain is able to consolidate memories. As has been documented plenty previously, poor sleep is directly correlated with physical problems, such as a weakened immune system. It is also linked to mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Simply adjusting the light in your room an hour before you sleep so that it is slightly dimmer, can help you to get not only more sleep but also a better quality of sleep. Adjusting eating and drinking routines will also be beneficial to your sleeping routine, which should, as a result, help to have a positive impact on your mental health.
Liyana Perry is a writer at spa-hotels.ie, she has a passion for writing
blogs about natural health and spirituality. She enjoys long walks with a
breeze and finding ways to make dessert healthy.
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