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Ever felt depressed for no reason at all? It happens to all of us partly due to environmental factors and partly due to the way we feel. Feelings, emotions, and behavior depend on mental health. Your ability to cope with stress, build relationships, solve problems, and overcome hardships and setbacks are all dependent on your mental health.
Good mental health must not be confused with the absence of mental problems. No one can be completely free of psychological issues; it is the presence of positive characteristics that make up a strong character. A balanced lifestyle is indispensable for mental health. It includes exercising 3-4 times a week and eating healthy. Are common fitness options not working out for you? Workout wherever, whenever, and however you please with FITPASS. Get personalized consultation from expert nutritionists for customized daily diet plans with FITFEAST.
- Jolly and fun to be around
- Ability to deal with stress
- Effectively overcoming adversities
- Having a sense of purpose and an inclination towards meaningful things
- Flexibility to change and adapt
- Balanced lifestyle
- High self-esteem and confidence
- Ability to build and maintain relationships
The company of others is necessary to function well in addition to working on your mental and emotional health. Humans need emotional relationships and positive connections because we’re social creatures. It is virtually impossible for humans to exist in isolation. Companionship is a need in all phases of life barring chronic mental illnesses.
Face-to-face interaction is essential for killing stress as compared to phone calls and social networking. Meet that ‘good listener’ in your group who won’t judge or criticize you is important. Schedule meet-ups with friends and other loved ones. Reaching out is essential to maintain mental peace.
Working out is as good for the brain as it is for the body; they’re both interconnected. Keeping physically fit will automatically improve your mental health. Gym workout or any other fitness regime releases endorphins – a brain chemical that lifts the mood and helps maintain energy levels as well. Physical activity helps relieve stress and improves memory.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of working out; moderate exercise every day is enough. Even taking a walk in the morning or after dinner can be helpful. However, the better the workout, the better the results. Try to workout for 30 minutes 4-5 days every week. Start with routines such as swimming, cycling, cardio, etc. that work the entire body. Most importantly, focus on the exercise and your breathing instead of your problems.
Stress is the root of many problems, both mental and emotional. Stress cannot be avoided all the time but luckily it can be managed. Meet your close ones and interact face-to-face to calm yourself. The “fight or flight” response can be activated if you interact with someone you don’t agree with or don’t know well enough, especially when feeling anxious.
Everyone has a few sensory pleasures that calm him or her. It could be a song, the smell of coffee or essential oils, or even squeezing a stress ball. If you don’t have one, try to identify something that calms your nerves, which will help you to relieve anxiety.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Indulging in your favorite activities without any reason will make you feel good. Take a walk in a beautiful park, read an uplifting book, watch a funny movie, etc.
Knowing the kind of food you eat and how it affects your thinking abilities and feelings can take you a long way. Unhealthy foods will, without exception, change your mood for the worse, disrupt sleep, and decrease energy levels in addition to adversely affecting the immune system. Switch to a low-sugar and healthy-fat diet for all-day-long energy and jolly mood. Think about which foods suit you best depending on your health and genetics and cut down on unhealthy fats.
Caffeine, trans fats, foods with preservatives, high-sugar foods, fried foods, refined carbs, etc. will make you feel low. Whereas, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fatty fish, nuts, avocados, beans, fresh fruits, and leafy greens will uplift your mood.
A busy life leads to incomplete sleep, which causes many problems. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity. Ever felt unusually cranky after sleeping a few hours lesser than usual? Incomplete sleep affects concentration, energy, mood, and your ability to handle stress. Prolonged sleep deprivation can even lead to a mental breakdown.
Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, which helps your brain unwind from the events of the day. Switch off your TV, laptop, and tablet and keep your phone away at least a couple of hours before bedtime. It is easier said than done but stop troubling yourself over all the problems before going to bed. Take a warm bath, read something light, and listen to soothing music to feel sleepy. Ensure that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
Smoking and drinking affect mental health, even though they might not be associated with excessive withdrawal symptoms. The next day is often full of anxiety and depression when you have a few drinks the night before; it is hard to concentrate as well. Thiamine deficiency, which can lead to coordination and eye problems, confusion and memory problems, is often associated with excessive drinking for prolonged periods.
When it comes to other drugs, even the most occasional use will cause anxiety and low mood for considerable periods. According to research and studies, drug abuse is related to severe mental disorders like schizophrenia.
Failure to improve mood and emotional activity for long after trying everything possible means you need to seek professional help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help for mental problems.
“The first step in solving a problem is realizing there is one.”
Though it is quite hard, you must allow denial to give way for the realization that you might have become addicted (for no obvious fault of your own) to a certain substance that interferes with your daily life. If it’s hard for you, confide in someone you trust to help you consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
In the end, remember that every problem can be solved if you make an effort and stay positive.