When considering personal growth, the majority of us tend to focus on physical health and overlook mental health. These two aspects of our health are intricately linked; therefore one affects the other and our overall quality of life. Mental health plays a crucial role in determining how you perform in your everyday life. How you act, think, interact, and behave; it all comes down to your mental health.
Changes in lifestyle can invoke some much-needed variations in your life. These may also reduce the risk of developing a plethora of illnesses that you may be prone to. Following is a comprehensive list of 7 lifestyle changes that can help you live a mentally healthy life.
Table of Contents
Change your Diet
Diet plays an integral role in your mental as well as physical health. It affects your memory, concentration, alertness, mood, and performance. Each food comes with its own set of nutrients that play a role in hormone synthesis and control. Adequate nutrition can prevent or slow down the deteriorative process of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia. It may improve your symptoms which helps in maintaining a better quality of life.
For improved brain function, it is advised that you eat food that is rich in iron, magnesium, vitamin B, zinc, and antioxidants. It is recommended to consume a fair portion of carbs with every meal as they regulate your mood as well as energy levels. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet as they are potent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Adopting a plant-based diet has been shown to aid in weight loss as well.
Make sure to have a good supply of unsaturated fats in your diet which can be derived from fatty fish, nuts, eggs, and vegetable-based oils. Brain tests have revealed that people with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to develop depression. The better-rounded your diet is, the more beneficial it will be for you.
The trick is to keep a balance and eat everything in moderation. Make sure to devise a complete, well-rounded diet plan that is healthy for you and also does not leave you feeling cranky or irritable.
Exercise has been studied to produce drastic results in those battling with mental health issues. Exercise does not mean hitting the gym every single day of the week. Even a casual stroll in the park can do wonders for your health in the long run. Exercise also boosts endorphins which regulate your body’s serotonin levels which in turn make you feel good. Thus, exercise can reduce your risk of developing depression.
Exercise keeps your weight under control. Mental illness medication comes with a side effect of weight gain. The extra weight is not only unhealthy as it increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease, but it also leads to mental distress.
Start exercising from home. Look up for effective exercises and find ways to incorporate more activities in your daily routine. Do more chores or just go out for a walk outdoors for a breather. To avoid any risks, be sure to consult a doctor before you start a new intensive training routine.
Find Stress Busters
Everyone deals with stress differently. Stress can aggravate your symptoms which can be incredibly damaging to not just your mental health but also your physical health. Find ways to deal with stress that work for you. A great way to deal with stress is by meditation.
Meditation is a tried and tested way of relaxing the mind and clearing any thoughts that may be clouding your judgment. A simple half an hour session of meditation daily can improve your mental resilience and allow you to deal with stress better. Yoga is also great for stress busting. Yoga enriches the blood circulation in the body and allows your body to become more flexible. Not to ignore the fact that yoga is a great workout as it burns a lot of calories.
Proper sleep is crucial for your wellbeing. A lack of proper sleep can result in stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been said to result in various health issues. These include heart diseases and the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Devise a proper sleep schedule for yourself. Uninterrupted sound sleep can do wonders for your physical as well as mental health. Avoid heavy meals before going to bed as they may lead to indigestion and thus, improper sleep. The sounder your sleep is, the better you will feel.
Keep a Journal
The inability to express our emotions fully is perhaps an important stress-inducing aspect of our daily life. Owing to varying circumstances, we often find ourselves in a place where we are unable to let others know how we are feeling. This forces us to keep our emotions bottled up inside. Over time, these emotions can take a toll on us and make us feel resentful, agitated, frustrated, or aggravated.
Instead of keeping everything bottled up inside, write it down on a journal and keep track of your thoughts. So what if you cannot say everything out loud? Write it down on paper, so it is out of your mind. Tracking your thoughts will not only alleviate your burden, but it also will enable you to identify your triggers. Once you know what it is that bothers you; you can actively avoid such situations.
Pick a Hobby
Whether it is art, music, knitting, swimming or anything in between; hobbies are vital for your happiness. They allow you to relieve your stress constructively. Owing to your hectic schedules, you often find it hard to get time for yourself. Hobbies enable you to prioritize yourself and give you a chance to breathe and relax. Permit yourself to indulge in something for your happiness. Challenge yourself to do better while having fun. Hobbies are the best way to learn more about yourself.
Every once in a while it is good to get unplugged from the world and give yourself some solitary time. Detox from everything around you to reflect and think. You only manage to get a clear picture of your thoughts when they are uninterrupted and unbothered. Give yourself time to relax and unwind. Introspection enables you to become more self-aware and resilient so if you wish to improve your mental health, allow yourself to detox.
Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. Your perception of the world affects your decisions, actions, and personality. If your perception is faltered because of environmental stressors, you will never be able to experience anything in its true sense. To make sure you live a mentally healthy life, incorporate these lifestyle changes in your daily routine for the best results.
One of the greatest changes you can make in your life is to begin working with a therapist. You can find a therapist online or near you at thrivetalk.com.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia