In terms of health and well-being, it’s painfully clear that we need to look after ourselves physically, I.E watch what we eat, make sure we don’t gain too much fat, ensure we get enough exercise etc, but what about looking after ourselves mentally? Mental health is an absolutely vital component of any healthy living regime, yet sadly it is something that is not addressed anywhere near as much as it should be. One of the main reasons for this is that unfortunately there is a stigma attached to mental health issues, meaning people are ashamed to admit they may be suffering in silence for fear of being judged or ridiculed by their peers. Mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed about, and they are in actual fact, far, far more common than you may have realised. Just to give you a rough idea of how common they are, recent statistics have revealed that over the course of the next twelve months, 1 in 4 people will suffer from some form of mental health issue. What’s even more worrying is that many of them will sadly not be able to seek the help they require, for the reasons we spoke about previously. Maintaining optimal mental health is so, so important and the good news is that there are numerous things you can do that can, and will, help make a difference in an incredibly positive way. Here’s a look at 5 quick and simple methods of boosting your mental health.
Be mindful of your body
Numerous studies have revealed that looking after your body by getting plenty of exercise, eating the right foods, and getting enough sleep can help you to dramatically improve your mental health and well-being in a variety of different ways. You’ve heard the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ and it is absolutely correct. By getting just three hours of exercise each week, and eating more fresh and natural produce, you’re able to substantially improve your mental health and capacity, as well as longevity as well. Remember, mental health issues come in a selection of different forms, and often they cause chain-reactions where one condition can lead to another, which can lead to another, and so on. For example, if you’re overweight you may experience self-esteem issues which, overtime, could lead to stress, anxiety, and/or depression. By eating healthier and exercising more, you will lose weight and keep your body in much better shape, which will have a positive effect on you mentally. On top of that, an unhealthy diet rich in artificial chemicals and preservatives can make you feel lethargic, unmotivated, tired, bloated, and just generally like garbage if truth be told. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables as they’re full of natural goodness. Join a gym, play more sports, or even exercise in the home, and try to cut back on unhealthy lifestyle choices like excessive drinking, smoking, or drug use.
Get more relaxation
If you find yourself constantly flitting from one task to the next, with barely any time to sit down and relax, make sure you address this issue as soon as possible. Of course life can be pretty stressful at times, but often we find ourselves getting ourselves worked up over nothing. Rather than rushing around the home, after having spent time at work, or school, or anywhere else for that matter, try to get more relaxation in the evenings. Read a book, listen to calming music, have a lay down, take a warm bath, or even pamper yourself. Don’t stress about a few pots and pans in the kitchen, they can wait until the morning, instead, focus on relaxing your body and your mind.
Cut out negativity
More and more people these days are actually making a conscious effort to avoid watching the news, or reading newspapers, as they’re often full of negativity, which most of the time, is published and reported with ulterior political motives, making it biased to begin with. The reason is that they’re often a source of negativity. Negativity is contagious, and it has no place in this world whatsoever. If you’re surrounded by friends and/or family members that constantly focus on the bad rather than the good, either try to convince them to change their outlooks on life, or remove them from your life altogether, and instead associated with happy, friendly, upbeat, and positive individuals instead. Rather than listening to people constantly complain and criticize, wouldn’t you rather be around people that are happy, positive, and full of laughter?
Don’t be afraid to seek help
We all go through rough patches where seemingly everything is against us and eventually gets on top of us, making life pretty unpleasant if truth be told. If you ever feel like things are getting on top of you, or even if you simply need to vent, don’t be afraid to seek help. Help can come in the form of a partner, a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger. There are help lines, forums, websites, and specialists that are all there to offer you the help and advice that you require. Most people will go through rough spells and will suffer in silence, bottling up their emotions with no way of venting or releasing. Sometimes all it takes is a long chat to help put things into perspective, and if not, there are trained professionals and people who have been through similar situations, that will also be able to offer you help and advice.
Do more of what you love
If you enjoy playing a certain sport, play more of it! If you enjoy baking, do more baking! No matter what it is that you enjoy (within reason of course) if you can do more of it, you should do more of it, because it will give you pleasure and make you feel good. If something makes you feel good, and it doesn’t have any negative effects on you or those around you, do all you can to do more of it and you’ll be amazed by what a difference it makes.