11 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health
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Mental health issues are still a stigma in our society, but people are slowly talking about their struggles and seeking help. Many a times, we do not need to wait for our mental health to worsen to take steps to improve it.
A person doesn't necessarily have to suffer from mental health issues to incorporate certain changes in their lifestyle.
Journaling is a simple activity of writing about your day, the things you are grateful for or the small goals you want to achieve. It helps to take control of things, see the good in things when you don't feel good mentally.
Journaling helps manage stress, anxiety and take note of the triggers and learn ways to handle them. It is safe place to write down the fears and problems without being judged. It helps to see the world with more clarity and gives you a better understanding of self.
Meditation has a number of benefits which are backed by science. It helps improve concentration, focus and can also increase a person's self esteem and self awareness.
According to a medically reviewed study by Pacific Brain Health Center, meditation helps manage stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps fight drug addiction or have a stronger threshold for pain during fights.
There are numerous apps and ways to start meditation by yourself and it takes time to be able to meditate for longer period of time with evident effects.
Avoid Any drugs
Regular use of drugs and alcohol can lead to short term or long term mental health problems like anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, depression and aggression. A person should stay away from any form of addiction be it alcohol or drugs to maintain mental health and well-being.
A person may feel pleasant after consumption of alcohol or use of drugs for a few hours but it affects the body.
According to an NCBI study, physical activity reduces depression, anxiety, mood swings and has been proven to increase the self confidence as well as the cognitive well-being of a person.
Activities like aerobics, dancing, gardening, jogging, long walks, swimming and cycling can be great options to stay active and help your mind.
Expand Your Support System
American Psychological Association has laid down a few tips to strengthen your support system. People can call their friends, relatives and parents to connect and share their feelings. Sharing their feelings can make you feel lighter. One can also volunteer for an organisation or join a group of people with similar interests and likes.
Every support group looks different and it takes time to build such a group. Every person can have 1 or 10 people from different walks of life to support them during difficult times.
Have a Hobby
Spending time doing something that you really enjoy can calm your mind and improve your mental health. A research shows that practicing hobbies on a regular basis prevents you from low mood, stress or anxiety.
The hobby can be anything that you enjoy - academic, athletic or creative. It can be something very personal to you that you might like to do alone or in a group. The bottom line is that you should enjoy the hobby.
Get Enough Sleep
According to a study in Harvard Health Publishing, sleep and mental health are closely related and lack of sleep can cause harm to the psychological and mental health of a person. Therefore, one can take smaller steps for better sleep pattern.
One can maintain a proper sleep schedule, create a sleep-friendly environment in the bedroom, avoiding caffeine or alcohol before sleep and keeping away all the gadgets away before an hour of sleep.
Learn to Say No
A lot of times we tend to say 'yes' for things under peer pressure and then regret the decision later. Our mental health and peace is more important than the party or get togethers you don't want to be a part of. People who tend to prioritise others' needs instead of their mental health end up saying yes when they don't really want to.
The best way is to analyse why they end up saying yes and then get deeper into the problem and start saying 'no' when you want to.
Include Omega-3 in Your Diet
According to a study by National Library in the US, the neural cells of the brain are made up of omega-3 fatty acids and people should eat food rich in omega-3. This nutrient is important for the functioning and development of the brain. Foods like fish, sea food, nuts and seeds like flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts are rich in omega-3.
Ask for Help
People have slowly started to open up about their mental illness and problems without shame and ask for help or influence people by their stories of overcoming depression.
But there are still a lot of people who have stigmatised the mental health problem or are afraid of a diagnosis and this prevents them from asking for help or going to a doctor. The person can book an online appointment or ask someone to do it for him or her. That's the first step towards asking for help.
Mindfulness is also used as a treatment for people with common mental problems like stress, anxiety and depression and it can also be used by people for normal health and well-being.
There are different ways to practice mindfulness. A person can start practising it by themselves or join a group or learn under a certified coach. Mindfulness is recommended if people want to prevent recurring depression phases, boost attention or have an insight into their emotions.
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