Sometimes we are so focused on achieving our goals and maintaining physical well-being that we leave our mental health hanging. We have no problem spending an hour or more at the gym, but the idea of meditating each day for five minutes seems daunting.
If you’ve ever experienced periods of high anxiety or even nervousness before an interview, you’ll know that stress can have a profound effect on your body as well as your mind.
Life can pull your leg, and it can get overwhelming, especially if you have poor mental health.
Mental well-being is as important as physical well-being and should be treated equally. In this article, we will discuss how to practice mental health habits that can help you live a peaceful life. So buckle up and keep on reading.
Importance of Good Mental Health
Maintaining a state of mental wellness impacts not only your thoughts and emotions but also your ability to form and maintain relationships. It also plays a role in how you react to difficult circumstances. If you neglect your mental health, it can have a domino effect on other areas of your life.
If you have no outlet for constant physical and emotional stress, these manifest in you in the form of mental health illnesses, i.e. depression, anxiety, eating disorders etc.
If you take care of your mental health, a traumatic event won’t haunt you forever and won’t prevent you from reaching your full potential. If you have the right mental attitude, you can feel like you can take on the world every day, which will boost your output immensely.
Some benefits of good mental health include:
- Improvements in relationships.
- Anxiety reduction.
- Improved thinking.
- Improved moods.
- A greater sense of calm or inner peace.
- Increased self-esteem.
- Reduced risk of depression.
So if you want to make good mental health habits and start developing mental well-being, then start including the following habits in your daily life.
Mental Health Habits
You may feel helpless in the face of the perils of daily stress, but there are ways to deal with it and maintain your health. Let’s begin with these five suggestions.
Get Restful Sleep
Sleep is important for more than just physical health. In terms of mental health, it is also extremely important.
Getting enough shut-eye is crucial to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Since even one night of sleep deprivation can have a profound effect on one’s mood the following day, it is clear that regular, restful sleep is crucial to maintaining our mental health at a baseline level.
Poor sleep quality is linked to mood disorders like depression and anxiety. The effects of anxiety and depression on sleep are often symbiotic, so when one suffers from one, it becomes harder to cope with the other.
In one study from 2021, data were collected from over 270,000+ adults living in the United States; individuals who slept an average of fewer than six hours per night were approximately 2.5 times more likely to report frequent mental distress than individuals who slept an average of more than six hours per night.
It is also important to pay attention to the quality of your sleep because sleep deprivation can exacerbate mental health problems.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help your body regulate its natural sleep rhythm.
- Avoid watching TV or working on the computer in the hours leading up to bedtime. The bright light from these screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
- Make your bedroom a calm and relaxing place conducive to sleep. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet, and avoid using it as a workspace or gathering place for family and friends.
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, which can interfere with sleep quality.
Strengthen your Relationships
Strengthening your bonds with others has been shown to have positive effects on one’s emotional and psychological well-being. Having solid connections with other people makes you feel loved and cared for.
As social creatures, humans need opportunities to interact with others. Making new friends or spending more time with old ones is a great way to improve your mood and reduce the negative effects of stress on your body. Humans can benefit in various ways from healthy interpersonal connections.
Among the many things that friendships can do:
- Alleviate feelings of isolation
- Give us access to emotional help
- Give us a sense of purpose in life
- Help increase our resilience and coping skills.
- Get in touch with your loved ones right away. You could give them a ring, invite them, throw a party, go on a workout session, grab a bite to eat, etc.
- You should introduce yourself to people you see regularly, such as your neighbours.
- Participate in activities you’re passionate about and learn new skills by joining groups and institutions (religious, civic, service, hobby, exercise, etc.).
- Make a profile on a dating site or describe yourself anonymously on a free classifieds service (where interested people can email you anonymously).
Another great tip is that prioritise quality over quantity rather than focusing on how many relationships you can maintain.
Accordingly, it’s crucial to give new connections enough time to blossom. The key is to balance putting yourself first and listening to others.
The effects of dehydration on the body are serious and widespread. Staying hydrated is essential because water is a necessary component of every metabolic process in the human body.
The human brain is composed of 73% water, so losing that much fluid would have disastrous effects. When systems start to run more slowly than usual, they stop working as intended.
Lack of energy to properly fuel the brain can lead to depressive symptoms. Low energy levels are a common symptom of depression. There will be more stress on your body, which can exacerbate your mood disorders.
Anxiety can easily escalate into a full-blown panic attack without proper symptom management. These symptoms are not caused by dehydration on their own but rather by a cumulative lack of water intake.
Depending on one’s general health, exercise routine, and health history, the recommended daily amount of water to drink varies. However, the four- to the six-cup guideline is a great benchmark to work off of.
- Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go
- Drink water before and after every meal
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning
- Set up some reminders on your phone
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Staying focused on the here and now makes it easier to let go of worries about the future. The future is the most common source of anxiety, but the past can also cast a shadow.
Meditation and other practices of mindfulness can help you focus on the here and now while also allowing you to deal with your negative emotions and memories healthily.
Practices like mindfulness can help you learn to live in the moment. One definition of mindfulness is “paying attention in a way that is accepting, open, nonjudgmental, and curious concerning one’s feelings, thoughts, and senses in the present moment.” In short, it’s like reviewing your feelings and thoughts from a third perspective.
It’s like training under your guidance; once you master it, nothing can stop you.
- Choose a time and place for your practice, and stick to it as closely as possible.
- Make time for yourself daily
- Sit comfortably in a quiet room.
- Pay attention to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, focusing on the sensations of each breath as it goes in and out
Get Some Sunshine
Sunlight is a good way to get vitamin D, which has been shown to affect mood positively and improve patients with depression.
Spending as little as five minutes under clear skies can have a profoundly positive effect on your mood and health.
Some studies have even shown that sunshine helps with regulating mood, so go for a morning walk or just eat breakfast in a yard or by an open window. Let the sun hit your skin and enjoy its warmth.
- Meditate under a sun
- Start your day by opening up all your windows
- Read a book near a window
- Make outside activity
The state of your mind is crucial to how happy you are overall. You can’t always prevent negative influences on your mental health, but you can improve your outlook by adopting more positive routines.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on overcoming daily stresses that threaten to derail you. But if you ever find yourself down and out and depressed, don’t wait to get some help.
One of the best ways to prevent depression and self-harm is to reach out for assistance, which can be a positive step in and of itself.