Mental and physical health are equally essential for us. Mental health is a state in which a person can function normally with emotions and behavioral adaptations. Our emotional, psychological and social well-being all connects with our mental stability. When ignored, mental well-being can cause many health problems. After all, it affects our thinking and decision-making capabilities because it determines how we handle stress and make sound choices. Mental health plays a significant role in defining and molding personalities in every phase of life. Globally 14 percent of the population suffers from depression and other mental disorders. These mental disorders increase the risk of infectious, non-communicable, and many chronic disabilities.
We need to know that any person’s mental health can change with time depending on a few factors because if expectations are more prominent than coping abilities, they impact mental health. There is no single cause of mental illness; it can be bad experiences in life, trauma, abuse, chronic diseases, biological factors, chemical imbalances that affect brain function, substance abuse, loneliness, or isolation. It is essential to address mental health positively and productively and prioritize mental health awareness. There is a need to provide support and resources to people struggling with mental health issues.
There are countless mental diseases worldwide. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, mental illnesses are common in America. More than 40 million people have some mental disorder. Fortunately enough, there are ways to improve mental health. Therapy sessions, support groups, mental health education, online services, and community clinics like Serenity At Summit are helping a lot of people combat stigmas associated with mental health problems and seek help. Support can make a person feel positive, help cope with life’s difficulties, improve physical health, and increase productivity. The main objective of the support system is to spread awareness, encourage self-care, and educate through advice and tips. We must look out for one another and care for ourselves and our mental health. The sooner any mental illness is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances for successful treatment. Also, different self-care habits can help improve mental stability and health. Some of them are as follows:
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1. Adopt healthy eating habits
Poor eating and unhealthy habits affect physical health, which can damage mental health, but mental health is also directly related to eating habits. Adopting healthy eating habits reduces the risks of chronic diseases that can significantly impact mental well-being. Eating a well-balanced nutritional diet containing all the essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and fiber lowers anxiety and stress, improves sleep, and positively impacts mood and the ability to concentrate. Also, reducing excessive alcohol consumption and drug usage tremendously enhances mental well-being.
2. Prioritize sleep
Insufficient sleep patterns are linked with various health problems, mental and physical. Not getting enough sleep can aggravate pre-existing mental health problems and cause anxiety and depression. Seven to nine hours of consistent sleep every night helps maintain stable mental health and improve quality of life.
3. Stay active
Regular exercise impacts mental and physical health as much as good sleep, and a healthy diet do. Exercise helps the brain release chemicals that can instantly elevate mood. Physical activity helps the brain release chemicals that can instantly elevate mood. Keeping active by playing different sports, walking, going to the gym, and doing yoga can help stimulate better brain function, thus reducing stress and anxiety levels also improving self-esteem and motivation.
4. Do something fun
Doing something you enjoy can help elevate your mood and reduce anxiety. Painting, reading, and dancing could be anything as far as it is helping you with emotional stability and well-being. No matter how long or short, the duration is, if it enables you to have fun and focus on something you enjoy doing, it is a positive stimulant for your mental well-being. Learning and excelling in a new skill can also positively impact mental wellness.
5. Connect with others
Make an effort to connect with friends and family. Hanging around positive people whom you enjoy can take away loneliness and negativity. Human beings are social creatures, and maintaining good relationships with friends and family is good for mental health. Focus on the quality of friendships and relationships rather than quality. Feeling loved, functional, happy, and supported can immediately boost positive feelings wearing off depression and sadness.
Meditation can be a handy tool in dealing with negative emotions and feelings. It can divert your attention from negative thoughts, stress, anxiety, and excessive thinking, which can drain energy. Meditation involves breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other practices like journaling which can have a very relaxing and therapeutic effect. In addition, expressing your emotions and thought processes through writing can help you better comprehend your problems and fears.
7. Reduce screen time
Social media can be very addictive. Excessive use of mobile phones and other devices can harm your mental and physical health. Screens interfere with melatonin production and disturb sleep. In addition, there can be content on social media that can affect negatively. One can not cut the use of gadgets completely, but not using the phone at bedtime or during meals can help limit screen time.
8. Keep a pet
Pets are loyal and affectionate, making a person feel less lonely. Pets require timely feeding and cleaning. Keeping up with the routine can give purpose and motivation and boost self-esteem for better mental well-being. Having a pet gives you a sense of purpose, and you feel responsible for taking care of them, reducing depression and anxiety.
9. Seek help
It’s never wrong to seek help for mental and physical well-being and health. It is a mature and healthy thing to talk with your friends, family, or professionals to help you cope with depression, anxiety, or stress. Finding someone you feel comfortable with and talking to them without the fear of judgment is the most effective way of improving mental health. In addition, therapy and coaching sessions can provide support and strength to boost wellness.
10. Spend time in sunlight
Spending some time outside in the sun can reduce anxiety and stress. Exposure to sunlight and absorbing vitamin D consequently increases the chemical serotonin level in our body. This chemical is responsible for elevating mood, calming, and improving focus; 30 to 60 mins are impactful.
Mental health refers to our psychological well-being. It includes how you feel about yourself, your relationships and friendships, and your ability to deal with difficulties. Mental health is vital at every stage of life. There are many ways to deal with mental stress, depression, and anxiety. Although people should seek professional help, self-care is essential too. A person can never feel better if no will and motivation are involved. Only a healthy mind and body can help you achieve your goals and ambitions. A great attitude, optimism, and focus are the steps toward well-being and happiness. Whatever happens in life, good mental health should be a priority.