January 13, 2017

9 Ways to Better Mental Health

People nowadays are busy. Extremely busy. They need to prepare before going to work and face a lot of stressful problems with their career or business ventures. On top of that, they still need to take care of their social responsibilities, let alone to take care of their relationships with families, friends, and loved ones. Surely, the 21st century person tends to put their physical health on top of anything else. However, most of the time, they tend to forget about the other side of their health – their mental wellness.

That does not exclude you. Have you ever wondered how your mental health is doing? Studies show that mental health is just as important as your physical wellness. As a matter of fact, many mental issues are directly affecting most of a person’s physical conditions. Then again, you don’t need to worry (worrying too much is one of the greatest causes of unhealthy mental states) for there are many ways for you to keep your mental health in check so that you can live your life to the fullest.

Talk to a medical professional

Of course, the first step towards mental health transformation (or any health-related concern) is to consult a medical professional about the appropriate steps to take. Regular checkups are very helpful for anyone, even when you’re not feeling anything unusual about your mental health. General physicians are able to offer depression and mental health consultations. They can then refer you to a clinician who is able to tailor to your specific needs.

It pays to visit your mental health professional.

Consider meditation

Meditation is just as integral to mental health as technology is to the world today; the art of meditation is not anymore an ancient Asian discipline that helped monks or even martial artists achieve a state of higher power. There’s scientific evidence showing how meditation works: in people who are meditating, brain scans (MRI) have shown an increase in activity in areas that control metabolism and heart rate. Other studies on Buddhist monks have also shown that meditation produces long-lasting changes in the brain activity in areas involved in attention, working memory, learning, and conscious perception.

The practice has a host of health benefits, from better concentration to improved mental well-being. This is why you should give meditation a chance. Try setting aside five minutes for meditation when you wake up or before you go to bed. You might as well start, or end, your day on a positive note.

Be Mr/Ms/Mrs. Brightside

Life’s so much better when you’re acknowledging the bright side. Research suggests that expressing what you’re thankful for — from your friends to suddenly hearing your favorite song played while you’re at a cafe — can improve your mental well-being.

A small sign of gratitude could go a long way

Don’t worry your life away

Speaking of looking at the bright side of things, you must try and veer away from things that can make you overthink. Reduce the things that can make you worry too much.

If you’re too concerned about work, don’t be. Work is rarely worth stressing over. If it is about family, stop. Talk to them to settle things instead of just worrying. If it is about your finances for your elderly days, begin saving or investing in life insurance now. Find a no exam life insurance, so that you don’t need to worry about premiums being too high in terms of cost.

Life can ve easy. Just relax and stick to the plan.

Have a regular exercise regimen

Try at least to exercise a few times per week, and it doesn’t have to be an intense heavy lifting regimen. You can start off with a few basic cardio exercises and you can slowly increase the intensity of your workouts, or try to exercise more frequently in a week.

Scientists often say that endorphins are magical. When you exercise, your brain releases these endorphins (which are often called the feel-good chemicals), giving you an instant mood boost. Additionally, try to take your workout outdoors. Research also suggests group walks (yes, walking is considered exercise) in nature can help ease depressive symptoms.

Rest and Sleep more

Scarcity of sleep doesn’t just outright destroy your physical health, but it seriously messes with your mental health as well. Research shows sleep deprivation can make it difficult for someone to regulate their emotions. Not only that, but the fact that your central nervous system is the information highway of your body makes proper sleeping not only a luxury but a necessity.

Sleep is necessary to keep your nervous system functioning properly: during sleep, the brain rests busy neurons and forms new pathways so you’re ready to face the world in the morning. In children and young adults, the brain releases growth hormones during sleep. While you’re sleeping, your body is also producing proteins that help cells repair damage.

Poor sleep is also a sign of more serious mental health problems. Try going to bed just 10 minutes earlier every night and work your way up to a healthy amount of sleep.

Go out and travel

Sometimes a change of perspective involves a change of scenery. Traveling allows the mind to expand and literally see the world in a new and different way, and that’s good news for your mental health. Having a proper – or at the very least, a different – perspective could be helpful for one’s mental wellness. When people view others in similar or worse situations, they tend to realize that their problems are no longer as daunting as they may have earlier believed and this greatly helps in reducing any stress or depression.

Research suggests that planning a vacation can increase your overall happiness as you anticipate your trip. If you’re looking for travel suggestions, someplace with water may be a good place to start. Studies show being near the ocean can make you calmer.

Digital detox

A digital detox is a great way to stay productive and balanced in a wired world. Consider switching off your gadgets or staying away from social media for a long enough time (maybe for 24 hours or even more). By doing a digital detox, you give yourself a chance to step back temporarily. When you return, recharged, you can be more productive and – again – have a different perspective on things.

Social media is basically just a highlight reel of someone’s life, for sure. However, this most likely can’t stop you from feeling a pang of envy every time someone posts a photo of their fabulous party, their new car or their shiny engagement ring.  Research suggests that people can feel depressive symptoms even from just scrolling Facebook, likely due to the internal social comparison that’s taking place. It could be essentially good for you to take a break from seeing toxic news.

Ditch those devices every so often for the sake of your mental health.

Spread the positive vibes

People say that one of the best ways to feel good is to make someone else feel good. This is actually true in terms of mental health, and science has backed it up.

When you do something nice for others, even the little ones, people would feel happy. This, in turn, radiates and makes you feel happy, too. The whole idea is to make kindness something that’s cyclical and contagious. Even the smallest gesture, such as random acts of kindness, can make a difference.

Pay it forward every so often and reap the benefits.

Jessica Gonzalez

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