Good mental health is a state that allows people to tackle daily stressors and achieve personal goals effortlessly. Mental health also involves feeling confident and self-assured in routine interactions with others. Being healthy does not merely translate to eating right or exercising regularly. It also necessitates following self-care habits, such as spending time with your loved ones or learning how to deal with stress properly.
Mental Health and Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is crucial to enhancing your mental well-being. Lifestyle affects the brain and body in several ways – minor and major. Unfortunately, people nowadays pay little attention to the detrimental effects of unhealthy lifestyle patterns on overall health. Remember, healthy lifestyle choices are always made to improve your health and prevent life-threatening diseases. Thus, it’s imperative to incorporate healthy practices to boost mental and physical well-being.
Psychological health issues can affect individuals of all ages and are more common than most people think. In the US, mental health issues affect one in five adults every year, particularly young adults. While there are many different types of mental disorders, these conditions share one thing: they disrupt an individual’s ability to function optimally in their daily lives. Nowadays, the world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of mental health as the number of people battling mental health issues is rising rapidly. The field of psychology has also widened its scope in addressing mental health concerns and devising effective treatment strategies. And this explains why psychologists are in such high demand nowadays. For those willing to pursue this ever-evolving and in-demand field, a masters in psychology online no GRE program suffices to begin practice.
The most convincing aspect of online programs is that individuals can attain practical work exposure alongside pursuing academic endeavors. After completing their degree programs and brushing up on their work profile, psychologists can work independently or by collaborating with a well-established organization.
Back to our point – a few lifestyle modifications can positively impact psychological well-being.
Let us understand how:
Maintain a Healthy and Balanced Diet
A healthy, balanced diet is key to boosting overall well-being. When it comes to food, eating too little or too much of anything can cause serious problems in your body, affecting your physical and mental health.
A healthy diet includes foods that support your brain function, such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein from animal sources like fish or eggs.
Balancing nutrition is the key to good physical and mental health. You may be recommended certain foods based on their nutritional value. But if you are focusing on eating healthier and have never followed any dietary restrictions before, consider the general recommendations from the American Heart Association. They recommend consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains over refined grains, limiting saturated fats, and eating omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Also, limit sugar intake, drink water daily, and avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol regularly.
Exercise Regularly and Quit Smoking & Alcohol
Experts have always stated the significance of physical activity for optimal health. It helps reduce stress and improves mood by boosting endorphins.
Exercise is an excellent way to boost mental and physical development. It can help reduce stress, sleep better, and manage weight.
Exercise also has an impact on your brainpower. People who exercise regularly have better concentration skills than those who do not exercise or perform light workouts like walking briskly around the block
Similarly, smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, leading to depression and anxiety. Alcohol has also been linked with depression, anxiety disorders, dementia, and other cognitive deficits in those who drink heavily over the long term. So, ensure to get rid of both of these detrimental habits.
Sleep Well & Maintain a Healthy Weight
Good sleeping practices are vital to maintaining robust mental and physical health. If you fail to get sufficient quality sleep, it can cause anxiety and depression.
Getting sufficient sleep is essential for your health and the quality of your life. The National Sleep Foundation states that adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you are getting less than that, it can affect your mental health in a variety of ways:
- You will have trouble concentrating during school or work
- You may feel irritable or moody
- Your body will be lethargic, lacking energy all day long
Furthermore, maintaining a healthy weight is a must to ward off chronic illnesses. If you are overweight, it can cause serious health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
To maintain ideal body weight, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (brown rice instead of white rice) at every meal. Similarly, limit your intake of red meat and choose chicken or fish if possible.
Challenge Your Mind & Take a Break
You can challenge your mind by doing puzzles, crosswords, and brain teasers. You can also learn a new skill or read a book that keeps you engaged for hours. If you feel like the day is dragging by, try learning a new language or skill.
More importantly, take a break from your phone. If you are browsing through your phone all day, it might be time to put it away and focus on something else, like reading a book. It will not only improve how much sleep we get each night but also help us stay healthier overall because our brain needs ample rest.
Take a break from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They have been proven to negatively affect mental health in teens by increasing levels of stress hormones like cortisol (which causes anxiety).
Connect With Others
The key to achieving optimal well-being is to adopt lifestyle choices that are good for your mental health and avoid those that are harmful to it.
Talking to friends, family, and colleagues will help you feel less lonely and more supported. If you have difficulty discussing your problems, try joining a support group or volunteering at an organization that helps people in similar situations.
You can also get a pet, like a dog, hamster, or cat. Pet animals are great for mental and physical health because they provide humans unconditional love and companionship.
Just as a person’s physical health is important, so is their mental health. Improving your overall health is important and can create a ripple effect that boosts your quality of life. A healthy lifestyle offers many benefits, including increased energy levels and better physical fitness, making you feel better about yourself.
If you’re struggling with mental health, finding out what works best for you is the most important thing. Since every individual suffers from mental health issues for various reasons and in contrasting ways, evaluating your condition is key to finding a solution.