A lot of people feel resistance towards prioritizing mental health. For some reason it can be an embarrassing topic for a lot of people and it’s not often open for discussion. The truth is every single person can benefit from participating in managing their own mental health. Mental health is a broad term and does not solely refer to those suffering with serious illnesses, it includes all of us. Like medical health there is a broad spectrum from those who are relatively healthy and only require medical assistance for check-ups occasional illnesses to those with chronic conditions that require more consistent medical intervention.
Like medical health, mental health is not just about regulating times of crisis and diagnosable disorders. It’s also about the habits we maintain on our own to keep our perspective and moods in check. With our mental health in balance we can live higher quality lives, be more productive, have more fulfilling relationships and overcome traumas much faster. If you’re serious about living to your highest potential and want to get the most out of your life, here are some mentally healthy habits you can easily adopt.
Journaling, or simply the act of recording experiences, ideas or reflections, is an ancient practice that dates all the way back to 10th century Japan. Studies have found that this practice can effectively clarify thoughts and feelings, effectively solve problems and dramatically lower stress levels. Before you even think about taking steps to move towards a major goal, prioritize your mental health and ad journaling to your arsenal of tools to help you cope with life’s major internal challenges.
Eating a nutritious diet is important for many reasons including weight balance and disease prevention, but the right diet can also help to stabilize your mood. Studies have shown that diets high in glucose can trigger heightened emotions like anxiety. Certain foods can also encourage hormonal imbalances which can play a major role in negative mood and self-image for both men and women. Other foods can produce calming effects like triggering serotonin or acting as a precursor to dopamine which is the reward hormone. Working with a dietician can help get you on track to eat the foods that are most optimal for your needs.
Sleep & Exercise
If you exercise regularly, it can lower your stress levels, manage conditions like anxiety and depression and even help to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. Exercise can also improve sleep quality which is another important factor to maintaining strong mental health. The restorative process your brain goes through during its sleep cycle is necessary to maintaining strong cognitive ability. If you’ve ever gotten less than an ideal amount of sleep then you know how hard it is to maintain your mood and focus throughout the next day.
Talking to a licensed therapist or counselor is an excellent service for your mental health. These people have spent years studying behavior and the processes of the brain. They know all about trauma and how that affects us on both a physical and emotional level. Some specialize in relationships and can help you to form more secure bonds with the people in your life. They are there if you just need to talk to someone. There is no taboo in using therapy, it is one of the strongest things you can do.