Healthy Habits for Good Mental Health

There are tons of things that you can do to keep a healthy body and mind, and most do not take up much time at all. Taking care of your self is important for overall wellbeing. If you struggle with mental health issues, participating in healthy habits and activities can go a long way. Also, check out this interesting article about solution-focused family therapy.

Exercise

We all know how important regular exercise is to our physical health, but it can also help to improve our mental health as well. Regular exercise can provide you with more energy. It can also help you get more restful sleep and improve memory. Not only that, but the release of endorphins can help you feel positive and relaxed.

Research shows that exercise can help mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. To get these benefits, you should just add in a half hour of exercise every day, or even every other day. Even modest exercise can make a huge positive impact on your overall mental health. In fact, even if you do not have the time to squeeze in a half hour of exercise, just 5 or 10 minutes may have a positive effect.

Nutrition

Eating healthy is important and a good way to prevent disease. However, there are studies that indicate that a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious food options may be great for overall mental health as well.

One study found that people who at more fruits and veggies had higher levels of wellbeing. It is easy to add healthy options into your diet. Have fruit readily available so that you can grab an apple or peach when you are hungry instead of going for potato chips. You can add spinach, broccoli or green beans to virtually any meal. Try different veggies and combinations until you find ones that you really like, and it will be easier to incorporate them into your diet.

Sleep

Regular sleep is extremely important for wellbeing and mental health and even just one night of poor sleep can affect a person’s concentration, focus, and may make them more irritable. Furthermore, poor sleep can make it more difficult to manage stress and has even been shown to have a link to higher levels of depression.

There are some simple things that you can do to help ease your body and mind into quality, restful sleep. First, avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages (including caffeinated tea) close to bedtime. You may even want to add a cup of chamomile tea during the evening. You should also avoid screen time before bed which means anything from televisions to phones.

Do Things You Enjoy

Having a hobby is important for wellbeing. Participating in an enjoyable activity can give us a healthy escape from the stress of our daily lives. Hobbies can also be a great form of social interaction with people who have similar interests. Whether it is a group of musicians playing together, a book club, or art classes, hobbies can be more than just enjoyable. They can provide us with a sense of wellbeing and happiness and help to improve our overall mental health.

Encouragement

Having a strong support system is important. A solid amount of social support can help to reduce the levels of stress and depression. Individuals find their own support systems in a lot of different places. Of course, family members can often provide support, advice, and empathy. Friends are also good mental health supporters, but you can also find support systems at religious outings, at the gym, or in the form of neighbours. These days, some people find their support systems on social media networks. However, the benefits of an online support system need to be studied further.

In addition, we need to encourage ourselves. Telling yourself that you can get through something or that the anxieties will pass can be powerful. We can also try to incorporate mindfulness techniques into our daily routines. We can encourage ourselves to take up healthier behaviours or to do something productive. Just start thinking positive thoughts whenever you can and see how far it takes you.

Keep a Journal

Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis can be helpful in understanding your positive and negative emotions. It can also help you put your thoughts and feelings into perspective. People find that journaling can help them cope and to manage symptoms associated with anxiety.

Keeping a journal can help you to prioritize your concerns and stressors. Not only that, but it is a great tool for tracking symptoms and possible triggers. Once you identify triggers for your negative emotions, you can try to avoid them or use them in your favour to manage your anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.

Things to Avoid

Positive habits can go a long way towards improved mental health, but it is also important to avoid things that may be harming your mood or wellbeing. Simple carbohydrates, like cereal or white bread, can spike your blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can cause a feeling of fatigue and lack of motivation. Sugary drinks and candy can do the same thing when you crash from the sugar high.

Another consideration is your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down your system. It can alter your mood and behavior and negatively impact your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and memory among other things.  People who are experiencing mental health issues or distress may turn to alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate, but this does more harm than good in the long run.

Final Thoughts

There are some simple things that you can begin to do today that can greatly impact your mental health and wellbeing. Just adding in a few days of exercise each week can help to improve both physical and mental health. You can also try to gradually increase the number of fruits and vegetables that you consume. You should also try to get a good amount of sleep every night.

A lot of people benefit from keeping a journal. You should also try to find the time to participate in a hobby. If you do not already have a hobby, find anything that you truly enjoy. Finally, try to avoid alcohol, drugs, and poor diet choices. If you start to do these things daily, then you will surely find an improvement in your overall mood.

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