For most of us, mental health is a constant – for good and bad. We treat it like the weather. But mental health is a daily responsibility (or should be), like brushing your teeth but … spiritually. Mental health is something that we can all improve before it becomes a “problem,” by managing the stresses we already have and learning how to deal with new ones.
These tips will help you get your mental health under control if you’ve lost it and keep control if you have it.
1. A mental health diet
What we put into our bodies deeply affects the condition of our mental health. Diets that are high in processed sugars and carbs lead the body naturally to a state of inflammation, which is the root cause of most physical and mental issues when you get down to it. Balanced nutrition, something we’ve all been told about, with plenty of daily protein, veggies, and vitamins, is as much a mental responsibility as a physical one.
Certain foods can actually speed up the process. Incorporate mental health “superfoods” into your diet such as nuts, dark leafy vegetables, and beans. We also need plenty of water to maintain balance and keep everything, including our brains, flowing.
2. Stop smoking
Smoking, even vaping, does no favors to our mental health. Even though a cigarette can bring a short term feeling of stress relief, smoking actually increases stress in the long run. This is because nicotine creates dependence and the cigarettes themselves create hormonal imbalances and other issues. Not only can smoking cause anxiety, but anxiety and depression can make it harder to quit. So for your mental health’s sake, quit sooner rather than later.
3. Value yourself
This sounds easy, but it takes practice. What causes a lack of confidence? Sometimes, the path to de-stressing requires us to take some alone time, which can help us find what’s important to us. Set time every day for a little fun, a hobby, or something you enjoy. No job is worth 24/7 stress!
If you can allow yourself to take this break, you’re on the path to recognizing your own value. If we think of ourselves as nothing but workhorses, we lose that value. That causes stress in the background of our brains, even if we don’t realize it. It’s the stress of not thinking we deserve to relax.
4. Learn to be quiet
Both the simplest and most complicated advice we have, learning to be quiet can do wonders for daily mental health. Technology has made stimuli so available that our brains are now used to being “on” all the time. This can lead to poor sleep, poor focus, and more stress.
Those who are religious can take time out of every day for quiet prayer. Anyone can learn meditation routines to accomplish the same goal. Quietude and calm have been known to be best friends for thousands of years. It’s not less important to understand this modern technological paradise – it’s more important.
Mental health should be part of everyone’s daily routine. We work out our bodies, but it’s just as important, if not more so, to work out our minds. Use these tips as a launching pad to create the routine that works for your brain and which will allow you to get the right nutrition and daily values that keep your mental health regular.
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