"Mental health is an integral part of health;
indeed, there is no health without mental health."
-- World Health Organization
Promotions for weight-loss and exercise plans are constantly on the rise. We hear them every day and surely have tried many different methods of keeping physically healthy. But, have you ever given thought to your mental health?
According to The UK's Mental Health Foundation, good mental health is described as the ability to learn, form good relationships with others and express, manage and feel an array of positive and negative emotions. Individuals with poor mental health are at
Don't ignore your mental health. Take control!
1. Adopt a healthy diet
Most of us are aware that a healthy, balanced diet is beneficial for physical health. But following a healthy diet also has benefits for mental well-being. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
2. Learn to manage stress
All of us experience stress at some point. It could be a result of work, relationships or money problems. No matter the cause, stress can take a toll on our mental health. However, there are ways in which we can reduce or manage stress to promote better mental well-being. For example, numerous studies have reported the stress-reducing benefits of yoga and mindfulness-based meditation. Another simple stress-reducer is staying positive! A 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that smiling during stressful periods could actually lower the body's stress response, regardless of whether a person is feeling happy or sad!
3. Keep busy with meaningful work
Employment can cause stress, but being unemployed may be even more detrimental to mental health. That is because we need a purpose in life, a sense of belonging. We need to know that we are doing something that matters. According to the Mental Health Foundation, taking up voluntary work or adopting a hobby may be just as effective in promoting good mental health as holding a job.
4. Exercise regularly
Physical activity is important for all aspects of health, including mental well-being. Getting physically fit and achieving personal goals boosts our confidence and self-esteem and helps combat feelings of hopelessness, which can often come over us when we're feeling low. It doesn't have to be a long, dull treadmill session. Just get out there and get your blood pumping!
5. Get more sleep
Sleep problems can affect our mental well-being. In fact, people who have less than 5 hours sleep a night may be at higher risk of mental illness. The Mayo Clinic recommends going to bed and getting up at the same time every day - even at the weekends and during holidays - as a routine can boost the body's sleep-wake cycle, promoting a better night's sleep. You may also want to try a bedtime ritual, such as a warm bath or reading a book, in addition to sleeping in a cool, dark, and quiet room.
In just 5 simple steps, you could be on your way to better mental health and a happier tomorrow. Remember to take care of yourself in every aspect of your life and put yourself first once in a while!
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