6 Habits That Support Strong Mental Health
Maintaining good mental health has become more challenging in recent times, with the global pandemic and other factors contributing to stress and anxiety. It is more important now than ever to develop healthy habits to improve your mood and help keep stress at bay. Cultivating the following habits will benefit not only your mental health, but your physical health, as well.
Get Regular Exercise
This is one of the most important things you can do to relieve anxiety and elevate your mood in times of stress. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood. It also helps improve brain function. In a study published by NCBI – NIH, researchers found that: “Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.”
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep gives your mind and body an opportunity to rest, heal, and reset. It can also have a significant impact on your mood. Going without sufficient rest can cause a person to become irritable, in addition to adversely affecting physical health. Poor sleep can lead to stress, anxiety, weight gain, and depression, and it can make you more susceptible to heart disease. We sometimes sacrifice sleep for other priorities. For better mental and physical health, make sleep a priority.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Going outside, even for a short time, can make a big difference in your day. Being outdoors helps improve a person’s mood by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves focus, helps us heal faster, and contributes to more graceful aging.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated can have a significant impact on mental health. The brain is composed mostly of water, so it stands to reason that loss of hydration can affect concentration, cognitive function, and mood. Men should have about 15.5 cups of fluid a day and women should have about 11.5 cups, according to the Mayo Clinic. These amounts include the fluids you get from all types of beverages and foods that contain water, not just the water you drink.
It is well known that eating a healthy diet is important for your physical health. It can also have a major effect on your state of mind. People who consume a lot of heavily processed foods, high in sugar and empty carbs, are more likely to be depressed. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and omega fatty acids are recommended foods for a better mood.
Take a Break From Social Media
Many people today use social media for business, professional, and personal communication. It may be an easy way to stay in touch, but studies have shown a link between anxiety and depression and social media use, particularly among adolescents. For better mental health, try to socialize in person more and use social media less.
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