The world we live in is far different from what we had. We are now learning to live through the pandemic, restoring our normal lives. A conflict in Europe has also begun, affecting prices worldwide. Aside from the said events, each of us has our own personal challenges. With a lot of things going on, it is important to take care of ourselves, our bodies, especially our mental health. We are glad to share the best tips we have gathered to have a healthy state of mind and maintain a positive sense of well-being.
1. A Healthy Diet
First things first. Nourish your body with healthy foods. We all live in a busy world, and eating fast food is cheap, quick, and saves our time from cooking. It satisfies our hunger right then and there, whenever, or wherever. Just a few taps on our phone, and voila! Your ordered food is just right in front of your doorstep, easy breezy. Gladly, as of 2020, more and more Americans are choosing to eat healthy nowadays. Based on the data collated by Statista, 184.83 million Americans are watching their diet compared to 146 million who says the opposite and the remaining 1.81 million who are not sure of their answers.
Cooking foods may not be the skill some of us may have, but we must consider ordering a healthy menu that is naturally prepared and cooked with no preservatives. Having a well-balanced meal can help us think clearly, focus more, make sound decisions, and improve concentration.
Eating high in sugar and processed foods can affect your body's ability to regulate insulin, leading to inflammation and oxidative stress. It can develop mood disorders like depression and anxiety. So what should you eat to have a healthy brain? Add more veggies and fruits to your diet: less sugar and processed foods. Experts suggest a Meditteranean diet (primarily plant-based). You will also need to improve your gut health by ingesting fermented foods or natural probiotics like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut.
2. Move Your Body
Exercise has a lot of benefits in terms of having a healthy state of mind. It helps you feel better rather than okay, improves your self-esteem if you are into getting fit, can also enhance socialization reducing the feeling of isolation and being depressed. Moving your body releases serotonin and endorphins. What do they do for your brain? Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate your mood and digestion, appetite, learning and memory skills, and sleep. On the other hand, endorphins are responsible for relieving pain in response to discomfort or stress. This hormone increases with reward-producing activities like eating, sex, and working out. You can boost these hormones by getting out in the sunlight; you can either jog or do your preferred workouts for 10-15 minutes each day.
When you exercise, your body will have better blood circulation, which will increase blood supply to your brain, enabling you to think more clearly. It also helps improve nerve cell connections which can help you with your memory and protect your brain from injury and diseases. Experts recommend a physical activity of 30 minutes a day, and you can divide this into two 15-minute sessions.
Remember, exercise can play a huge role in your overall mental state and well-being. You will feel more energetic during the day, and better sleep at night. It is also the best medicine for overcoming mental health challenges. Engaging in physical activities can help you feel relaxed and positive about yourself and your life.
3. A Good Sleep
Sleep and mental health are both complex issues and are closely associated. Poor sleep can make you easily irritated, unable to focus and recall, can make you feel lonely and isolated, leading to mental health disorders and vice versa. Lack of sleep can influence mood and emotions and is tied to mental health disorders. It is best to address your sleep problems and consult a health practitioner to avoid further escalating consequences. To have a healthy mental state, you will need sufficient sleep, about 6 to 8 hours a day, deep sleep, free of worries, anxiety, and stress. Here are some helpful sleep tips you can do:
Having a consistent bedtime schedule Practicing relaxation techniques Dim Lights or no gadgets at least one hour before bedtime Avoid caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol at night Quiet, comfortable room
4. Have some Downtime
Most people nowadays overdo a lot of things and barely take a break. In a fast phase world, some of us cannot afford downtime, affecting our productivity. Being overworked may cause stress and affect our mental health. Based on research, taking a rest can boost your performance, increase your ability to focus, and improve your creativity. Taking a 5-minute pause or nap can help refresh your mind, allowing you to work efficiently. But what is adequate downtime?
The recommended downtime does not require your brain to process information, so you can pause from social media, reading emails, reading a book, or catching up with a friend. You need to do less, sit and stare into spaces, and you can do a nature walk. You can try other activities that will not make you wonder or do not require your brain to do much work.
Another way to keep your mind healthy is through meditation. Some of us may not know how to meditate, but simple breathing and getting present in the moment 3 to 5 minutes a day is already a way of meditating. Experts say that there are several benefits of meditation, such as:
Increases self-awareness It helps you be in the present Reducing negative thoughts Come up with a new perspective in stressful situations Developing skills to manage stress Allows you to be imaginative and creative
There is no right or wrong way of meditating as long as it helps you reduce stress. Your mind will wander in times of meditation, and that is okay, and you can return your focus to the object and activity and continue to meditate. Deep breathing meditation is one of them and what beginners mostly do. Other techniques include having a mantra, prayer, walking, reading poems, spiritual texts, etc. Explore the different meditation techniques you can do and find out what works for you and what you enjoy.
6. Be Mentally Active
Your mind will not function well if you do not use it. Doing simple tasks like reading, solving puzzles, sudokus, playing cards, etc., can be a good brain workout. Avoid passive activities like watching TV, using devices, too much social media, as your brain will not allow you to practice your critical thinking skills. Be eager to learn new things and feed your brain with positive information.
Ever wonder why sometimes it suddenly feels good to talk to someone? Being socially active can help you strengthen your mental health, and it helps alleviate the feeling of loneliness, depression, and stress. Connecting with the people you love, for instance, helps sharpen your cognitive skills and improve your memory. It increases your happiness, state of well-being, and quality of life, so talk to your friend or the people dear to you.
As they say, laughter is the best medicine. It has both short-term and long-term benefits, but one thing's for sure it leaves you feeling good. Laughing can remove body tensions as it relaxes you by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. It can help your body fill with oxygen, giving you an excellent supply to your organs, especially the brain, releasing endorphins. For long-term benefits, laughter can release neuropeptides and natural painkillers that increase your body's immunity. It also improves your mood, increases self-esteem that helps you connect with people. So laugh more often and share it with others.
9. Saying No is Important
Why do sometimes it's hard for us to say no? That is because we do not want to offend others, we do not want them to be disappointed, and we want to avoid conflicts. We also often value other people's needs rather than our own. If you are not comfortable doing what you are asked to and feel you're being taken advantage of, it's okay to say no. It is okay to establish boundaries and set the expectations you want others to see. If you cannot give an answer on what you've been asked to do, you can say you need more time to decide and give a deadline instead of deciding quickly and having regrets. An explanation is not needed, be concise, clear, and consistent. You do not have to worry; if it hurts others' feelings, it is healthier to stick to what you want rather than please others. People will eventually learn to accept and respect your response and decisions.
10. Having a Positive Mindset
Even though we are going through tough times, we should keep a positive outlook in life. Looking at the bright side of things can give us a greater sense of purpose or well-being. Learning to be positive in life helps you adapt to challenging situations and cope better with stress. It will aid in making you healthy both in mind and body and increase your immunity. To practice having a positive outlook, you should establish self-awareness. Recognize your negative thoughts and how it affects your behavior. Once identified, you can replace them with a positive mindset. Doing this practice consistently can eventually help you develop thinking more positively.
Also, research shows that being thankful boosts positive feelings and elevates your state of well-being. It uplifts our spirits, gives us hope, and makes us feel optimistic. Experts suggest that a daily practice of expressing gratitude makes us positive thinkers and provides us with a sense of satisfaction even if we are going through difficult times. There are different ways to express gratitude. One is giving a thank you note to your loved one or the people around you. You can also write ten things of what you are thankful for every morning or before you go to bed.
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