According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual feels secure, stable and able to cope with current challenges. People can experience different kinds of stress that can negatively impact their mental health. Every fifth American feels stressed most of the time. With this in mind, we must look at ways to cultivate a healthier mindset overall.
We all know it’s important not to isolate yourself from friends and family, but being around others doesn’t always mean being happy. The trick lies in finding the balance between fitting in and easing up on yourself.
To achieve this balance and thrive, we must address our mental health needs as soon as possible — not just for our own sake, but for the sake of everyone around us too. After all, if you don’t feel ready or comfortable spending time with loved ones, then why would anyone else want to be around you?
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is the ability to go through life without fear. Fear of the future or the past. Fear of the unknown or of what others think of you. People with mental health issues may have a diagnosed disorder or they may be experiencing a bout of stress that affects their ability to function normally. A healthy mind consists of three key components: cognition, emotions and behaviour.
Cognitive function is the ability to think and reason. Emotions are the bodily signals that tell you whether you should be happy, sad, angry or any other feeling. Behaviour is what you do with your body, including both your thoughts and actions.
Mental health is important because everyone has a brain. It’s the control centre of our entire bodies and minds. If you have a healthy brain, you can make choices that affect your life positively. If you have poor mental health, you can make choices that affect your life negatively.
Make sure to talk about your mental health
The first step to cultivating a healthy mindset is, to be honest with yourself and open up about your mental health. No one is perfect and everyone experiences stress, sadness, and even feelings of loneliness from time to time. However, if these feelings become regular or intense, it’s an indication that you may be experiencing a problem.
The sooner you address these feelings, the sooner you can get back on track. Mental health issues often begin as unhealthy habits, so make an effort to communicate openly with loved ones and professional counsellors about your current state of mind. This not only helps to keep you accountable but also lets people around you know that they are not alone.
Exercise is important for mental and physical health
According to the CDC, regular exercise can improve mental health, reduce the risk of depression and improve physical health, including weight management and cholesterol levels. Research suggests that regular exercise is important for mental health in part because it improves brain function. For example, exercise has been shown to help improve memory and cognitive function, including attention and problem-solving skills.
It also has been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiety. Moreover, regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on brain chemistry. Specifically, aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the levels of feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin, in the brain.
This can help to decrease the risk of developing depression and promote feelings of overall well-being. As you’re busy taking care of your mental, physical and social health, it’s important to make time for exercise. Make it a priority, break it down into bite-sized chunks, and don’t be afraid to push yourself.
Eat healthily and get enough sleep
There’s a reason that diets and meal plans are often utilized to promote overall health and wellness. Eating healthy is one of the best ways to promote mental health. Research suggests that diet is a significant factor in mental health. For example, a diet high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt has been shown to increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and fish has been shown to decrease the risk of mental illness. Additionally, diet can also impact sleep quality. For example, a diet high in foods that are easily digestible and rapidly metabolized, like refined sugars, refined starches, and refined vegetable oils, can lead to decreased sleep quality.
As you’re eating healthy and sleeping soundly, it’s important to remain active throughout the day. Even small amounts of exercise, like walking around your desk or taking a short break to stretch and take a walk, can help to promote overall well-being.
Learn how to manage stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life. We all experience it, but it’s important to know how to manage it. First and foremost, recognize that you’re not alone. Stress is a normal part of life for most people, and it doesn’t make you a bad or weak person for experiencing it.
It’s okay to admit that you’re stressed, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current situation, it’s important to remind yourself that you have the power to change it. You don’t have to be stuck in a negative mindset. Instead, make an effort to shift your focus to what you can do to change your situation.
Mental health isn’t something that should be neglected, but rather it should be treated as an important part of everyday wellness.
Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and communicating openly with loved ones can help to cultivate a healthier mindset. It’s important to remember that every person is different, so it’s up to you to make the most of your mental health by addressing its needs as soon as possible.