Many people value their physical health but rarely give the same attention to their mental health. However, the state of your emotions and thoughts can have a bigger effect on our overall wellness. After all, our psychology affects how we think, the emotions we feel, and our behavior in everyday life. It also greatly influences your ability to deal with stress and anxiety, solve challenges, and bounce back from any setback life throws our way.
But when people talk about mental health, it’s usually in a negative sense. The stigma around mental health disorders has gotten so bad that many are hesitant or even afraid to talk about their psychological condition, even if they’re perfectly healthy. This has made diagnosis and treatment for many illnesses more difficult, even if there are treatment programs for anorexia nervosa and other conditions readily available.
Wellness starts with the self, and you need to take care of your mental health. A few lifestyle changes can go a long way in improving your overall quality of life. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Connect with people
No mental wellness program is complete without socialization. Even if you spend hours meditating or whatever it is you do to relax, you cannot fully improve your emotional and mental health without other people’s company. Human beings are hardwired to be social creatures, and we need relationships to fill our emotional needs. That is why people often suffer from a long list of issues after an extended period of isolation.
While social media and video chats can temporarily fill the void, there’s no substitute for face-to-face time with your friends and family. Even time with strangers can prove productive if both parties exert effort to get to know one another. Conversations are a two-way street, and you can boost the benefits of social connection by actively listening to one another.
Your mind and body work in tandem, and to achieve total wellness, you need to develop both aspects of your being. Regular exercise has long been proven to improve your physical health, translating to better mental and psychological well-being. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, a neurochemical that helps boost your mood and energy. Many treatment regimes for mental health illnesses incorporate physical activity as part of the program.
You don’t need to run or play sports every day to enjoy physical exercise benefits. And many people have disabilities that limit the activities they can do. Even a simple walk every afternoon or dancing to your favorite songs count against your daily requirements. Half an hour or so of physical activity every day can make a big difference to your mental health.
Manage your stress
Stress can be a killer. Not only does it cause a laundry list of physical conditions, but it can also chip away at your mental and emotional stability. You must manage your stress to keep your mental health intact. While it’s impossible to avoid all sources of stress, you can always keep them under control by practicing stress management.
For instance, interacting with a friend or family member is a great way to relieve stress. Social interaction has been proven to calm people down and prevent stress from progressing into something more serious. And even if you cannot remove stress, having the support of another person can go a long way in keeping the situation manageable.
Another way to manage your stress is to engage your senses. For some people, the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee can calm them down. For others, it’s the sound of a calming song or the sensation of squeezing a ball. We all have ways of responding to stimuli, so it’s smart to try out different activities and see what works for you.
Finally, you need to make time for leisure activities. You risk burning yourself out if you’re overworked. Saving your weekends for relaxation and other pleasurable activities ensures that your mind gets the rest it needs. Do whatever you want as long as it makes you feel good, and it’s healthy. Always remember that relaxation is a crucial component of mental stability.
A final word
These things will help you improve your mental or emotional well-being. If your condition fails to improve despite your best efforts, you may need to seek professional help as soon as possible.