When most people think about health, they tend to focus on the physical benefits. But health is not just physical; it is also mental. Since the mind and body are so deeply connected, you will find that taking care of one enables you to better care for the other. By implementing some simple healthy habits into your daily routine, you can improve your mental state and be better prepared to handle whatever stress and uncertainty life throws your way.
Ways to Take Care of Your Body While Improving Your Mental Health
If you take proper care of your body, your mind will reap the rewards. You can start with the essentials, like eating healthy and sleeping well each night.
Eat the Right Nutrients
While it is vital to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 fatty acids play an especially important role when it comes to having better mental health. Vitamin B-12 is responsible for synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, the hormone that regulates your mood. If you have low amounts of this vitamin in your system, your brain will not produce enough serotonin, which can lead to depression. According to a 2018 study in the JAMA Network Open, Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce anxiety symptoms for individuals with mood disorders by interacting with mood-related molecules as they travel through the brain’s cell membrane. Therefore, it is recommended to eat foods that are high in B-12, like meat and milk, and foods high in omega-3s such as tofu and avocados. Fish is a great source of both.
Get Plenty of Rest
Neglecting sleep can cause you to become irritable, anxious, and experience high blood pressure, which can lead to an increase in stress hormones. This can make it harder to improve your emotional state when dealing with difficult situations, such as personal or professional conflicts. Put yourself in the best position to overcome obstacles like these by establishing a regular sleep schedule, which will help you get the seven to nine hours of shuteye you need to be productive each day. Because your phone can also hinder sleep hygiene by over-stimulating the mind, avoid excessive use of this device before bedtime.
How to Practice Self-Care to Build Better Mental Wellness
Improve Your Self-Esteem
Seeing yourself in a better light can help you feel more motivated to make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices, which will ultimately improve your overall wellbeing. One way to increase your self-esteem (as well as promote positivity and reduce stress) is by using a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals allow you to express yourself through writing, helping you to recognize the positives in your life that you are grateful for. Having a strong support network is another great way to promote a better self-image. These individuals can remind you of your strengths and the many things they love about you, and prevent you from being too hard on yourself.
Focus on What You Can Control
Excessive worrying can lead to headaches, panic attacks, and a faster heartbeat, increasing your risk of having a heart attack. If you find yourself heading in this direction, remind yourself to think about possible solutions instead of ruminating on the problem. If you are having trouble getting past the worst-case scenario you have built up in your head, take deep, calming breaths to help the anxiety dissipate. Addressing the problem will become more manageable once you are no longer in fight-or-flight mode. Remember, you cannot control everything in life, but by focusing on what you can and leaving the rest, you will lead a happier and less stressful life.
Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you accept any situation you find yourself in with a clear mind and a calm demeanor. During meditation, you focus all your attention on the present and accept your feelings without judgment. This entails observing the world around you, like sights or smells, or any emotions that you are experiencing, but stopping short of analyzing them. This practice helps foster emotional growth and allows your mind to see that the situation causing you discomfort is not as intense as your mind may be telling you it is.
Life is full of ups and downs, and while you cannot prepare for everything that life throws at you, you can take strides to be in the best mental state to handle unexpected challenges. So, start prioritizing your mental wellbeing and implementing the healthy habits you need to become more resilient and better at overcoming adversity.