Your mental health is important – very important. It dictates how you feel, think and behave and also affects your ability to overcome challenges, deal with stress, recover from life’s setbacks and build relationships. Whether you’re looking to handle your emotions more effectively, cope with a specific mental health issue or simply are looking to feel more positive or energetic – then there are ways to manage and build your mental health.
Today, I’m going to take you through some things that can help.
But wait, what does it mean to be ‘mentally’ healthy?
Mental health describes your overall psychological well-being. Strong mental health or being mentally healthy isn’t just not having or being diagnosed with mental problems – it’s about a sense of freedom from things such as depression, anxiety and various other psychological issues that may be present, as stated by BetterHelp.
People who are mentally healthy tend to have:
- A zest for living – the ability to have fun and laugh
- Contentment in life
- Flexibility to take on new challenges and adapt easily
- A fine balance between work, play, rest and activity etc
- High self-esteem and confidence
- A sense of meaning and purpose
- Build and maintain relationships
These positive characteristics of emotional and mental health allow you to live your life to the fullest extent – and that’s good news for everybody – but most importantly – yourself.
The relationship that resilience has with mental health
We all encounter challenges and just because you’re mentally healthy doesn’t still mean that you don’t go through bad times or experience emotional issues. Whether it’s going through disappointment, loss or change – all of these things can still cause sadness, anxiety and stress.
People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the coping mechanisms for all of these things – and through them can maintain a positive outlook. People with resilience remain focused, productive and flexible in bad times as well as good. A resilient person will also typically be less afraid of new experiences and an uncertain future – even if they don’t know the answers to a problem – they are hopeful that it’ll get resolved. See here for more information on resilience training: https://resiliencei.com/
How to manage and BOOST your mental health (it is possible…I promise)
Make a social connection – but put down social media and build these face to face
Everyone needs the company of others to feel and function at their best. You can spend all the time in the world working on boosting on your mental health, but without social ‘meaningful’ connections, we can’t reach our peak.
Humans, by nature, are social creatures with emotional needs for relationships and connections to others. If you don’t have any social connections, work on building new friendships and relationships by visiting social clubs or going to meet-ups. It’s important to build these connections face-to-face.
The mind and body are, without doubt, intrinsically linked. Improving physically health will automatically boost your mental and emotional well-being. Physical activity also releases what are called endorphins – the powerful chemical that lifts your mood and makes you feel energised.
Regular exercise can have an enormous impact on emotional and mental health problems, improve memory, help you sleep and relieve any stress.
Eat a brain healthy diet
An unhealthy diet can wreak havoc on your mental well-being. It can directly influence your mood, disrupt sleep, sap energy and weaken your immune system. People respond differently to different foods and drinks, so this will be a learning curve for you as an individual.
Some foods that adversely affect mood:
- Foods with high levels of preservatives
- Sugary foods
- Fried food
- Hydrogenated or trans fats
- Refined carbs
Some foods proven to boost mood include:
- Leafy greens
- Fish (omega 3)
Don’t skimp on your sleep, it really, really matters
Some of us lead very busy lives and as such, some of us will feel the need to cut back on sleep to be on top of everything – and this is bad news. Sleeping is very important, it helps your brain regenerate and is a necessity not a luxury. Lack of sleep can take a serious toll on your mental well-being and can directly affect things like your mental sharpness, mood, energy and your ability to handle stress.
Make sure you’re not skipping too much sleep.
Find purpose in life
In life, everyone has a purpose. People derive meaning and purpose in different ways that involve benefitting other people – as well as yourself.
In biological terms, finding meaning and purpose is fantastic for brain health as it generates new cells and creates neural pathways in the brain. Finding a purpose can also directly strengthen your immune system, relieve stress, affect motivation and even alleviate pain.
Look after your mental well-being using the steps above and I guarantee that you’ll feel incredible – even after just a short period of time making these changes.