Mental Health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. And it affects the way we think, feel, act, make decisions and relate to other people. Mental Health is more than the absence of mental illness and is essential to both your overall health and your quality of life. Self- care can be key to maintaining your mental health and supporting your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.
So, in this article we will see 12 fundamental actions if we are considering starting to take care of our mental health.
Physical activity has benefits on your body and your mind. Thanks to exercise, the production of hormones responsible for the feeling of well-being and happiness, such as serotonin and endorphins, is stimulated. When you stay active, you better manage pain, stress, anxiety, and avoid repetitive thoughts.
In order to get the maximum benefit from its effects, you should practice it at least three times a week. We recommend that you choose one that you like; it can be a team sport, go for a walk, ride a bike, swim, dance—it’s about staying active. Thus, your self-esteem will be higher, and depression will not come near you.
Your concentration is affected when you feel tired; in addition, energy disappears from your body, and demotivation floods you. All this has a significant impact on your mental health, so we recommend that you get enough sleep to be rested, improving markedly your ability to perform daily tasks. It is normal to sleep between 7 and 8 hours a day. Although this depends on each person, what is essential is to have good quality sleep to avoid sleep disorders. Sleeping well considerably improves your physical and intellectual performance and reduces the possibility of both psychological and physical problems appearing.
A healthy diet is essential to take care of your body and your mind. Eating well and in a healthy way helps you keep your mental health in good condition and makes your brain feel better. It is no secret that a balanced diet helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the chances of having certain diseases such as diabetes. It also prevents heart disease or stroke.
All this, among other things, will make you feel better, and you’ll have greater self-esteem. What you eat is the fuel of your body, and therefore, not ingesting the nutrients you need can make you feel bad. The right thing to do is to include foods rich in vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to boost your mental health.
Active Social Life
Caring for and maintaining contact and good relationships with the people around you will strengthen you. By avoiding isolation, problems such as stress or anxiety decrease, and your brain stays more active. Feeling that you have a support network has a positive influence on your general well-being, especially when you have a problem. The reason is that it generates a greater sense of confidence that enhances happiness. It is necessary to seek and strengthen healthy bonds that enrich you and generate positive emotions. This will help you grow as a person and avoid, as much as possible, getting close to certain individuals who are not good for you.
Spending time in a pleasurable activity improves your mood. In fact, it is proven that daily responsibilities are better managed when you are happy. Also, on a scientific level, it is proven that laughter has the ability to reverse some types of brain damage. By releasing certain chemicals, parts of the brain that cannot be healed in any other way are strengthened. In addition, it is a perfect tool to maintain a healthy heart since it reduces the inflammation of the arteries and increases good cholesterol.
Learn to Manage Thoughts
Correctly managing your worries and negative thoughts can help you have good mental health because they can push you to act desperately or encourage you to abandon a task. For this reason, today more than ever, you can help yourself with emotional intelligence to improve your mental health. In this way, it will be easier for you to know how to attend to what worries you, and you will learn to manage your obsessive thoughts. This will allow you to keep anxiety, anger, frustration, or sadness, among others, at bay. Knowing how to manage your emotions and thoughts will help you to be more sure of yourself and will allow you to face problems from another perspective.
The situations that cause you stress can overload your brain with a series of negative consequences and leave it exhausted. Therefore, you must learn to face stressful situations and manage a series of respites. One of the keys to stress management in times of work overload or exams is to give yourself time to breathe fresh air, get closer to nature.
A divorce, the loss of a loved one, or being unemployed are some negative changes that occur during life. The worst thing about these situations is that they can make you feel bad on a psychological level. In these cases, try to keep your mind relaxed and reduce everything that causes you stress. If you have hobbies, perhaps with them you can relax; meditation can be one of the keys to this.
In addition to learning to manage your emotions by reducing stress levels, thanks to meditation, it is possible to slow down the aging process and provide other benefits. Meditating can lift your spirits almost immediately and give you an overall sense of well-being. Some of the simplest exercises you can try are the different breathing techniques. In the same way, yoga is also an activity that will help you unwind and relax.
Ask for Help
On certain occasions, you may find yourself at a crossroads and feel that you cannot manage on your own. In these cases, it is appropriate to ask for help, and this should not make you feel guilty or ashamed. Overcoming some situations is not easy, and knowing that you can ask friends, family, or professionals for help gives you the necessary peace of mind to face them.
Have a Purpose
Pursuing a goal is one of the keys to having and maintaining good mental health. It can help you feel like you have a reason to keep doing what you do. The goal you set for yourself should be realistic and achievable in the short term so that you establish a habit to which you can add new challenges. Your small victories will bring you great satisfaction. In fact, most people are happy when they know that they are striving to achieve something and that they are contributing to a better society. On the other hand, working without a clear purpose brings very little satisfaction.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great ally to improve your mental health. In it, you can reflect on what is important to you and give thanks for everything that has happened to you throughout the day. You can do it in the morning as soon as you get up to give your brain positive energy to face the day by writing down everything positive from the previous day. Or do it at night, to end the day with good vibes and rest better.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Substances such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar, caffeine, among others, can alter control and produce irreversible effects on your brain. They are euphoric and depressant that affect your brain functions, and this can cause mental problems such as depression or anxiety. The secret of well-being is to maintain a balance between body and mind, but most of us care only about physical health. We are not aware that mental health is as important as physical health and that if we are not psychologically well, it will have repercussions in our organism.
Also, consider periodically disconnecting from the media; do not consume so much news or social networks, which influence your emotional state and the way you perceive reality.