What is mental health? And why is even mental health important?
While we often talk about physical health, we ignore our mental health. Since childhood, we have little acceptability of mental health. Even talking about it is stereotypical. You say you are stressed, feel mentally low, feel anxiety, and people believe that you are ungrateful for what you have.
Mental health is equally important for students, parents, children, working people, and adults. Your mental health affects your physical health. And you need to work on being mentally healthy from the right age! Why? because Mental health is what determines how you control and express your emotions, how you build up yourself psychologically, and how you progress socially. It affects your brain functioning, mood, capabilities, emotions, behavior, and processes. It also affects how you cope up with difficult times of lives.
For instance, people with strong mental health are unlikely to commit suicide during stress then people with poor mental health! In order to become emotionally strong, content and resilient, you need to work on your mental wellbeing.
How to improve Mental health?
Here is an expert advice coming from various platforms including World Health Organization, psychologists and behavioral experts.
1. Having good amount of sleep
Repeat and preach: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!” What this indicates that mental fitness is affected by sleep. Doctors and psychologists advice that children and adults need minimum 11 hours of sleep. While young ones need 8 hours of sleep daily. Sleep is equally important for physical health. People who want fresh skin also need to sleep well. So yes, your mind needs to have rest for 8 hours a day! This is very important for your mood, physical health, and mental well-being.
People who are sleep driven are often victim of mental disorders. Such as stress, tension, depression, headaches, and migraines. They are often short-tempered. Which effects their social life and work.
How to have good amount of sleep?
For having good hours of sleep, make sure you have a time table. Stick to it and get time to sleep. If you are a student, make sure you cut off unnecessary activities and adjust your sleep. Being a mother, sleep when your toddler lets you. Being a working person, you need to go home at time, and sleep well. Make sleep your priority! Work can be managed efficiently if you sleep well!
If you are having trouble with sleeping, I would never recommend you to take sleeping pills. Rather cut off your night-time screen timing. Don’t take your mobile with you to your bed! It is bad for eye health and bad for your sleep.
Next, make sure you eat about 2 hours before sleeping. As a tummy full or an empty tummy never lets you sleep right!
Make sure your bed is clean, comfortable and quite. it will help in uninterrupted sleep!
2. Nutrient-rich Foods
They say, you are what you eat. Whatever you eat gets reflected in your health. If you eat healthy, you look healthy. If you eat unhealthy, it shows! Studies also show that mood is dependent upon your diet. a healthy diet helps you elevate your mood. Also, a natural diet with low sugar, carbs, salt and unprocessed food is good for mental health. People with traditional dietary habits are less vulnerable to depression. Then people with Westerns and fashioned dietary habits.
Studies show that the right amount of all the essential proteins, carbs and fats are important for your mental and physical health. Drinking the right amount of water so that blood flow to Brian is good is equally important.
If you are thinking what type of diet is best for mental health. then it must include some sort of following:
- Proteins: red meat and white meat are equally rich in proteins. if you are a vegetarian, have an egg in your diet.
- Vegetable: opt for low carb ones, also try to have them raw such as cucumber, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, spinach etc.
- Fruits: Though i feel all fruits are equally important with their own benefits. but try going for those with low glycerin index and high water content such as watermelon. you can opt for apples, bananas, strawberries, guava, peaches and many more!
- Fats: Go for plant based fats such as vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil then animal based fats like ghee. Ghee, or what they call is organic butter is high in fats. you can not exceed it in your diet. it is beneficial but in restricted amounts.
3. Have a social connectivity and active social life
I will again like to start of traditionally. Remember when we were taught “Man is a social animal!” Yes, your social life is what makes you different. There is a quote that if you want to know about someone, meet his friends. Your friends and social circle determine what your personality is.
Also, your social life helps you become motivated in your life. Humans also have the urge to share their joy and depression with someone they can easily connect to. Having people around you, whom you can talk and share are actually a way of having a good mental health. Your mood boosts as soon as you find someone to share your problems with. For this, make sure you have friends or family members whom you can connect with! combat the stressors in the body and act as a major mood booster.
Tips and trick for healthy social life:
- finding the right people to connect with.
- remain in touch with them either online or in-person.
- be there for them and make sure they be there for you.
- make them your partner in happiness and sorrows
4. Develop Self-compassion
Self-compassion is a way of being kind to oneself. Especially in times of stress, failure and depression. It ensures that you don’t push yourself too hard. You do not blame yourself for being a failure. It also helps in making a positive image about your self and to be kind to oneself.
This, however, cannot be achieved in a day. It is a process. A process where you take out time to appreciate yourself. Appreciate your skills, hard work and the life you are having. Your positivity helps mind relax, and helps to elevate your mood. The way we treat our-self impacts our mental health and well being.
Give yourself a tap on the end of the day on different things. A student for studying endlessly for good grades, a mother for dedicating her life to her children and being a super woman, a father to be able to earn and provide a living! Whatever you are, you are doing great. Your life is important and purposeful.
5. Limit the use of social media
People these days are using social media beyond use. use of social media is both good and bad. I always say that excessive use of anything is bad. Be it something really good, its usage is what makes a difference. Studies show that people who use social media excessively, are often less social. They are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, loneliness and short-temper. This is why if your husband is meaninglessly scrolling down social media all day long, he would still be in a bad mood!
Limiting social media is one of the ways to getting good mental health.
Thereby, be socially active and be less active on social media. this helps the mind to relax and focus on productive things. rather then being on social media all the time, engage in a healthy activity. Choose a hobby instead. go for gardening, reading, walking in your free time. I bought myself and family a Ludo game so that we would play that in our free time then being on mobiles!
6. Be Physically healthy
It is important for you to be physically healthy. For that, you need to make sure you take out certain time in your day for exercise. This will help you elevate your mental health. People who are physically healthy are well composed and relaxed. the best way is yoga. Yoga is an exercise that helps mind and body to relax. Studies show that 15 minutes of exercise a day is necessary. it helps in reducing depression and anxiety.
So go out for a walk, or take some time for yoga, dance, gym, or any other form you like! But make sure you do. As it is healthy for your mind!