When is the last time you took a leave because you were suffering from fever? A few months or years back perhaps right?
Now think about the last time you felt so unhappy that you felt doomed, tired, hopeless and helpless that you had to drag yourself out of bed. Or about that time when you had tears rolling down your cheeks even though you didn’t know why. Did you call up your boss and take a leave? Or did you try to brush off your feelings and your tears to reassure yourself that you are fine?
In today’s world, we don’t give our mental health as much importance as our physical health. Our social, emotional and psychological well-being is all part of our mental wellbeing. It has an effect on the way we perceive, experience, and deal with things. It also influences how we deal with stress, interact with everyone, and make good decisions. Mental health is critical at all stages of life, including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Why is mental health important?
Mental health is of utmost importance due to the following reasons:
a) Physical and mental health is inextricably linked, and it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that depression causes heart and vascular disease.
b) The state of one’s mind has a big impact on how well one’s immune system works.
c) Depression is exacerbated by chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
d) Patients of depression who are medically ill have a poorer result than those who are not.
e) Unemployment, broken homes, poverty, substance abuse, and related crime are all after-effects of mental illness.
f) Mental illnesses impact people’s health behaviors such as eating rationally, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy sexual activities, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, and sticking to medical treatments.
Now that you know the importance of mental health, you may be wondering what steps you can take in order to improve your mental well-being. Below we give you some ways that are bound to help.
Express your emotions
It’s not a show of weakness to express your emotions. It’s just part of taking control of your health doing whatever you can to maintain it. Talking will help you deal with a dilemma you’ve been thinking about for a long time. Simply being heard can make you feel more accepted and far less lonely. It even works the other way around. If you speak out, it will inspire others to do so as well.
It can be quite difficult to put into words how you’re feeling. Use a lot of words and phrases if you can’t think of a particular word. What do you think it’s like inside your mind? What do you feel compelled to do as a result of it?
You don’t have to sit down with your loved ones and have a long discussion about your health. Many people feel more at ease when discussions arise naturally, such as when spending time together. Offer it time if it feels uncomfortable at first. Make it a habit to chat about how you’re feeling.
Consume a nutritious diet
There are clear correlations between the food we consume and how we feel. Caffeine and sugar, for example, may have an instant impact. Diet may also have a long-term effect on the brain. Your brain, like the rest of your body’s organs, needs a variety of nutrients to remain healthy and function properly.
A diet that is beneficial to your physical well-being is also beneficial to your emotional well-being. A well-balanced diet should include a large variety of fruits and vegetables, cereals or bread made with whole grains, legumes, dairy, fatty fish, and lots of water
Stays hydrated and eat a minimum of three times a day. Limit your intake of high-caffeine or sweetened drinks, and abstain from excessive alcohol consumption.
A change of scenery or routine is beneficial to your mental health. Breaks can range from 10 minute naps, to a short hike or a month long vacation. Analyze what you think you need for your mind to recover. As long as you can afford to, take as much time off as you need. Do not over work yourself.
A few minutes of ‘me time’ to yourself can be a game changer for your mental health. Learn to prioritize yourself. Relax in the way that suits you best. For some, this may mean going on a long hike and for others it may mean meditating or just sleeping. You know yourself best, so learn to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Experts agree that exercise causes the brain to release hormones that help you feel healthier and happier. Daily exercise will improve your self-esteem while also assisting you in concentrating, sleeping, and feeling healthier.
Exercise is also beneficial to the brain and other essential organs. Exercising entails more than just playing sports or working out in the gym. You can stay active by going for walks, hikes, dancing or doing housework.
Most people can exercise for 30 minutes about five times a week, according to experts. The World Health Organization recommends 30-40 minutes of brisk walking every day to keep healthy. Make enjoyable physical exercise a component of your daily routine.
Recognize and accept the person that you are
Each of us is special. Accepting your individuality is much better than wishing you were someone else. Feeling happy about yourself gives you the courage to try new things, travel to new areas, and meet new people. When life throws you a curve ball, having high self-esteem will help you cope.
Take pride in who you are. Recognize and embrace your shortcomings, but concentrate on your strengths. Determine if there is something you really want to improve about yourself. Do you have reasonable expectations? If they are valid, take small measures to improve them.