By: Mascha Cenia, Social Media Editor, The Pawprint
Many who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, receive first line treatments which usually means one goes through therapy or takes medication. What is not always discussed are the lifestyle changes one can make that influences our mental health.
Even people who do not have a mental health problem may be seeking strategies to enhance their mood, decrease stress, and manage their mental health on a day-to-day basis.
To get you started, here are five lifestyle adjustments to consider:
- Improvement In Diet
Leafy green vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, lean red meat, and seafood are all high in nutrients that are essential for brain activity. Magnesium, folate, zinc, and vital fatty acids are all found in these meals.
Polyphenol-rich foods, such as berries, tea, dark chocolate, wine, and some plants, are also beneficial to brain function.
- Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough hours of sleep is a major factor that affects your mental health and mood.
Throughout your life, sleep is critical to your health and well-being. Getting enough good sleep at the correct times may benefit your mental and physical health, as well as your quality of life and safety.
What happens when you’re sleeping has an impact on how you feel when you’re up. Your body works to sustain good brain function and preserve your physical health while you sleep. Sleep also aids growth and development in children and teenagers.
It’s also vital not to be urged to fall asleep – if you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and focus your attention on something else (with limited light and stimulus) until you’re exhausted.
Reduced exposure to light – particularly blue light from computers and cellphones – prior to sleep is another key to healthier sleep. Melatonin secretion will be increased as a result, assisting you in falling asleep.
- Being Outdoors
Muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity all decrease within minutes of being exposed to nature. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is greatly reduced when you spend time in green environments. Nature also enhances happiness by increasing endorphin levels and dopamine production.
Spending time outside might help you feel less anxious and depressed. Spending time in a green environment enhances happiness and self-esteem, according to a review of 10 research. Those suffering from mental illness had substantial gains in self-esteem as well as a reduction in depressive symptoms.
- Stay Active
Several forms of fitness exercises, such as swimming, running, lifting weights, and playing sports, might be useful. Getting your body moving by going for a brisk walk or performing active chores is a good start.
Activities that include social contact and exposure to outdoors have the potential to improve mental health even more.
Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week is recommended by general exercise recommendations (about 150 minutes total over the week). Short bursts of movement, on the other hand, can produce an instant mood boost.
- Get Help If You Need So
Positive lifestyle changes aren’t meant to be a substitute for medicine or psychiatric therapy; rather, they’re meant to be something people can do on their own in addition to their treatment.
While many lifestyle changes might be beneficial, others (such as avoiding bad foods, drinking alcohol, or quitting smoking) can be difficult if used as a psychological crutch. They may need to be handled with care and with the assistance of professionals. Staying active is beneficial to both the mind and the body. Regular exercise or activity may enhance your mental and emotional health, as well as ease stress, boost memory, and improve your sleep.