There is no health without mental health.
10th October is celebrated as World Mental Health Day. it’s an attempt at creating awareness about the importance of mental health, the need to stay mentally healthy and how one can achieve it.
We give a lot of importance to physical health. We invest in fitness centers and equipment to work on our bodies. We pay attention to our diet and follow the rules of hygiene to ensure we stay healthy in every way we can.
However, hardly do we pay attention to our mental health, our mental hygiene. Seldom do we consider paying close attention to the health of our mind that is paramount for a healthy and happy life.
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Sharing today, 10 simple tips for mental hygiene. Follow these tips to achieve optimum health–both mental as well as physical–and watch your peace return!
HOW TO STAY MENTALLY HEALTHY:
INVEST IN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH:
The way you visit your family doctor for your annual health tests, do visit a psychiatrist to get a mental health check.
There is really no shame in visiting a mental health expert. it’s not just those who suffer from mental illnesses who need to visit a shrink! You can, and should, too, if you don’t feel good in your mind, for the mind is the most powerful part of the human body.
FOLLOW AN EXERCISE REGIMEN:
There’s an avalanche of information coming our way from every corner that insists on the importance of staying physically active and fit. Joining a gymnasium, enrolling in Yoga classes or following some or the other fitness technique to stay healthy is what everybody talks about. And, yet, there are so many among us who fail to get off our couch and get moving!
Any physical activity, be it yoga, walking, jogging or exercising, helps release chemicals in our body known as endorphins that stimulate a positive feeling within us. These ‘feel good’ chemicals make us happy. And, it is this happy feeling that keeps us mentally healthy.
It helps us deal with the difficult moments that show themselves during the span of a day and we find it easier to make decisions or face those tough moments with a calmer mindset.
Imagine how much it would help if you make exercising an important part of every day? It’s what has helped me face my anxiety and take better control of my thoughts.
SHARE YOUR FEELINGS:
We often keep our stress and anxiety bottled up inside us, worrying about how others might view us and our thought processes. All this pent up stress takes its toll on our mind and our body, our relationships, and our work, resulting in a gradual disintegration of our being.
Leave aside the fear of what people might think if you shared your feelings with them. If there are issues that bother you on an everyday basis, share them with your close friends or relatives. It will help take the load off your chest and you might also find solutions to some of those problems.
Maintain a diary or work on Morning Pages–a wonderful exercise that helps you in writing whatever comes to your mind, objectively. And, if all else fails, visit a therapist who will be better able to help you deal with your fears, your anxieties or your stress.
Remember, chronic stress ruins not just your mind but also your body. So, if you are experiencing stress in any area of your life, address those issues. It’s what will keep you in better health than just visiting a gym every day!
LOOK AFTER YOUR DIET:
You are what you eat. If you eat junk, then that’s how your body will turn out to be. And, if you stick to a healthy diet that consists of all the food groups–proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats–you are sure to have a healthier body.
What we eat also affects how we feel. A healthy dose of all the necessary nutrients in your daily diet will ensure your mind feels healthy and happy. It’s what will encourage you to take better care of yourself and make you aware of how you ought to do it.
KEEP YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION UNDER CONTROL:
Drinking socially and responsibly is necessary.
Alcohol enters the bloodstream and affects our thinking, our cognition, our intellectual functioning. It may leave us feeling euphoric for the time being, but once its effects dissipate, it only leaves us feeling much more miserable than when we started.
Limit your alcohol consumption and when you do drink, make sure you eat before you drink as well as while you drink. Exercise self-control and make sure you are well aware of your actions.
INDULGE IN A HOBBY:
Hobbies are the best stress busters. They not only keep your mind occupied with something that gives you happiness and a sense of satisfaction but also keep you physically active.
Be it gardening, art, music, baking, singing, dancing, cooking, pottery…the list of these stress-busters is endless!
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Make time for your hobby. Even if it’s for an hour every day, set aside the time when you can be engrossed in your favorite activity and watch your stress vanish!
REDUCE THE CLUTTER – MENTAL AS WELL AS PHYSICAL:
Words that people uttered, words that hurt you in the past are words that haunt us for years together and poison our mind, our heart. Why do you need this poison when you can just let go of this mental clutter and live peacefully?
So, just forgive and forget. Or, at least let it be a lesson that you will remember all your life and stay away from such toxic people.
Let go of the physical clutter in your life, too. Holding on to stuff that brings only momentary pleasure, hoarding stuff that takes up a lot of your stamina is really not needed for a happy life.
Minimize. Purge on a regular basis. Let go of stuff, people and thoughts that weigh you down. Surround yourself with people who make you happy, with thoughts that spark joy. Rejoice with the happy memories of past moments instead of stuff that only clutters your surroundings.
Let go of the emotional and physical clutter in your life. Follow the rules of MINIMALISM.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SLEEP:
Sleep plays a large role in our wellbeing. But, today’s fast-paced life has left us with a hundred distractions that take away from our ‘sleep time’ and affect our overall health.
We need a minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Follow a routine where you switch off your gadgets an hour before bed-time so that your brain knows its time to rest. The blue light that emanates from your gadgets keeps the brain active and alert, disturbing your sleep.
So, just switch off. You are definitely not going to miss out on something if you turn off your smartphones for the day. But, if you don’t switch off, then you are surely going to miss out on your precious sleep. It’s up to you what matters to you more–the world out there or your health.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT:
I can’t emphasize enough how much living in the present helps keep stress at bay.
It’s what I have been practicing ever since I discovered I suffer from GAD. We, humans, have the tendency to either live in the past or jump into the future. Seldom do we stay in the present. It’s the present moment that’s your life.
Whatever has happened in the past is now a part of history that can’t be undone. Whatever’s not happened yet is all a part of the unknown future, so why bother about it? We don’t even know for sure if what we think is what will indeed happen, do we?
Living in the moment will help keep your stress, fears, anxiety, and panic at bay and help you do your best to live life to its fullest. The choice is, again, yours–whether you want to keep revisiting the past or visiting the future, or whether you want to live in the here and the now and enjoy the moment.
ACCEPT LIFE WITH OPEN ARMS AND A BIG SMILE:
It’s my mom’s advice – to accept life as it is. To tell ourselves that life is good – way better than what we could have expected. And, to never, ever, compare our life with that of the others, for all that glitters is not gold, and we know not the battles people fight behind closed doors!
So, don’t worry, be happy!
Remember, mental health comes first. You need to be healthy in the mind to be healthy in the body.