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You were possibly trained at a young age about ways to improve your physical health, however, mental health and self-care might have taken a backseat. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health ailment like anxiety or depression, the treatment typically comprises of emotional therapies and medication.
The lifestyle changes which tend to impact our state of mind are often less observed. Fortunately, with many now prioritising mood and cognitive health as much as their physical health, mental health, and the discourse around it, in current times is less stigmatised than it was in the past. Today mindfulness is equally valued as much as physical health. Even those not suffering from a cognitive health condition may still look for effective ways to further take care of their mood, reduce stress, and accomplish day-to-day mental health.
As with physical health, nurturing mental health is an ongoing process; simple daily practices and lifestyle changes can aid in this. Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Coach, Founder - Let Us Talk mentions five lifestyle modifications to get you started:
Practice relaxation techniques: While sensory input can release stress at the moment, relaxation techniques facilitate condensing overall stress levels. Practices like meditation, yoga, deep inhalation, and progressive muscle relaxation can help put the brakes on anxiety levels and help balance your mind and body.
Healthy eating is a go-to option: In order to achieve optimal brain functioning, you must increase the intake of whole foods like green leafy vegetables, grains, legumes, seafood, and lean meat in your diet. These foods encompass magnesium, folate, zinc, and vital fatty acids which accelerate cerebral function. Edibles rich in polyphenols, such as wine, dark chocolates and berries are also vital in getting the mind activated.
Improving mental well-being through physical activity: Fitness activities to get your body moving can offer an instant mood elevation. Activities that involve social interaction and exposure to nature can possibly help mental well-being even further.
Reach out when you need help: Positive lifestyle alterations are not a replacement for medication or therapy but, rather, something you can undertake yourself in addition to treatment. While most lifestyle modifications can be encouraging, some fluctuations may be challenging if used as an emotional crutch. One might be required to deal with it delicately, and with expert support.
Prioritizing sleep: Along with improving sleep patterns, sleep hygiene techniques also help to treat insomnia. These comprise of limiting caffeine usage, regulating your sleep time, limiting screen time, and ensuring you wake up at a similar time in the morning. Never force yourself to sleep, if you are unable to sleep within around 20 minutes, it may be best to get up and focus on an activity until you feel tired. The other mainstay of achieving an enhanced sleep pattern is to limit light exposure. This will surge the emission of melatonin, which aids in sleep. Getting quality sleep is significant for regulating stress levels, thus indirectly mending mind health.
(With inputs from IANS)
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