With World Mental Health Day just around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to emphasize a bit more on mental health, how important it is and ways we can improve it. Mental Health is defined as our emotional, psychological and social well being. Mental health plays a major role in how we think, feel and act. Therefore, it is quite important that we all check our mental well being and make sure we’re perfectly all right.
This blog is to bring more awareness about mental health as a whole and also some insights on what we can do to improve it. During this day and age, Mental health is something that is becoming more known to the masses because of how much it has negatively impacted the world. Some factors that contribute to mental health problems include:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
Mental health problems are more common than you realize. 1 billion people live with mental disorders, that’s literally 1 in every 7 people. 3 million people die every year from abuse of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. However, people with mental health problems can get better and most of them even recover completely.
Early Signs That Your Mental Health May Be Declining Are:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Having low or no energy
- Smoking drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Fighting with family and friends
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Feeling numb like nothing matters
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
If you do notice any of these signs in yourself or with people around you it may be a good idea to talk to them or someone and find out what the problem is so you can find a solution for it. Remember that there’s a solution to every problem and there’s nothing that can’t be fixed. There are a few simple things we can do to improve your mental health. They are:
Eating The Right Foods
You are literally what you eat so make sure to eat good foods to make you feel great about your health and well being. What we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain and ultimately our mood. Eating high quality foods with a lot of vitamins & minerals nourish the brain. On the other hand, refined sugars or processed foods being consumed on a daily basis could be harmful to the brain and lead to mood disorders such as depression.
Some foods that could positively impact your mental health are:
- Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids – For example: salmon, walnuts, flax seeds. They may help fight disorders like depression, schizophrenia and dementia.
- Iron helps with feelings of fatigue, apathy and depression. Foods rich in iron are oatmeal, raisins, leafy vegetables, & lentils.
- Magnesium plays a major role in the development of serotonin. Leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, bananas and dark chocolate are rich in it.
- Vitamin B12 allows the body to synthesize a group of nutrients critical for normal neurological function which in turn may help regulate depression.
Your mood and well being is determined to a large extent by what you eat. Following a balanced diet and including complex carbohydrates, fats, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals & water helps maintain a good balance of all your hormones. Don’t deprive yourself of any food but ensure that you eat everything in a balanced manner.
Getting In Some Good Exercise
Exercising on a regular basis not only helps you lose weight but also makes you confident, more aware of yourself and helps you realize where you stand in a certain sense. This can positively impact your life by helping you understand what you’re strong at and what you need to work on.
Apart from this, exercise also helps improve the mood in people. Exercise enhances the action of endorphins, chemicals that improve the body’s immunity, reduces pain and improves mood. It also offers health benefits like a lower blood pressure, protection against heart diseases and boosts self esteem.
Protecting one’s mental health is as important as protecting your physical health. Both of these go hand in hand. If any one of these are suffering, so will the other. Take care of your body and your mind will be thankful. Healthy body, healthy mind.