You’re lucky to be living in these modern times when society has acknowledged the significant role that an individual’s mental health plays in their overall well-being. A few decades ago, the focus was merely on survival and earning enough day-by-day to have money for food and other necessities. The scientific community was still discovering how the body is composed of complex, interconnected systems that work together to make up a human being.
Nowadays, people are more conscious of the importance of the brain. Kids are taught about how their minds help them learn and remember things.
It’s also fortunate that you can quickly look for resources online on how to take care of your mental health. Plus, if you feel that you need more guidance and support, you can enlist the help of professionals, like the team from Jackson House, who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to regain control of your life.
In case you’re still wondering why you should take care of the state of your mind, here are the importance of maintaining your mental health:
Boosts Your Immune System
As mentioned above, the systems inside your body are interconnected. If an organ is not functioning normally, then, it’s highly likely that you’ll experience issues with the other parts of your body.
It’s more precarious when the organ in question is your brain because it serves as the control center of all bodily processes. The nerves in your body are governed by the nervous system, which is divided into two parts: central and peripheral.
Your brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. The former is responsible for the hormones that your body releases, while the latter serves as a gateway for the brain to communicate with the nerves, and vice versa.
Hormones are produced naturally, and, ideally, their levels are regulated. However, whether due to external or internal factors, your body may have more of some chemicals and lack others. This can lead to an imbalance, which influences your emotions.
Moreover, your mood affects your immunity. Research has shown that negative emotions can suppress your immune system. Conversely, positive emotions can boost your body’s resistance to illnesses.
Exercise is an excellent way to build up your physical and mental well-being. Getting your muscles moving can strengthen your arms, legs, and core, while facilitating the brain’s natural release of happy hormones, such as endorphins and dopamine. Start boosting your immunity by exercising regularly.
Enhances Quality Of Sleep
Maintaining your mental well-being through exercise and other methods can also help give you a good night’s rest. Melatonin, serotonin, and adrenaline are some naturally-occurring hormones that have an impact on the quality of your sleep.
Melatonin regulates your circadian rhythm, which determines your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If your body doesn’t produce enough of this chemical, you may develop insomnia, which can lead to other complications.
Serotonin, on the other hand, is deemed as one of the happy hormones because it can affect your mood and energy levels. It does have a role in the sleep process, specifically concerning wakefulness. The chemical is also involved with the REM cycle.
Similar to serotonin, adrenaline contributes to your wakefulness. When your body is producing high levels of this hormone, you may feel more alert and less sleepy. People suffering from anxiety have high levels of adrenaline and cortisol even when there’s just perceived, not actual, danger. A naturopathic doctor in Phoenix suggests that finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety can help you enhance the quality of your sleep for a healthy mind and body.
Increases Productivity Levels
Have you ever experienced not getting work done because you have a lot of things going through your mind? That’s a classic example of how your mental state affects your productivity. Debilitating disorders, like anxiety and depression, use up all of your thought processes that you can’t think of anything else aside from the trigger that caused you to remember a stressful moment in your life.
A lot of employees suffer from burnout, which is one of the most common disorders in the workplace. This state is characterized by a feeling of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion brought about by the overwhelming demands of a person’s job. This type of fatigue can also be a result of continually failing to achieve one’s personal or career goals.
Burnout can manifest in physical ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these health issues can be exacerbated by the long hours of sitting in front of your desk and continued sedentary lifestyle at home.
Improves Interpersonal Relationships
Your mental health and the state of your interpersonal relationships are correlated. For instance, if you’re suffering from depression, you are less inclined to talk and interact with other people. When you keep pushing people away, the quality of your relationships will eventually deteriorate, unless your family and friends know that your isolation is a signal for help.
Anxiety can also affect your relationship with other people because not everyone understands what goes on in your head when something triggers your nervousness. Some may think that you’re just overreacting or, conversely, coddle you without actually helping you overcome your fears.
When you look for support from the right people, such as trained counselors and psychiatrists, they can equip you with the knowledge and techniques on how to deal with attacks. They can also help you understand why your mind is responding this way and guide you throughout the process until you regain control of your mental health.
Avoid Bad Habits
Maintaining your mental health leads to a strong mind and will. With this, you become conscious about how the little things you do daily can affect the big picture of your life. When you’re aware of this fact, you can, then, do the things that can improve the quality of your life and relationships, as well as avoid the habits that aren’t beneficial to your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Tips To Maintain Good Mental Well-Being
Now that you know why you must take care of your mental health, it’s time to learn the right habits to develop. Here are some tips to help you maintain good mental well-being:
Getting up and moving your muscles around, even for just a few minutes each day, provides significant benefits to your mental health. As stated earlier, exercising allows you to hit two birds with one stone. You strengthen your physique while facilitating the natural release of happy hormones, like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, in your brain.
Exercising regularly helps you boost your physical stamina and endurance. With this, you fight off feelings of sluggishness and lift your spirits.
If working out gives you a boost, it may be better for you to go for a run or walk before going to the office. This way, you ramp up your energy levels for the day ahead.
On the other hand, you can also use exercise as a way to let off steam after a particularly stressful workday. With this, you aid your brain in producing hormones that can regulate your emotions.
Have A Balanced Diet
Since it’s already been established that your brain and body are interconnected, it makes sense that the food and drinks you consume can also affect your mental well-being. The fundamentals of eating healthy are the same when eating for your mind. You must have lots of fruits and vegetables on your plate, as well as eliminate or, at least, minimize your sugar intake.
These are some of the best foods to boost your mental health:
- Fatty Fish – The likes of salmon, mackerel, and sea bass are filled with omega-3 goodness that contributes to optimal brain health. This fatty acid has been found to improve brain function for people who suffer from memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- Berries – If you’re looking for a light snack, you should reach for strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, among others, to enjoy their benefits for your mental health. These fruits are the best sources of antioxidants, which aid in repairing cells and fighting inflammation.
- Complex Carbohydrates – Carbs have become notorious as one of the causes of obesity. However, whole grains and other complex carbohydrates are rich sources of amino acids that can aid your body in producing serotonin. Eating this food group in moderation can improve your mood and maintain your sleep-wake cycle.
- Nuts – Nuts are also excellent for the brain. Similar to berries, they have antioxidants that can repair the damage in your brain cells, as well as reduce inflammation. Moreover, some types of nuts can also facilitate the growth of new neurons, which is valuable for your mental health.
- Yogurt – The brain-gut connection pertains to the direct signaling that occurs between your gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Yogurt is full of probiotics, which play a significant role in stomach health. If your stomach is healthy, it increases the chance that your brain would follow suit.
Get Enough Sleep
Human adults must have at least seven hours of sleep in a day to be able to function well. Sleep is your body’s way of recharging after a hard day’s work, so it makes a lot of sense that you should prioritize it.
Some modern cultures today have misguided notions about being sleep-deprived. They view it as being productive. However, this couldn’t be more contradictory.
The human body is designed to recharge and rejuvenate through sleeping. Make sure that you get enough rest so that you can concentrate and give your best for the next day.
Regular exercise can help you improve the quality of your sleep each night. Another thing you can do is to have a fixed time for sleeping and waking so that your body can get used to the routine.
Moreover, as much as possible, avoid using your phone or laptop in bed since the blue light from these devices mimics sunlight, which can distort your circadian rhythm and perception of time. You can install blue light filter apps, however, to minimize the effect that this illumination has on your body.
Choose Your Inner Circle Wisely
While you may not be able to choose your family and workmates, you have full control over the people you invite into your inner circle. This group in your life should be composed of relatives and friends who care about your welfare genuinely.
Trust your instinct when it tells you to avoid a particular person. Be wary of red flags in the behavior of others, especially if their actions cause you to doubt yourself.
Gaslighting is a psychological trick where an individual manipulates someone else by making the latter question their reality. For instance, you ‘ve made plans with a friend and they arrive late. You confront them about it and show proof of your conversation about the agreed time. They can gaslight you by turning the tables around and saying that you’re the one who has misinterpreted the message, which can cause you to doubt who is telling the truth.
This manipulation is done gradually. You have to be careful about people who do this to you. Your intuition can help you discern who cares for you sincerely.
Be Nice To Yourself
The key to maintaining good mental well-being is to cut yourself some slack. Often, people are their harshest critics, which can lower their confidence and self-esteem. This situation usually happens when you compare yourself to other people and question yourself as to why you don’t have the same accomplishments.
You must understand that everyone is unique. Different people will have different strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t improve your skills. Instead, you should make sure to become better than who you were before while being conscious and realistic of the fact that you have limitations.
Maintaining your mental well-being is important because having a healthy mind can help you achieve your goals. Taking care of your psyche can boost your immune system, enhance the quality of your sleep, and increase your productivity. Moreover, you can also enjoy better interpersonal relationships, as well as have the willpower to resist falling into bad habits to improve your quality of life.