Mental health is a state of psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. It determines the way we relate with people, make decisions and the host of other things we do as humans. It affects our feelings, actions, behaviour and thinking. Maintaining sound mental health is important for people of all ages and status.
Mental illness is the opposite of mental health. Sometimes, it could be an indication that something is going wrong emotionally or psychologically. At the same time, it could also be a pointer to underlying health issues and disease. Mental health issues can be subtle.
Maintaining sound mental health is just as important as the basic needs of life. It is the bedrock to a good life and physical wellbeing. The following are some tips to help you maintain good mental health.
- Healthy diet: A healthy diet is important for both physical and mental health. Let your diet be filled with more protein than calorie-rich giving food items with exceptions to those on diets fixed by medical practitioners. Feast more on fruits than fatty foods. Unhealthy eating may lead to obesity and all its accompanying medical issues. All of these can cause mental stress too. While unhealthy eating can be very pleasurable it poses some stress in the long run. So, to stay healthy, eat healthily!
- High self-esteem: Some people wrongly equate high self-esteem with pride. This is very wrong. High self-esteem means you accepting yourself the way you are. You think highly of yourself and giving have a high level of self-worth. The opposite of high self-esteem is low self-esteem. Low self-esteem which has been identified by experts as a form of mental illness and as the root cause of other mental issues such as depression as an example.
- Say the right words to yourself: negative thoughts lead to negative confessions and this can have a tremendous effect on your self-image and affect your actions. Being overly pessimistic can cast a dark shadow over your entire life. The results are hordes of negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, sadness, anger and so on all of which will affect your frame your mind. You need to surround yourself with people who say the right words to you. But more importantly, you also need to say it to yourself. Positive Confession has been proven to help re-frame the state of the mind and once the mind is positive, it rubs off on your entire body.
- Confide in someone/therapy: sometimes trying to fight your battle all by yourself can plunge you deeper into problems and affect your mental health. If you are struggling with anything or depressed it is best to open up to someone about it. Of course, this is easier said than done as the fear of judgment and stigmatization makes people keep things to themselves. Alternatively, rather than just tell anyone, you can also talk to a therapist who is a professional in dealing with mental health issues and will be better positioned to assist you.
- Reduce alcohol and other stimulants: Nothing remains good when done in excess. A lot has been said about the effects of alcohol, weed and other types of stimulants on the body, especially on your mental health. Alcohol can worsen symptoms of depression. Caffeinated drinks, when taking excessively can disrupt your sleep pattern causing insomnia and other related issues. Excessive intake of any drugs can also lead to anxiety disorders, addiction, and other issues. If you must take any of these at all, keep them to a minimum.
- Improve your social life: Although being alone is not the same as loneliness, isolation is one of the leading causes of mental issues. While some people find peace and tranquillity in solitude, most people feel lonely and rejected when they are left by themselves. This can have a detrimental effect on their feeling of self-worth and confidence. If you feel alone and lonely, then you should take steps to transform your social life. Join a new group or participate actively on the ones you are on already. Be more outgoing and less of a muse and you will see your life and mental wellbeing transformed drastically.
- Exercise: This can be physical or psychological. Exercises like jogging, swimming, and other aerobic exercises have been known to help improve both physical and mental fitness. Another useful exercise is yoga. Yoga helps improve concentration. It reduces stress and anxiety and can also boost normal brain functioning. Generally, physical activities that improve blood circulation in the body and most especially the brain are quite beneficial for your mental health. Also, you should engage in mental exercises like picture puzzles, crosswords, riddles, and other brain tasking games as they help improve mental health.
- Sleep: Doctors recommend that an average person should sleep between six to nine hours every day. Good and adequate sleep is very important as it helps relax the muscles, repair broken down tissues and more importantly it refreshes the brain. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, stress and a host of other issues. No matter how busy your schedule is, try to get as much sleep as you can manage daily.
- Arts: Art in its various forms have been proven to help improve and maintain mental health. Art involves creativity, it can also help in boosting brain capacity. Music, drawing, painting, dancing, writing and other forms of help can help increase happy feelings and maintain good mental health. Since doing what you love helps to maintain good mental health, always engage in what you love, especially things relating to art.
Good mental health does not happen by magic. You must be deliberate about how you live since everything you do daily affects your mind. Similarly, the state of your mind also affects the quality of your mind. Hence, you should tend to your life to maintain good mental health and pay attention to your mental health if you want to enjoy a good life.