Mental health is an important area of an individual’s life from childhood to adulthood and it includes psychological, emotional and social well-being. It affects how you feel, think and act when one faces life situations. Mental wellness is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” This means if you don’t have a healthy mental state then it would be difficult to live your life to the fullest.
Mental health problems are a common thing amongst the young people than the elderly. There are various factors that can affect one’s mental health such as:
- Life experiences, e.g, abuses, trauma, domestic violence
- Family history of mental illness
- Biological factors such as brain chemistry and genes
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Long periods of unemployment
- Death of someone close
- Social isolation and loneliness
Some of the signs that a person that has mental problems will present with are:
- Mood disorders
- Exaggerated sense of self-worth
- Eating disorders
- Sleep problems such as insomnia
- Social withdrawal
Just as you take care of your physical health, you also need to take care of your mental health. Some ways that you can improve your mental health include:
Studies have shown that a proper diet plays a big role in increasing mental health problems, hence making the right nutritional choices will work on your mental health just like the physical health. The food you eat is raw material for the brain to manufacture neurotransmitters and hormones and this helps control your sleep, behavior and enable you to have a better mood.
Eat more fresh produce, proteins, whole grains and foods that have less sugar and fats and this will help the brain function properly. Vitamins speed up the chemical processes of cognitive function and survival and lack of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Foliate, Omega 3 and Zinc causes one to have depression especially for new mothers. Taking a healthy, balanced meal will help you have steady energy and provides adequate nutrition to the brain.
Control Your Stress
This is a major contributing factor to mental problems so we should learn how to respond to the stress we face in our lives. Stress is part of our life and it requires adequate adaptation. The main goal of controlling stress is to cue the “relaxing response“ which is the psychological and physiological calming process the body undergoes when we perceive the stressful event has passed.
Meditation, relaxation, exercising are helpful techniques that help reduce stress levels. Persistent stress leads to confusion, loss of sense of humor, concentration and memory retention, irritability, anger, and fear.
You will first need to identify the triggers of your stress and know how you can stop it from becoming a stressor. Stop pessimistic over analysis, negative self-criticism and self-talk as it can turn to be a major cause of stress. The source of stress should also be identified and dealt with for example, internal stressors caused by negative thoughts need a change in attitude and behavior while external stressors such as the death of a loved one can be managed with time with the support of friends and family.
Gym and Exercising
A regular physical activity schedule will help with mental health and produce health benefits for a long period of time. The exercises work as cognitive booster and they help reduce the systems of anxiety and depression by releasing Endorphins which help relieve stress and makes one have a better mood. You don’t need to be a gym enthusiast, but taking a walk or jogging through the park, dancing or cycling will boost your energy and ensure you regain a sense of control. Doing rhythmic exercises that engage your arms and legs such as walking will help you focus on the rhythm of your heartbeat, and how your body moves rather than your thoughts
Due to our busy schedules, we tend to have fewer hours of sleep and this greatly affects the mental sharpens, mood energy and ability to handle stress. Sleep relaxes the mind and body, hence enhance memory. An adult should sleep about 8-9 hours each day so the brain can unwind easily. Before going to bed, make sure you do wind down by taking a break from all stimulating things such as laptops and TV, take a warm bath, listen to soothing music or read under a soft light. Stick to a regular schedule even on the weekends so that the body can have circadian rhythms, hence having a good sleep at all times.
These are synthetic compounds that help improve one’s cognitive function, have better recall and have a crystal clear focus. They are brain supplements that preserve the brain function and cognition, protect it from physical and chemical assaults, enhance memory and the ability to learn. There are various types of Nootropics and they work through a variety of mechanisms and are safe to use with very few side effects.
With good mental health you are assured of a good physical health, have improved productivity and financial stability because you are able to maintain employment, cause less strain to the family for seeking mental health treatment, and you are able to enjoy a longer healthier life. A good mental health can also enable you to have a better sex life and boost libido. Early treatment of mental problems and effective treatment is important as it ensures that you function well. Therapies, medication and lifestyle changes are also good in helping ease mental suffering.