Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all part of our mental health. It has an impact on how we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. It also influences how we deal with stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Therefore, mental health is crucial at all stages of life, from birth to adolescence to adulthood and old age and for both men and women. In some areas such as depression women are twice as likely as men to be affected and more needs to be done to address this inequity. Some suggestions can be found in our 8 Mental Health Tips for Women article.
Remote patient monitoring can be utilized to detect and monitor mental health conditions and is detailed in our Remote Patient Monitoring for Patients with Mental Health Conditions article. If you are dealing with a mental health challenge, it is advisable to seek help from your clinician. Ask for action steps you may take in your daily life to improve your mental health; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, research has shown that making positive lifestyle changes pay off for the majority of people. Here are the top 5 things you can do to help improve your mental health:
1. Set realistic goals
Many people work hard but end up getting nowhere, which causes them a lot of trouble along the way. They don’t spend enough time thinking about what they truly want out of life, they don’t set goals for themselves, and they embark on a journey with no clear destination in mind. Setting a goal is a powerful way to think in advance about your ideal future, what you want in life, and how to turn that vision into reality. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you will know where to focus your efforts.
Goals need to be realistic, so they should be clear and well-defined. Make sure that it is possible to achieve. Vague or unrealistic goals are unhelpful because they do not provide enough and clearer direction. For example, aiming to get rick quickly without a concrete plan or resources could be an unrealistic goal. It is clearer if you would say you set a five-year plan to pay off your debt by dividing it into smaller goals like paying it quarterly. You can include exact amounts or dates so you can measure your degree of success. Little by little, with consistency reviewing and updating your progress, goals will then be achieved.
As you create this mindset, you will be guided with a clear and realistic path, and see how it gives you peace of mind and satisfaction, therefore, boosting your mental health.
2. Take care of your physical health
We frequently think of our mind and body are separate, but our mental and physical health are closely linked. Physical health issues increase our chances of developing mental health issues, and vice versa.
Physical activity is an excellent way to maintain physical health while also improving mental health. Exercising, according to research, causes the brain to release “feel-good chemicals” known as endorphins. Even a short burst of brisk walking for 10 minutes can improve your mental alertness, energy level, and mood. Physical activity, whether it’s gardening or running a marathon, can significantly improve your quality of life. This can reduce feelings of stress and depression and improve your mood.
Good nutrition is another thing it will not only help you feel better physically but could also improve your mood and decrease anxiety and stress. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you to get enough of the nutrients your mind and body need.
Taking care of your physical health also means regularly seeing your healthcare providers to keep track of your health conditions. Regular checkups help you see the bigger picture of your health that might be unnoticeable without the help of the health professional. Having regular visits to your doctor helps you avoid health deterioration or sudden acute episodes.
People often mistakenly think they need to wait until their mental health is really suffering before seeking help. Seeking a professional or mental health counselor can help you restore your balance and well-being before you hit crisis mode, in the same way, it can help you tune up and prevent major health issues. But in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to look for telehealth solutions like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) to stay connected with your healthcare providers anytime and anywhere, even at the comfort of your own home. DrKumo, leader of Connected Health Technology, empowered patients and providers with advanced medical devices and mobile application to allow the monitoring of vital signs continuously in real-time. Knowing that you are being monitored by a healthcare professional gives you peace of mind and satisfaction.
3. Surround yourself with good people
It is important thing that you surround yourself with good people. Good people will either help you to succeed or lift you up in times of distress, some will motivate and inspire you to do better. Those you spend the most time with have a huge influence on your character, mind setting, moods, how you view the world, and the expectations you have for yourself.
Surrounding yourself with good people can affect every aspect of your life, from business to romantic relationships. When you surround yourself with positivity, you’re more likely to adopt empowering beliefs and see life as happening for you instead of to you. You suffer when people around you, like in your business or social circles, are negative or narrow-minded, but if they were good, your life would be peaceful and happy. That is good to boost your mental health. Then how do you do that? Decide to surround yourself with greatness, let go of negative people or relationships, and you need to choose and identify wisely who these people are so you will be on the right track.
4. Practice meditation and relaxation
Meditation can help you achieve a deep state of relaxation as well as a calm mind. During meditation, you concentrate your attention and clear your mind of the tangled thoughts that may be bothering you and producing stress. Physical and emotional well-being may be improved as a result of this process. Reducing stress can put you at less risk for depression which is a serious mood disorder. Additional facts about depression can be found in our 5 Most Common FAQs About Depression article.
In a review published in March 2014 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed over 18,000 scientific studies on the relationship between meditation and depression and anxiety. Forty-seven trials with a total of 3,515 patients met their criteria for well-designed research. The findings revealed that mindful meditation programs delivered over an eight-week period had moderate evidence of reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
For thousands of years, people have been practicing meditation. It was originally intended to aid in the deeper understanding of life’s sacred and mystical forces. Meditation is now widely used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation is an umbrella term for the various approaches to achieving a relaxed state of being. Meditation components can be found in a variety of meditation and relaxation techniques, including mindfulness meditation and yoga.
You can also make meditation as formal or informal as you want, depending on your lifestyle and situation. Some people incorporate meditation into their daily lives, some enroll in special classes. If you want to begin this practice, one simple way is to spend an hour of meditation every day. You can easily practice meditation on your own by deep breathing, repeating a mantra, walking, listening to soothing music, reading and reflecting, praying, and focusing on your gratitude.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, consult with your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of meditation.
5. Practice gratitude
It is very helpful to be thankful every day, either by thinking about what you are grateful for, telling people that you are grateful to have them, or writing it down in your diary or journal. These can be big things to boost you mentally, like the support you have from loved ones, or giving their time, such as enjoying small chitchat or a nice meal. It’s important to allow yourself a moment to enjoy whatever you have. Practicing gratitude can help you to see your life in a different manner. For example, when you are stressed, you may not notice that there are also moments when you have some positive emotions. Gratitude can help you to recognize blessings and positivity in life beyond challenges and trials.
Research shows that practicing gratitude can make you happier. You can practice gratitude in a number of ways, such as saying or writing a thank-you note or starting a gratitude journal. If you want to practice gratitude in your day-to-day life, it is best to start to think of one thing you are grateful for each day that is so good for your mind. It can be as simple as waking up each day healthy. You can see the bright sky or even a simple coffee. Practice this around the same time each day to make it a habit.
By committing to a healthy lifestyle, you can become your own mental health advocate. Integrating these healthy lifestyle changes into your daily life, in addition to your treatment (if applicable), can help you better manage and cope with life’s obstacles.
Lifestyle changes may be hard but remember to start with small steps. You can always build on these lifestyle changes suggestions. Improving your mental health means doing more of what feels good so practice these techniques that you find effective, applicable to you, nurturing, and enjoyable.
- Goyal, M., Singh, S., S. Sibinga, E. M., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., Berger, Z., Sleicher, D., Maron, D. D., Shihab, H. M., Ranasinghe, P. D., Linn, S., Saha, S., Bass, E. B., & Haythornthwaite, J. A. (2014, July 1). Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1809754.