How to manage your mental health | Leon Taylor | TEDxClapham
How to Maintain Psychological Health
The World Health Organization describes psychological, or mental, health 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." Just like physical health, mental health needs to be maintained during times of low emotional stress, in order to make you resilient to future troubles. Doctors believe that psychological and physical health are perpetually linked, and both should be actively maintained. There are a number of ways you can promote mental health, through physical activity, lifestyle changes, community contact and more.
Eat a balanced diet.Good nutrition can give you all the nutrients your body needs to be physically and mentally well. Overeating and eating junk food are negative influences that can affect your mood, weight and self-confidence.
Exercise regularly.Cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins, which lift your mood and positively affect your quality of life. Exercise also builds self confidence in managing your life.
Sleep well.Resting your mind for at least 8 hours per day through sleep helps to manage stress and improve your physical and emotional well-being. High stress and lack of sleep can compromise your immune system and create opportunity for sickness.
Get a dose of sunlight to help your mood.Sunlight produces serotonin in your brain, a mood-enhancing chemical. Doctors suggest you go outside and sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day, or 30 minutes if you need a big mood boost.
Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a depression caused by lack of sunlight.It is common in northern climates where people don't see direct sunlight for months. If you feel you might have this condition, consult your doctor. You can buy indoor full spectrum lights that have been shown to improve this condition.
Limit your intake of alcohol.Although alcoholic substances can make you feel happy on a short-term basis, they are a depressant. High intake of alcohol can lead to depression, physical consequences and possibly alcoholism, all which take their toll on mental health.
Build self-confidence.Identify your strengths and your weaknesses. Play to your strengths, accept compliments and don't indulge in negative thoughts.
Keep track of your moods with a journal or conversation.Self-reflection can help you identify times when you are prone to mood shifts. This can help you to recognize the warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression and possibly prevent them.
Manage stress through relaxation methods.Although exercise, support systems and sleep can help you manage stress, you should also find a way to limit the effects on your body and mind. Massage, meditation, yoga, baths, writing and walking can help you to manage stress before it develops into anxiety.
Positive Lifestyle Changes
Find a creative pursuit.Studies show that making or being creative outside of your job can help give you a feeling of accomplishment and improve quality of life. Try gardening, writing, playing an instrument, drawing, painting or crafting as a hobby.
Manage your finances.Money issues are 1 of the largest causes of stress and anxiety. Take the time to create a reasonable budget.
Plan leisure time every day.Many people become overwhelmed with work or family responsibility. Care for yourself like you care for others, by planning "playtime."
Good adult "playtime" activities include reading a book, talking to a friend, going for a walk, listening to music or walking.Add laughter and positive feedback by going out with friends or joining a book club or knitting bee.
QuestionIs gymnastics good for health?Top AnswererAbsolutely! Any and all exercise releases dopamine, which makes you happier. Gymnastics is also a great way to improve flexibility, balance, and overall health.Thanks!
- Try volunteering to improve mood. Giving unselfishly to others can improve your quality of life. You can feel even more satisfied with volunteer work than with paid work.
- Consider getting a pet. If you have the means to take care of an animal, you can benefit from the unconditional love and support a pet can give. Studies have shown that making eye contact with your dog can release oxytocin, a mood-lifting brain chemical.
Video: Emotion, Stress and Health: Crash Course Psychology #26
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