Taking care of your mental health isn't always easy and sometimes we absolutely need to take professional help. However, doing a few things regularly can help you improve your mental health all by yourself.
- Mental health refers to the state of our social, emotional and psychological well-being.
- It is important to prioritise our mental health even if we are not diagnosed with any concerns.
- India has a high rate of mental health problems; here are a few things you can do everyday, no matter your age, to improve your mental health.
Society has always given physical health priority with an understanding that if you are physically fit you can deal with anything that comes your way. We do everything to improve physical diseases -- diet, exercise, medication and even doctor visits.
But until recent times, people barely acknowledged mental issues as important or existing, leave alone speaking about them. They feared doing so might make them appear weak. But now, more people are acknowledging and discussing mental wellbeing.
When people think of mental health, they often think of conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD etc.
So what exactly is mental health?
It refers to the state of our social, emotional and psychological well-being. In other words - mental health affects how we think, feel and act in certain situations.It affects our everyday state of being, and not managing it can lead to medical problems.
Mental health impacts every element of our life, from our relationships, to our performance at work. It is important to prioritise our mental health even if we are not diagnosed with any concerns.
1. Social connectivity
Try and spend time face to face with loved ones. Don’t rely only on technology. It’s easy to get in the habit of texting to connect. Humans are social beings with emotional needs for relationships and positive connections.
Good relationships are important for mental wellbeing. It helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth.
2. Being active
Physical activity releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that lift your mood and provide added energy.
Regular activity can have a major impact on your emotional and mental health. It relieves stress, helps you to sleep better and improves self-esteem.
This doesn’t mean spending more time in the gym. Find activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your daily routine.
3. Practicing gratitude
Many times we focus on the negative - thoughts and events. One way to combat negativity is practicing Gratitude. Be thankful. Maintain a journal. Spend 10 or 15 minutes journaling about what you’re thankful for.
Make a list anywhere from 5 to 10 things. Explore small and big things equally. Beautiful weather, compliments from the team, having a home, job or good health. It helps in being more empathetic and reduces aggression.
4. Be kind to yourself
Ask yourself -- would you speak to someone else the way you speak to yourself? Don’t beat yourself up for making a mistake, or judge harshly for being imperfect. Being kind means taking care of oneself.
For some, self-care might be taking time to rest each week, spending time with friends or going for a vacation. Start by investing in yourself. Spend 1530 minutes each day doing something that uplifts you.
This can bring about a positive change in improving the relationship you have with yourself.
5. Find a meaningful goal
Challenge yourself. Even if you think you’re at a good place in life and most of your goals have been achieved, there are always areas for growth and learning new things.
Stagnation is counterproductive to positivity and self-love.
6. Prioritise sleep
Good quality sleep isn’t just about getting your eight hours. It’s about getting sleep that is restful and energises you.
If you are having difficulty getting restful sleep, try to incorporate practices that will help you achieve better sleep, like exercise daily, avoid caffeine intake close to bedtime, not checking emails and social media an hour before bedtime.
7. Pay attention to present
Being mindful about the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. It includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Live in the moment and enjoy it.
When you have tried all means and made consistent efforts to improve your emotional and mental health and even then find it difficult to function optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help
- Article by Mayuri Sangharajka, Head, Mpower Cell Management