There are many ties between healthy lifestyle choices and how they positively impact mental health. Here are three tips to improve your lifestyle to promote good mental health.
Mindfulness is the idea that someone becomes very aware of the world around them and their role in it. It can cover anything from nutrition to spirituality and encourages people to focus on the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It’s not hard to see how mindfulness in practice can help someone overcome anxiety attacks and re-centre themselves during a tough period of time.
The first way to take action with mindfulness is to focus on one task at a time. That means unplugging from social media and giving your full attention to what you’re doing. In nutrition, for example, it might mean removing all sources of distraction and focusing on the food you eat. How does it taste? Does it bring you joy? Do you feel satiated? Mindful eating is commonly enacted by experienced nutrition coaches with their clients.
Another way to practice mindfulness is to start meditating. Find a quiet room, use your favorite aromatherapy essential oils to awaken your senses (find inspiration for aromatherapy on this webpage), close your eyes and relax. Focus on breathing deeply, letting thoughts come into your head, acknowledging them, and letting them go. Focus on how your body and your mind feel in this moment and consider what needs to happen to improve those feelings. A weighted blanket may also help with this.
Physical health is entwined with mental health. In fact, the World Health Organisation once released a paper stating, “without mental health, there can be no true physical health.” Exercise is a powerful component in treating mental illness in a holistic way, mostly because the practice releases mood-boosting hormones that offset the impacts of anxiety and depression.
It’s believed that exercise can further improve mental health by providing a structured routine and showing positive results that offset negativity. It also gives those engaged in exercise something to focus on rather than some of the problems they are facing. The physical act of exercising is a positive distraction.
Fuel Your Body with Nutrition
Try to eat a diet that consists mostly of minimally-processed foods, incorporating a lot of fruit and vegetables. By incorporating a diverse selection of produce into your diet, you’ll get a wide variety of micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals that keep your body working as it should.
Your mind reacts to the substances you put in your body, and sugar is no exception. Avoid processed fats and sugars as much as possible, leaving them for special occasions rather than a part of your regular diet.
By creating a lifestyle that promotes healthy habits and self-awareness through mindfulness, you will give yourself some really good natural defences and a strong foundation for good mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation and Mind have lots of information and resources if you would like further support.