This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.
The topic of mental health has become more and more prominent, especially in more recent years. Mental health issues, of all kinds, have been steadily increasing for decades.
Suicide numbers, for example, have been increasing almost continuously since 1907. By 2015, Australia had the highest number of suicide deaths they had ever seen. That number totaled to over three thousand deaths per one-hundred thousand people.
Taking care of your mental health can be a challenge. Daily life in itself can be difficult enough to handle day in and day out, without the added struggle of mental health issues. Here are a few ways that have been shown to increase positive mental health. Of course, always make sure to seek the advice of a mental health professional for any mental health concerns you have.
Making sure you're eating as well balanced a diet as possible helps to improve both your mindset and mental health. Taking in enough fruits and vegetables helps to ensure your body has enough micronutrients, which helps to give you energy, as well as regulate all of the chemicals in your body. Consuming enough protein, whether you take pea protein, collagen or protein from animal sources, will help to keep you satiated for longer. This will help you to not binge eat later or have blood sugar crashes throughout the day. Both of these things help to keep you more alert throughout the day, which in turn, helps to improve your mental health.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the biggest causes of declining mental health. The time your body uses to sleep is the time it needs to recharge and recover from quite literally everything that happened to you during that day. Both your brain and your body need this time. If you don't get enough of it, your physical and mental health will both start rapidly declining. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night improves chemical and hormone regulation in the body, helps your attention span and focusing abilities, as well as aids with digestion. It also can dramatically improve mood along with a slew of other health benefits. Making sure you're getting enough sleep is incredibly important and impactful.
Some symptoms of anxiety and depression can be mitigated by simply slowing down. Stop thinking about the past and stop thinking about the future. Live in the present moment as much as possible and don't forget to breathe. Some ways of doing this are by meditating, listening to calming music, deep breathing practices, journaling and taking part in a quiet creative hobby like drawing or painting. Doing any or all of these things helps to calm your brain and decrease the feelings and physical ticks that anxiety and depression can bring about.
Find a Purpose
This may not be something that is automatically thought of when trying to do things that benefit your mental health. Having a purpose, however, no matter how small or big, can be extremely powerful and impactful to your mental health. Getting up every day without anything that drives you is very defeating over time. So, find something that motivates you or something that impacts those around you. Living with a purpose and an intention, facing any possible fears and tackling life with a growth mindset is one of the best ways to conquer any mental health issues you may be facing. It is almost an intangible feeling, but it gives your brain more confidence, drive and cause to live life to the fullest.
Life is hard, and mental health is no joke. It is incredibly important to put focus and purposeful implementation toward things that will improve it. Doing so will make a world of difference, both to your own life and to the lives of the people around you.