Our mental and emotional health influences the way we think, feel and act. It also affects our ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, and build relationships.
Mental health refers to your overall psychological well-being and includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties.
Being mentally or emotionally healthy is something that is more than being free of depression or anxiety, or other psychological issues. It also includes the presence of positive characteristics.
Taking care of your emotional health is as important as taking care of your physical body, because, if your emotional health is out of balance, you may experience ulcers, high blood pressure, chest pain, or a host of other physical illnesses and symptoms.
When you feel good about yourself, it’s much easier to cope with life’s little ups and downs as well as bigger events, such as loss of a loved one.
There are things you can do that can help you elevate your mood, become tougher, and enjoy life more.
Place Value On Yourself And Take Care Of Your Body
Treat yourself with respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for yourself to engage in your hobbies and favorite projects, broaden your horizons, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or learn another language, etc…
Taking care of yourself physically will go a long way to improve your mental health. Be sure to eat nutritious meals, avoid cigarettes, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get enough sleep. Lack of or inadequate sleep time contributes to a high rate of depression, especially, among college students.
Surround Yourself With Good People
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier (emotionally) than those who lack such support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, and volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. We are social beings, and you’ll feel good about meeting new people and doing something tangible to help someone in need.
Learn How To Deal With Stress
Stress is a part of life. Research has shown that having a nice time filled with laughter can boost your immune system, ease the pain, relax your body and reduce stress. Make leisure time a priority, and do things for no other reason than that it feels good to do them.
Practice good coping skills, do Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, listen to music, read a good book, play a game or with your pet, and try journal writing as activities to reduce stress.
Also, remember that playing is an emotional and mental health necessity, so always smile and see the humor in life.
Mediate, pray, enjoy the sunset, or simply take a moment to think about the things you’re grateful for. Pay attention to what is good, positive, and beautiful, and make time for contemplation and appreciation.
Also, learn to lessen the Fear of the Unknown, and if you have a problem, learn whatever you can about the issue or the health condition you’re facing. The more you know, the less you will be afraid of what might happen.
Get Enough Sleep for Energy Maintenance and Increased Productivity
Studies have shown that people who get a good night’s sleep wake up with more energy and tend to be more productive, and if you are overly tired, every task and responsibility will feel like big ones.
The mind and the body are inherently linked, and when you improve your physical health, you will automatically experience greater mental and emotional well-being.
Physical activity releases endorphins. Endorphins are powerful chemicals that lift your mood and provide added energy. Regular exercise or activity can have a major positive impact on mental and emotional health problems, relieve stress, improve memory, and help you to sleep better.
Even modest amounts of physical activity have been shown to make a big difference in your mental and emotional health.
Tips for starting an exercise routine
- Aim for 30 minutes of exercise activity on most days. It can be as simple as taking a walk or dancing to a favorite song.
- You can try a rhythmic exercise that engages both your arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming and dancing.
- When exercising, instead of focusing on your thoughts, focus on how your body feels as you move
Engage in Good Sex
Intimacy within a committed relationship has all sorts of emotional benefits and can help make you feel good about yourself. Having Sex helps Build Confidence and Self-Worth, and boost self-esteem.
Figure out a schedule that works for you and your trusted partner, and you can read more on “how much sex you should be having for optimal health”.
Eat and Drink Healthily and in Moderation
You can eat what you want and enjoy it as long as you learn to eat smaller portions and get regular exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your physical and your emotional health, and if you consume alcohol, you must indulge in extreme moderation.
Foods that adversely affect mood include; caffeine, alcohol, Trans fats, foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones, sugary snacks, refined carbs, and fried foods.
On the other hand, foods that boost mood include; fatty fish rich in Omega-3s (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna), nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts), avocados, flaxseed, beans, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, and fresh fruit such as blueberries
Care For A Pet
Pets are a responsibility, and caring for one makes you feel needed and loved. There’s no love quite as unconditional as the love a healthy smart pet can give. Pets can also get you out of the house for exercise and expose you to new people and places.
Talk to a Professional
You’d go to a doctor or a hospital when you are physically sick, so why would you ignore your mental health, emotions, and feeling, if they too feel broken or off-center? If you are concerned about yourself, always seek advice from a professional, who will be more than ready to listen.