We all talk about mental health and its importance, especially in pandemic times but many of us do very little about managing it or improving it on day to day basis. According to the WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (Also read: 5 expert tips to boost mental health, physical fitness)
Stress is one of the reasons behind poor mental health and workplace stress, bereavement, separation, financial problems all could contribute to it. In children and adolescents, mental health issues have significantly increased possibly due to rise electronic communication and digital media, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
There are a number of measures one can adopt to bring down the stress levels and improve mental health on a daily basis. Exercising, ensuring 8 hours of sleep, eating well, meditating, talking to a friend on a regular basis are some of the ways to take care of your mental well-being.
Many factors contribute to mental health, including genes or brain chemistry, trauma, and even a family history of mental health problems.
“Some early warning signs of poor mental health are low energy, eating or sleeping too much or too little, not participating in activities, abusing alcohol or drugs, mood swings, panic attacks, shivers and more. Anything extreme and out of the ordinary can help you identify poor mental health,” says Dhruv Patel, mental health expert and founder Ruhgu.
Patel also offers 10 easy tips to manage your emotional health.
1. Keep a track of the good things
Keeping a gratitude journal can help reaffirm the good parts of your life. When you feel low, you can look back and remember them. Every day, write down three things that you are grateful for on that day.
When you exercise, you release endorphins, which makes you feel good. Also, when you look good, you get a self-esteem boost and feel good.
3. Control your diet
Hand in hand with exercise, your diet can change the way you feel. Eating fruits, vegetables and getting enough water can serve as an easy pick-me-up.
Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of every day to relax your mind and not think about anything. Leaving your thoughts at the door can help you deal with them one at a time.
You’ve heard the expression ‘sleep on it’, well that’s what you should do. A lack of sleep contributes to depression and bad decision-making.
6. Talk to your friends and family
If you are struggling with something, don’t be afraid to share it with someone close to you. Reach out to friends or family members for support and advice.
7. Invest in your hobby
Chances are that you have something that you love but never do. So, take time off for your hobby, be it reading, art, sports or even the crossword. Your hobby, even if you’re not good at it, can boost your self-esteem.
8. Do something for someone else
Whether it’s helping out around the house or cooking a meal for your family, when you do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, their gratitude can make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
9. Listen to calming music
It is proven that listening to calming sounds such as nature sounds, instrumental music, and peaceful chants can reduce stress and anxiety and even change your mood.
10. Ask for help
If all else fails and you can’t manage your mental health, reach out to an expert. Don’t be afraid as you are not alone.