There is constant talk about mental health being as important as physical health, but are we really doing anything to boost our mental well-being? While many of us at least try to fit exercises into our busy schedules, we don’t really focus on our mental health. Luckily, it only takes a few simple lifestyle changes to boost mental well-being.
While regular exercises and a balanced diet can support our mental health, it is essential to give it a little more attention. Here are some ways in which you can improve your mental well-being:
Our olfactory senses can detect nearly a trillion fragrances and may actually benefit mental health. The smells we experience move through the nose to reach the brain, specifically the hippocampus and amygdala that are involved in controlling and storing memories and emotions. When we smell a familiar aroma, it tends to take us back to a specific memory and the happy thoughts linked to it.
Fragrances can be soothing, and aromatherapy with natural essential oils may be able to help you de-stress, enhance your mood, help you sleep better and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness comprises simple meditation techniques that can support both physical and mental conditions. It is said to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, stress and more serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. It can also improve the immune system, reduce blood pressure levels and enhance sleep.
Regular exercise is necessary for being physically healthy, but have you considered its benefits for mental health? Research shows that simple low-intensity activities like walking could reduce the risk of depression. It may also support the mental well-being of people suffering from conditions like schizophrenia.
A balanced diet is key to an overall healthy body, so make sure your diet includes foods rich in vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B, magnesium and iron to boost brain health. Carbohydrates and fats are required for maintaining balance in moods while probiotics play an important role in the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, including oxytocin, cortisol, serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are also essential for emotional well-being.
Sleep is essential for good health and a lack of sleep has often been linked to conditions like stress and depression. A healthy sleep cycle is, therefore, key to maintaining physical and mental health.
Maintaining a regular journal to express everyday experiences could help you get a handle on your emotions. It could also assist in identifying triggers so that you could take the required steps to avoid them.
Humans are social beings, and it is a healthy practice to be in-sync with your surroundings. Spend time with your closest friends and family members, keep them updated about any issues you have and in turn be available for them in times of need.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by your fast-paced life, take a moment to smell the roses and enjoy the little things in life. They can do wonders by boosting your mental well-being.
Morea, J. (2018, March 10). Think Small Changes Won’t Help? Here Are 4 That Will Transform Your Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/small-changes-for-better-mental-health
Scarlett, C. (n.d.). 11 Lifestyle Changes That Will Boost Your Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/11-lifestyle-changes-that-will-boost-your-mental-health