When it comes to your lifestyle, looking after your mental health is just as important as your diet or physical fitness.
Your mental health plays a big part in your daily mood and how you feel, as well as how you respond to stressful situations or cope with life’s challenges.
Having good mental health will enable you to lead a happy and healthy life, build resilience, and deal with whatever life throws at you in a positive way.
On the other hand, poor mental health can lead to low mood, depression, anxiety, or misery. It can affect your relationships and performance at work, and generally prevent you from enjoying life as fully as you should.
Your mental health relates to your emotional and psychological wellbeing. It can be influenced by a wide range of factors, from life events and the environment you live in to genetics and biology.
If you suffer from poor mental health, it can be a real blight on your life, but there are thankfully many things you can do to give your mood a lift and let things go.
These include mindfulness and positive thinking, getting lots of exercise, sleeping and eating properly, spending time with the people you love, helping other people, getting a hobby you enjoy or just talking things through with someone.
There is also a host of professional and medical support available for people who suffer from mental health issues, so you should seek help if you need it without feeling embarrassed.
So, if you are looking to improve your mental health, here are a few tips to get you started.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Mental health covers a wide range of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing issues. It determines how you feel, think and act and has a significant bearing on your behaviour in certain situations. People with good mental health can often cope with stressful situations better and bounce back more quickly from life’s setbacks, than those who suffer from poor mental health.
So, looking after mental health throughout your life is essential, from childhood right the way through to your twilight years. Many factors can affect your mental health and change your mood, your thinking and your behaviour.
These include biological factors such as hormones or brain chemistry, life experiences including trauma or abuse and family history or genetics.
Certain illnesses, injuries, or neurological conditions can also impact mental health and may require surgery or professional help to overcome. Poor mental health can impact your life in many ways, so it’s essential to recognise the signs and seek help if you are suffering.
Some of the ways it can affect your wellbeing include making you feel restless, irritable or discontent, stopping you from enjoying sports or other activities, withdrawing or isolating, feeling tired or low on energy, and making you snappy, argumentative, angry, upset, worried, or scared.
Poor mental health is also linked to depression, anxiety, addiction and self-destructive behaviour.
WHAT CAUSES LOW MOOD AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?
Low mood is an emotional state that can hit anyone at any time. Many people can overcome feeling sad, anxious or down in the dumps by thinking positively or turning their attention to other things.
Unfortunately, some people get consumed by the sadness, frustration, low self-esteem and anxiety that comes with low mood and start to feel alone and hopeless.
Many things can bring about low mood. Stress at work or school, having an argument with someone you love, grief or unexpected life events – such as losing a job – can all impact our happiness. So can feeling down after a holiday, a night out or some other form of excitement.
There can also be other factors at play. Sometimes, your body’s hormonal activity or brain function can impact your mood and leave you feeling sad, anxious, confused or tired.
If there are no obvious external reasons for why you may be feeling low, then speaking to a doctor or medical professional may help identify any potential causes.
Talking about how you’re feeling, with someone you trust, can also help relieve any feelings of sadness or worry you may be experiencing.
The key takeaway here is to not suffer in silence.
There is plenty of support out there for mental health issues, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY MENTAL HEALTH?
If you are suffering from poor mental health, you can do a few things to improve it.
Getting more whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables will help improve your physical health, which can have a knock-on impact on your mental wellbeing.
They help replenish vitamins and minerals that can be depleted in times of stress and help you settle naturally when life becomes challenging.
Information and other content provided in Lily & Loaf blogs should not be construed as medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise. If you have any medical concerns, you should consult with your health care provider.
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