The haunting chorus ‘Where is my mind?’ can grow on you. These words from the iconic The Pixies’ song sums up how people struggling with mental health issues often feel. You may have witnessed or heard of people slowly sinking into the deeps of depression. Or perhaps it was you who suffered from issues related to mental health. And what is the most common advice you may offer or receive in such scenarios? To see a therapist, isn’t it? But are you aware of the lifestyle factors that promote good health?
Can a change in lifestyle really help improve mental health?
Just like physical health, mental health also depends a lot on a healthy lifestyle. The University of Illinois conducted a study that reveals only few people suffering from mental health symptoms receive advice about wellness. These findings are disheartening. Especially because it has been studied that certain lifestyle changes can be useful in dealing with serious mental conditions. For example, proper nutrition and regular exercising can be of great help in cases of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
What are the lifestyle factors that promote good health?
Here are four ways in which your lifestyle can affect your mental health. And also, how you can fix it.
1. Dealing with diet
Consuming a balanced diet is key. Indulging in too much fatty food can lead to psychiatric symptoms. In a study conducted on mice, the animals displayed anxiety, memory loss and inflammation of the brain after being on a high fat diet. Even sugar, which can trigger addiction in some individuals, can be a catalyst in case of depression.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables can help you keep your mind in shape. A CAGE policy report confirms this. It associates fruits and vegetables with optimism and a general feeling of joy and happiness.
2. Staying fit keeps your mind in shape
Regular physical activity has been connected to good mental health. In fact, if you stay unfit you are more likely to suffer from problems such as weight gain. And a few added pounds can also add to your overall mental stress. Extensive research reveals that regular exercise can help in tackling anxiety and depression. Even if you don’t hit the gym, you can opt for walking, cycling or gardening.
3. Strategize to reduce stress
Given the fast-paced lifestyle of present day, avoiding stress can become difficult. But you should remember that stress and mental illness share a symbiotic relationship. You might just get trapped in the vicious cycle of feeling stressed out about stress. And more than often this leads to you feeling more depressed.
You can adopt simple techniques such as mindfulness meditation that can instantly improve mental illness symptoms. You can also opt for Yoga lessons as a research reveals that Yoga helps reducing the negativity in the human mind.
4. Dozing off can be dazzling for your mind
Sleep deprivation can often become a part of your regular lifestyle without your even noticing this problem. You may stay up extra hours binging on TV shows or working till late. And in the process, get addicted to caffeine. Research shows that lack of sleep can even shorten your lifespan.
By maintaining a proper and regular sleeping cycle and imbibing and internalizing relaxation techniques, mental health can improve drastically. Consistent sleeping time can also help in cutting down on stress and give you the necessary boost of energy you need to get you through your day.
As you can see, a few tweaks to your daily schedule and your lifestyle can do wonders to your mental health. So, start right away!