Each year, many of us make health-related promises to ourselves. We attempt to take better care of ourselves and set goals to exercise and eat healthier. Just as our physical health and fitness are important, so is our mental fitness. It’s vital to our overall health and happiness. We live longer and richer lives when we take care of our mental health.
Having good mental health helps us with:
- Stress management
- Creating and sustaining good relationships
- Having better physical health
- Being more productive at work and at home
When we practice mental fitness, we keep our brains and emotional health in good shape, just as we keep our bodies in good health when we practice physical fitness. By practicing mental fitness, we can be our best selves. Here are a few ways we can practice mental fitness daily:
Meditation has been shown to have tremendous positive effects on mental health. There are many online tools, such as meditation apps or podcasts that can help you get started. The practice of meditation has been shown to improve symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, reduce stress, and increase positive emotions.
Never Stop Learning
While there are many benefits to having a routine, it’s also easy to get stuck in a rut within our routines. Challenge yourself to try new things to keep your brain sharp. Consider expanding your reading topics, taking on more challenging work-related projects, or taking up a new hobby. You’ll get a great brain health boost by continuing to learn throughout your lifetime.
Keep Physically Active
Exercise helps relieve stress but also does more for mental and brain health by increasing the blood volume to certain regions of the brain. When this happens, more oxygen and nutrients are supplied through the increased blood supply.
Ideally, several sessions of vigorous exercise a week would be beneficial, but it’s important to find something you enjoy and will stick with throughout your life.
Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep habits have an impact on our stress hormones, which in turn affects our mental health. Lack of sleep compromises our thinking and emotional regulation. Need another reason to exercise? Regular exercise helps us sleep better and fall asleep faster. We also spend more time in deep sleep and wake up less.
If sleep is something you need to work on, there are a few things you can try. Keep a regular sleeping schedule, avoid watching TV or using your phone in bed, and reduce caffeine in the hours leading up to sleep. You can also practice relaxation techniques or meditation.
Have Social Connections
Cellphones and social media are meant to connect us, but often they are leaving us more disconnected than ever. Being less connected to others can lead to depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, and having less empathy for others. It’s important that we attempt to build and maintain in-person connections with others.
If you don’t have a large social circle, you can consider spending time with others through volunteering. Volunteering our time and energy helps us to have a sense of purpose and creates a stronger connection to others.
Talk to a therapist when you need it
If your emotional health is getting in the way of your happiness and personal life, talking with a mental health professional can help. Therapy can help you:
- Confront negative thoughts and behaviors
- Heal from past painful events
- Create goals
- Improve relationships or interpersonal skills
- Gain confidence as you face challenges
- Make your emotional health a priority
By placing importance on your mental fitness, you can be better prepared to be your best self for you and your family, your friends, your job, and more.
To set up an appointment with one of us at Beverly Hills Therapy Group call us at 248-480-0115.