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Being healthy, living a long, happy life and being satisfied with your lifestyle and sense of purposes is essential for each person. The key is to look after both your mind and body.
A healthy body can lead to a healthier mental state, while poor physical health can increase risks of developing mental health issues. Similarly, poor mental health might negatively influence physical health, triggering risks of various medical conditions.
While taking care of your health can mean seeking professional help and treatment, it also means taking several steps to improve your wellness on your own. Making these simple changes in your routine will pay off in all aspects of your day to day activities.
It can help to enhance your mood, build resilience to challenges or stressful situations, and promote your overall enjoyment of life. Let’s highlight ten strategies on how to activate your physical and mental health.
Studies and research suggest that yoga might help to boost physical and mental well being. It’s a great practice for relieving chronic pain while increasing flexibility and stamina due to a wide range of muscle stretching poses.
Also, yoga helps to calm the mind because it’s usually practiced in soothing environments with a focus on achieving balance both physically and mentally.
Eat Healthy Meals
Unless you’ve tried to eat healthy in the past, you may not be aware of how much your food choices affect the way you think and feel. Since our bodies and brains work better when given the proper food, try to opt for nutrient-heavy and minimally processed foods. Switching to a well-balanced diet, low in sugar and rich in healthy fats, provides more energy, improves sleep and mood, helps brain development, and ultimately, makes you look and feel better.
All individuals respond differently to certain foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. Be sure to experiment with how the added or excluded food changes the way you feel. The best practice to start with is by cutting out the “bad fats” that can worsen your mood and outlook, and replace them with “good fats” that maintain brain health.
In addition to eating healthy foods, consider supporting your immune function as well as energy levels, mood, and general health by consuming natural supplements.
Even if you think you’re at the right place in your life and most of your aims have been achieved, there are always new areas for growth. If you grow stagnant and complacent, you won’t get a chance to enjoy the wonderful feeling that you get from setting and achieving goals. The importance of achieving goals and having a purpose in one’s life shouldn’t be overlooked due to their critical roles in happiness and the enjoyment of life.
Take a look at your life and identify an area for possible growth. Perhaps you’d like to get in better physical shape, learn a new skill, achieve career advancement, save more money for retirement, publish a book, or have children. Whatever you identify as your primary goal, write it down for setting a plan and achieving it.
Go to Bed on Time (or Attempt To)
If you have a busy lifestyle, cutting back sleep hours may seem like the right solution. But when it comes to health, getting quality sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Skipping even a few hours can impact your mood, energy, focus, mental sharpness, and ability to manage stress. Also, lack of sleep over the long-term can worsen your health and outlook.
Try to practice healthy sleep habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. While adults should get from seven to nine hours of sleep, it might seem unrealistic to expect sleep to come right after you lay down and close your eyes. Your brain needs some time to relax at the end of the tough day.
That means avoiding caffeine for six hours, taking a break from the screens in the two hours before bedtime (TV, smartphone, tablet, or computer) and creating a dark, quiet, and relaxed environment for sleep. Furthermore, make sure to put aside work and postpone arguments, worrying, or brainstorming until the next day.
Regular exercise is vital for physical and mental wellbeing and is also associated with slowing age-related cognitive decline and decreased rates of depression and anxiety. Physical activity helps to produce endorphins to boost your mood, manage stress, feel more confident, and enhance overall health.
Try to search for an activity you enjoy and get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
However, exercise doesn’t need to be particularly intense to experience benefits. Even slower-paced activities, such as stretching or walking, can provide some level of training.
Continued learning through life improves self-confidence and promotes social interaction and a more active life. Learning is not only great for brains, but it also can boost higher levels of wellbeing as we master something new. Anecdotal evidence shows that engagement in work or educational activities might help to take older people out of depression.
You can learn something new or rediscover an old interest by yourself or together with your family, which can be a fun bonding opportunity to spend time doing a joint activity.
Set up a book club, read the news or educational articles, do a crossword or Sudoku, find out new cooking recipes, learn new words, or research something you’ve always wondered about.
Maintain Healthy, Thriving Relationships
One of the best ways to support your mental health is to prioritize and build strong interpersonal connections. As loneliness is an epidemic around the globe right now, more people than ever are feeling isolated, which results in being anxious and depressed.
Social distance can have an overwhelming impact on mental, emotional, and physical health. Having healthy, thriving relationships can help a person feel like a part of a community, give life meaning, feel accepted, and strengthen confidence that he or she has people to rely on during hard times.
Additionally, remember that if you’re struggling with loneliness, asking family members, friends, or loved ones for help isn’t a weakness.
Commit to adding meditation to your routine, which is a useful tool to reduce stress and tension. Whether it’s a morning or night, both are great times to meditate. If you aren’t ready to do it on a daily basis, begin by adding brief practices two or three times per week and starting with 5-10 minute sessions.
Also, you download an app that has guided meditations or watch videos on YouTube. Before practice, make sure to choose a quiet, convenient place and wear comfortable clothing.
Check in with Yourself
Sometimes you could be feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed and not even realize it. Try to listen to your body and mind, and pay attention to symptoms that might be a signal that something is wrong.
To check in on mental health, ask yourself if you feel more or less irritated and angry than you used to as well as if there are any changes regarding energy, appetite, weight, or the quality or quantity of your sleep.
Incorporate Self-care into Your Life
Self-care is vital for your physical, emotional, mental, and overall health to live a fulfilling life. Implementing 20 minutes of small but important self-love habits every day can help you focus on caring for yourself.
Self-care can involve things on this list such as getting enough hours of quality sleep, meditating, exercising, or other activities that you’re interested in or make you feel good about yourself.
Also, examples of self-care can include eating something you enjoy, trying new things, painting or writing something that lets out your creative energy, or having a massage or other luxury. The type of self-care practice doesn’t matter as much as the provided effect.