- HEALTH & NUTRITION
Habits to improve mental health for a happier life
Many healthy habits are targeted toward improving your physical health. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough physical exercise is an important aspect of wellness, but it only encompasses the physical components of wellbeing.
Jun 3, 2021|
Jun 3, 2021
Wellbeing is actually a multifaceted concept that also includes the health of your mind, thoughts, emotions, and relationships with others. These concepts represent the mental aspect of wellbeing, and just like physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing is an important component to living a long and fruitful life.
Improving mental wellbeing can be a task that is easier said than done. Unlike physical health, there is no physical and objective metric to determine mental wellbeing. With physical health, you can count macros, measure weight, take blood pressure, and many other measurements.
When it comes to mental wellbeing, it all boils down to how you feel. Mental wellbeing is almost entirely subjective, and as such, can be difficult to understand ways to improve upon it since no two people are alike.
To understand ways to improve your mental well-being, it is important to understand the components of mental well-being and improve upon each component. Tackling mental wellbeing from a holistic point of view gives you the best chance of improving.
Aspects of mental wellbeing
The human body is a complex and interconnected system where many different processes come together to make you who you are. Many health-promoting products or systems can forget about this complexity and focus too much on an individual component of well-being while ignoring the others.
While sometimes a targeted approach is all that is needed, to improve overall well-being, one must try to elevate each component.
Mental wellbeing is utilized to describe the way that you feel on a given day as well as the ways that you interact with the world around you. Generally, having good mental wellbeing means that you have mental clarity, are emotionally sound, are socially content, and are at peace.
Social, physical, psychological, and emotional health all play important roles and all contribute to the way you feel on a daily basis.
Social health represents the health of relationships and interactions with others. Humans are one of the most social creatures on the planet, and since early humans, we’ve relied heavily on social interactions for our mental and emotional health.
In today's modern world, individualism is emphasized, but the reality is that most people still need social interactions to have a healthy mental wellbeing as well as healthy overall wellbeing.
When you look at the severe deprivation of social interaction, such as those suffering from loneliness, the need for social interaction becomes more apparent. Those that suffer from loneliness are more likely to have serious health conditions.
Physical health is typically the first component of wellness that people aim to improve. Improving physical health can not only improve your physique and physical appearance, but it can help in creating healthier mental wellbeing.
The human brain is incredibly complex and requires a lot from your body. Your brain needs to perform complex and computationally taxing tasks every second, and being able to perform those tasks requires your brain to be in tip-top shape. The brain, for this reason, is one of the most energy-demanding organs within the body.
By elevating your physical health, you can help your body improve the health of the systems that help to support your brain.
In addition to helping your brain stay healthy, improving physical health can also have positive impacts on self-concept and confidence. Confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin is a vital aspect of keeping your mental wellbeing in check and focusing on physical health is a great way to help.
Your psychological health consists of your ability to think, problem-solve, and function on a daily basis. As opposed to physical health, psychological health refers to the thoughts and processes that occur behind the scenes within the brain. The eyes represent the way that the world is viewed, but psychologically, people perceive with their brains.
Good psychological health is characterized by a person that is able to carry out daily tasks, problem-solve, and express themselves. Things like excessive worry about the future, feeling anxious, or fear can cloud judgment and get in the way of being as productive and positive as possible.
Emotional health is a component of mental well-being that looks specifically at the range of emotions you have in a given day. While it is perfectly okay to have bad days or be sad, emotional health is a holistic view of the range of emotions you have as well as how those emotions impact your ability to function.
Being excessively down, for instance, represents a place where emotional health could be improved upon, or if you experience emotional turmoil where emotions are frequently shifting.
Habits to support mental wellbeing
Creating healthy habits is something that can be implemented for both physical and mental health. Just like a workout plan, creating mental healthy habits can be difficult and highly subjective. What works for one person may not be the answer to another person’s individual needs.
Below is a look at many different habits you can implement in hopes of improving your mental wellbeing and allowing you to live a happier and healthier life.
The practice of meditation is thousands of years old and is frequently utilized today as a means of relaxation and getting in touch with the present moment. Many meditations work by forcing you to stop and focus your attention on the present moment.
Focusing on the breath, your surroundings, or even the sensations of contact with the floor are methods frequently utilized in meditation.
While sitting still and focusing on the present moment may not seem very impactful, for many, it is an effective way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated as well as giving people an opportunity to escape the business of life and refocus on the current moment.
Work-life balance is a concept that has been a large topic of conversation in recent years. During the industrial revolution, most people saw the person burning the midnight oil and working themselves to the ground as admirable and as the gold standard.
Today, this view of the ideal worker has transitioned to the worker that has a good work-life balance. Having a good work-life balance is characterized by working efficiently during working hours, but also taking the time needed to decompress and enjoy life outside of work. This is advantageous because it represents a sustainable method of working that is less prone to burnout and negative impacts on mental wellbeing and happiness.
The Pomodoro technique is a great way to get more productivity out of your workday to ensure that you have more time to enjoy the things you love outside of work. The technique utilizes a series of timed work cycles to help break up large tasks into more manageable chunks. The result is that many people are able to be more productive throughout the workday which allows them to worry less when off the clock.
Making healthy eating a habit can be difficult, but it can pay dividends to your overall well-being. For mental wellbeing specifically, quality nutrition can ensure that your brain is getting the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
While getting quality nutrition through your diet is ideal, sometimes it isn’t practical or convenient to cook elaborate meals every single day to get all of your nutrition. Supplements are a great way to supplement a diet and ensure that your body has the resources it needs to function at its best.
Physical activity has immense impacts on mental wellbeing. Physical activity is a great outlet from the stresses of daily life and allows you an activity to wear down some of those nerves and burn off some pent-up energy. In addition to providing an outlet, routine physical activity can also improve mental wellbeing by improving your self-confidence and vascular functioning, which is important for supporting the brain.
While it can be difficult to implement physical activity as a habit, a good method is to try out many different activities and find one that speaks to you. While the gym may be exciting for some, it doesn’t mean it is the only way to get active. Rock climbing, swimming, mountain biking, or even jogging may be the activity that speaks to you and that you enjoy. Enjoying your activity is one of the best tips to help you get exercising more.
Participating in social activities is one of the best ways to facilitate a rich social life and social circle. While the pandemic has placed a large damper on large group gatherings for the past year, with more people becoming vaccinated it may be time to reopen your world to social interactions and make an effort to be sociable.
Mental wellbeing is an important component of overall wellbeing and has a number of different factors that play into it. Social, psychological, physical, and emotional health all contribute to your mental wellbeing.
Taking steps to improve any of these components can give you the best chance of improving your overall wellbeing and getting you on a road to a happy and healthier life.
Can self-compassion reduce inflammation?
Sep 13, 2023|