10 Psychological and Lifestyle Tips For a Sound Mind & Body
This article is contributed by Dr Shyamaraj Nidugala, BNYS, MSC, MBA [Manipal University], Wellness Director Chunda Shikar Oudi, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Psychological wellbeing plays an important role in the economic progress and development of a nation. As per the recent happiness survey, India has ranked 139 out of 149 countries. In the post-Covid 19 scenario people around the country are feeling anxious and distressed due to the loss of their loved ones, enforced isolation, and financial stress, or due to the loss of employment to many. In fact according to a survey approximately 56% among young adults-[Ages 18 to 24] suffer from depression and anxiety.
However, these can be managed and corrected with the help of simple psychological & lifestyle changes. Some of which are encapsulated below:
1. Respect yourself:
Be kind and respectful, and avoid criticizing yourself. Make time for your favorite hobbies and broaden your horizons. To develop self-awareness try yourself in various daily activities like yoga, plant a garden, take dance lessons or Zumba, Brisk walk, learn to play a musical instrument, or learn a new language.
2. Focus on developing a healthy physique:
Taking care of you physically can improve your mental health and emotions. Example
- Eat nutritious, well-balanced food. To improve your mental health, you should focus on eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular protect the brain. Nuts, seeds, and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils are also excellent brain foods.
- Drink lots of water. As per research studies, those who drank more water had a lower risk of anxiety and depression than those who drank less water. Although the link between dehydration and depression is stronger, researchers have found that anxiety is higher in those who don’t drink enough water.
- Exercises regularly. Exercising 30 to 60 minutes daily for 5 days a week helps in releasing endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good that help reduce depression and anxiety, and improve mood
- Avoid smoking and caffeine. Caffeine and tobacco can contribute to anxiety in a number of ways, most notably by increasing the physiological arousal associated with anxiety.
- Say ‘No ‘to soft drinks. High levels of soft drink consumption were positively associated with depression, stress-related problems, suicidal ideation, and psychological distress
- Sound sleep. Sleep helps us recover from psychological and physical stress. Sleep and health are closely related – lack of sleep can increase the risk of ill health, and poor health can make it difficult to sleep. Difficulty sleeping can be one of the early signs of distress.
3. Surround yourself with positivity:
Building a network of supportive people can lead to greater accountability, improved physical and emotional well-being, better problem-solving skills, and improved brain fitness. Our friendships and relationships can sometimes help or hurt our mental health, so it’s important to surround ourselves with positivity.
4. Learn to deal with stress:
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. The only way is to manage and reduce stress in your everyday life. Take a break when you feel stressed. Also Practice good coping skills do tai chi, yoga, and deep breathing, walk in nature, play with your pet, or try to keep a journal to reduce stress. Also, be sure to smile and see the humor in life. Research has shown that laughter can boost the immune system, relieve negative emotions, relax the body, and reduce stress.
5. Calm your mind:
Try to meditate or pray. Regular practice of meditation and prayer can enhance your state of mind and the way you look at your own problems bothering you for a long time. In fact, research shows that meditation can help better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and fostering kindness.
6. Set realistic goals:
Set Clear, Specific Goals. Having simple, realistic goals can help you focus and be more likely to achieve them. You’ll enjoy an incredible sense of accomplishment and confidence as you get closer to your goals.
7. Avoid alcohol:
Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate,” but in reality, alcohol interferes with chemicals in the brain that is essential for good mental health. Although we may feel relaxed after drinking it, alcohol can affect mental health in the long term, contribute to depression and anxiety, and make it harder to cope with stress.
8. Get help when you need it:
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Having faith in treatment or counseling is very important. People who receive proper treatment can recover from mental illness and addiction and live full and fruitful lives.
9. Help someone in need:
Voluntarily devote your time and energy to helping others. You’ll feel good doing something tangible to help someone in need – and it’s a great way to connect with new people.
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