6 "simple" lifestyle changes to better your mental health
I came to a cross roads not long ago. I was unhappy, I was gaining weight, and I was not fueling my body with good food or medication. I slowly started to see my quality of life slipping away and I wanted desperately to change it. I started to scour the internet and those closest to me for advice. How can I get out of this rut?
The answers were all circling around six categories; sleep, exercise, nutrition, medication, spirituality, and positivity. I like to call these the 6 simple steps to improving your health (simple in word, not necessarily in deed).
Sleep is the first thing that I went to work on. Without proper sleeping patterns, your body is completely off. My father told me that it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get, if you aren’t on a consistent pattern your body will always be playing catch up. That surprised me, so I started going to bed and getting out of bed at the same time every day, and it has made SUCH a difference. Sleep does so much good for your body. When we sleep, our body actually heals itself. Sleep also improves memory, sharpens attention, regulates your weight, and lowers your stress. Improving your sleeping patterns would give your life a much-needed jump start!
Exercise is another factor that made a big difference in my personal life. Experts say that 20-30 minutes a day of exercise has positive effects on your overall health. I love the release of endorphins that I get after a good run. I love stretching and doing yoga as well. Exercise not only boosts your confidence in yourself, but it reduces your risk of heart attacks, helps manage your weight, lowers cholesterol, develops stronger bones, and helps you feel more energized.
Nutrition is an important part of your overall health. Eating the right kinds of food will help with your brain power! Eating good, leafy greens actually helps boost your mind and energy levels. I have learned that I notice a big difference when I eat good food compared to when I eat junk. I feel more confidence when I eat good, and I don’t feel as sluggish. For more info on this section, check out my earlier blog post!
Medication is a key player in any lifestyle. If you struggle with mental health problems, you HAVE to take this into consideration. Just like a diabetic takes insulin, you need to take your own form of “insulin” for your body to regulate your hormones, brain power, and mood overall. My hormones, brain power, and mood are all positively affected when I take medication. My “insulin” is a fluvoxamine tablet. When I take this, I am better able to deal with all the other stuff that goes on in my life. Having my mind balanced and stable is the only way for my quality of life to dramatically improve.
Spirituality. This is an anchor for me. I believe in a Heavenly Father who loves me and cheers me on in every aspect of life. I have gone to Him with some of my biggest problems and concerns when I struggle and have found a sweet relief. I know that He is waiting to bless me in any way possible, and that is extended to everyone. I realize that not everyone believes in God, so I encourage you to reflect on your belief system. Having a source of spiritual relief brings a balance and joy to your life that cannot be fulfilled in any other way.
Positivity has helped to shape my life and shape my future. This one is especially difficult for me- I have always had a negative outlook on life. I have been trying to tell myself positive things about the future and about myself. Being positive truly does radiate in your life. Seeing the bright side of things brings you closer to your goals. Envisioning success truly does bring success!
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