Our mental health and well being impacts our overall happiness, the quality of our relationships and our ability to manage our emotions. In recognition of World Mental Health Day on Saturday, October 10th, the Cognitive Therapeutics Team has put together 7 tips to improve your mental health so that you can enjoy life to the fullest.
- Exercise. Taking care of your physical health will positively affect your mental wellbeing too. Exercise relieves stress and boosts mood so it is a good idea to aim for 15-20 minutes of light exercise daily.
- Eat well. A balanced diet is the key to a happy brain. In a recent study, unhealthy eating was linked with decreased hippocampal volume, a brain region associated with mood regulation, and directly associated with depression.
- De-stress. Methods to relieve stress are extremely beneficial to brain health, which is why meditation is widely acclaimed as an effective way to promote calm and reduce stress. Regular meditators often have decreased volume of the amygdala, a region that is associated with fear and stress.
- Sleep. A good night’s sleep is associated with improved mental wellbeing. Alternatively, lack of sleep can impact one’s ability to perform basic activities of daily living and also increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease or other brain health issues down the line.
- Socialize. Having a strong, stable support system to rely on can help you relieve stress. Engage regularly with current friends or join a community group with others who share your interests to make more friends and stay even more connected. Socializing with friends and family improves mood and helps us thrive.
- Try Something New. Build your self-esteem by engaging in new hobbies or activities that you find interesting. Have fun while learning a new skill or process, educating yourself on a new subject or creating something unique.
- Get help when needed. If you have tried to improve your mental health but are still experiencing negative feelings, it may be helpful to seek advice from a knowledgeable, caring professional.
- Improved mental health can boost your zest for life and resilience in the face of hard times. Remember that it is okay to seek professional medical help if needed. For more information on living a long and happy life, read Happy to 102: The Best Kept Secrets for a Long and Happy Life, part of the Senior Wellness Series from Home Care Assistance, which offers tips on boosting longevity, as well as quality of life. This book is available for purchase on Amazon.com.