With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year in England, and almost 50% of adults in the USA experiencing a mental illness at some point through their life, it is clear that more needs to be done to look after your mental health. So, we put together a quick list of easy lifestyle choices that can help to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Your diet not only impacts physical health, but your mental health too. Including more whole foods, like lean red meat and leafy green vegetables, can help improve brain function. Also look out for foods high in polyphenols, like berries, tea, and dark chocolate, all of which contribute towards brain function.
Get Good Quality Sleep
Getting good quality sleep regularly is imperative for your mental health. Studies have shown that fatigue caused by poor sleep can decrease your ability to choose healthy foods, can contribute towards obesity, and can make mental illness symptoms worse. We know it can be difficult to ensure a good quality sleep, but there are a few things you can do to get a better sleep. For starters, decrease your caffeine intake especially before bed, and avoid heavy meals. Create a routine, and start going to bed and waking up at a consistent time. These small changes can help getting a better sleep.
Like a healthy diet, the benefits of regular exercise go beyond physical health. A study by the Southern Methodist University concluded that exercise can be a ‘magic drug’ for those with anxiety or depression. This does not mean you need to become a fitness guru, even little things like taking a walk are good ways to begin exercising and improve your mental health.
Everyone becomes stressed, but it is hugely beneficial to practice methods to reduce stress levels. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress levels, as a study by Carnegie Mellon University shows that 25 minutes of meditation for three days in a row can help reduce stress. A John Hopkins analysis supports this, showing that meditation can help with anxiety and stress.