Poor self-care, personality changes for the bad, agitation, withdrawal and lack of hope are signs of emotional suffering that could lead to poor physical as well as mental health. Generally, there is an opinion that a person is mentally healthy if he is not suffering from problems like anxiety, depression etc. but, being mentally healthy actually means something more than that. To be considered as a mentally healthy person, it is not enough for you to be free of any psychological issues or mental illness, it also necessitates you to possess positive characteristics.
What are the characteristics of a mentally healthy person?
The characteristics of a person of good mental health include but is not limited to
• Flexibility or adaptability to change
• The sense of fulfillment of contentment
• Ability to bounce back however stressful the situation might be
• Interested in developing meaningful and purposeful relationships
• Interested in engaging in meaningful and purposeful activities
• Ability to balance work, rest, play, activity and any other thing one is interested in
• High levels of self-confidence and self-esteem
• Readiness to learn new things
• An interest in life that is contagious
• The ability to enjoy thoroughly
This clearly shows that to be a mentally healthy person, it is not about never going through bad times or experiencing emotionally stressful situations. But, it lies in bouncing back from these situations with resilience. Also, maintaining a positive outlook. Resilience is a trait that will make you have less fear of uncertainty and it is again the trait that gives you hope when you do not know when and how a problem could be resolved.
There are indeed a number of ways to improve mental health
Is it possible to boost your mental health? Yes. It is quite possible if you follow certain mental health tips.
There is indeed an intrinsic connection between the body and the mind. when you are physically healthy, you would be mentally well too. Physical exercise is a good way to boost both physical and mental health. When you exercise or engage yourself in physical activity, your body releases endorphins. These are chemicals that not only supply you the energy for doing the exercise or work but also elevates your mood. If exercise in the gym is not your cup of tea, try any other rhythmic activity such as dancing. Start a workout or exercise routine which could be as short as 10 minutes and add mindfulness element to it to further improve the benefits.
Learn to keep yourself stress-free
It is not possible to control the stressors. Learn how to improve mental health using the stress management strategies that have been listed or even devise one of your own. Ensure you get out of the stressful situation as quickly as possible by all means. Stress management strategies that could help you get back to normal at the earliest include
• Engaging in conversation with someone who cares about you. This would prevent the damaging stress responses and help devise ways to deal with the situation in a calm way.
• Engage yourself in activities that can uplift or elevate your mood such as listening to a song or even singing. These sensory inputs have the capacity to calm the agitated mind. however, do research and find out which sensory input works for you.
• Make time for what you love to do. It should be on the list of priorities
• When you are stressed, thinking about the good that has happened to you could help you calm your mind
• Practice meditation or any other relaxation technique that will help you relieve stress.
A wholesome diet that is rich in healthy fats and low in sugar and salt can help you be energetic and also help you have a better mood and good sleep. If you are wondering what you should avoid in order to enjoy a good mood and to strengthen your immune system, it is
• Sugary snacks
• Refined Carbs
• Foods with preservatives and /or hormones
• Oily/fried food
Fresh fruits and vegetables, spinach, sprouts, Avocado, salmon, herring, tuna fish, nuts such as almond cashew and peanuts are mood elevating foods.
Don’t cut back on your sleeping time however busy you might be. It is because sleep is not a luxury but is a necessity to enjoy good mental health. Sleep is known to boost energy, mental sharpness etc and keep you equipped to handle stress. Sleep does not come once you just lie down and close your eyes. Your brain does require time to unwind. In order to help it in the process, it is better that you abstain from things that prevent it from doing so which includes taking a break from TV and computer screens, postponing thinking about the jobs that you have not completed in the day etc. also, make sure that your bedroom is only dimly lit. this would induce the secretion of the sleep-inducing hormone. Sleeping at the same time and waking up in the morning at the same time would help to set the internal clock within your body. You can also use guided meditation or some other relaxation technique or even listen to music that is soothing to listen before you go to bed. A refreshing bath before going to bed also will help you get quality sleep.
Engage in meaningful and purposeful activity
Engaging in meaningful and purposeful activity is a must because it makes you feel good and it has the power to alleviate pain and relieve stress. And keeps you motivated. Activities as simple as helping or spending quality time with friends or relatives, taking care of a pet, doing some voluntary work or engaging in activity that makes you feel that you have been productive like cooking, drawing, gardening etc are examples of purposeful activities that are good enough to make you feel good and happy.
Connect to others
Though phone calls and social networks have increased the number of persons you are friendly with, it has actually shrunken the scope and ability to engage yourself in the quality face to face conversation. But, this is indeed very important for good mental health.
Most of the time, it is very difficult to understand that you are suffering from a mental illness. But, if you break the resilience and do understand you have a problem, it is time you took professional help. The professionals would be in a better position to help you and motivate you to achieve your goal of attaining good mental health.