Mental health is something that people often overlook when they attend to their well-being. People often tend to focus more on their physical well-being by improving their diet and exercising more to achieve a more attractive physique. Mental health, however, is still an important part of a person’s overall development. A healthy mind contributes to better decisions, improved memory storage and recalling, a better mood and more. An unhealthy mind, on the other hand, is unpleasant and might make a person exclude themselves from public situations, experience symptoms of anxiety and cause havoc on their lives.
Most Common Forms Of Mental Illnesses
Mental illnesses cause a decline in mental health and can become problematic. Not only can mental illnesses cause problems in a person’s daily life, but it can also affect their productivity at work, lead to issues in their relationships with other people and affect their physical health in an adverse way. While we are going to tell you about 10 excellent strategies for improving your mental health one step at a time to maintain a healthy brain in this article, we should first look at some common mental illnesses that can damage your mental health.
According to Our Healthy Minds, the following are the most common forms of mental illnesses diagnosed in the general population:
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness that the general population suffers from. These disorders cause various symptoms and can make a person anxious during certain situations. Common anxiety disorders include panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. These disorders can be quite unpleasant and lead to exclusion from social and public events.
Mood disorders are also rather common, with depression being one of the most well-known mood disorders that people suffer from. Depression can cause feelings of frustration and despair. People with depression are also often discouraged and may also exclude themselves from public gatherings. Apart from depression, bipolar disorder is also another relatively common mood disorder.
While psychosis is often a symptom caused by some mental diseases, such as depression and schizophrenia, it is often classified in a class of its own. The illness causes a disconnection to reality, which may cause unpleasant symptoms to develop. These symptoms may include delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Many people with psychosis also experience a distortion in their speech and thoughts.
There are quite a lot of personality disorders. These disorders are often caused by other types of mental illnesses. Personality disorders are usually associated with patterns of behavior and thoughts that cause a person to behave in such a way that it is distressing to social gatherings. The symptoms of personality disorders tend to develop gradually and cause long-term mental health issues.
It is important to know that eating disorders are also classified as mental illnesses as these disorders are brought forward due to problems with a person’s mental health. The most common forms of eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa.
Top Strategies For Improving Mental Health For Good
Now that we have looked at the most common mental illnesses, we should turn our focus to some top strategies that you can use to improve your mental health and even overcome mental illnesses in some cases. We are going to focus on a variety of strategies that you can implement into your life. These particular strategies will focus on targeting different elements of mental health to give you an overall boost in mental health, mood, memory and other important parts of a healthy brain.
Take A High-Quality Brain-Boosting Supplement
There are quite a lot of supplements on the market that is promoted for including brain-boosting ingredients. Mother Nature has provided us with numerous compounds that can offer an improvement in various elements of mental health. Taking a brain-boosting supplement can often help to improve mental health in more than one ways. For example, taking one of the best memory vitamins can help to improve your ability to store new memories that you have made, while also boosting your ability to recall memories that you have stored previously. Some supplements are also able to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and other common mental health disorders.
Look for supplements that contain DHA, a particular omega-3 fatty acid that is known as docosahexaenoic acid. This particular ingredient is needed for maintaining a healthy brain from childhood up to adulthood – even the elderly need a constant supply of this particular omega-3 fatty acid for optimum mental health.
Another very beneficial ingredient that is often found in high-quality brain-boosting supplements is ginkgo biloba. The ingredient is also called maidenhair. It has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for many centuries. Today, it is often included in supplements that promise to enhance cognitive functionality – and for a good reason. Dr. Axe reports that ginkgo biloba can increase concentration, and even assist with reducing the severity of symptoms caused by depression and anxiety disorders.
Adopt Brain-Healthy Eating Habits
Your diet affects your mental health more than you might think it does. This is why diet is just as important for maintaining a healthy brain. While taking supplements can be beneficial, your diet can add additional beneficial ingredients that further enhances several aspects of your mental health. Many foods have been scientifically-proven to enhance memory and mood and to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
The Tufts University found that the anthocyanins found in blueberries have the ability to improve memory and to reduce the occurrence of short-term memory loss. The lycopene content in tomatoes has been proven to act as a powerful antioxidant in the body, which may help to reduce potential damage caused by free radicals and even protect against certain mental diseases.
Eating foods that are high in vitamins is also important, with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid being some of the most important vitamins for brain health. Foods that are high in these vitamins include eggs, fish, leafy green vegetables, and chicken.
Go To Bed Earlier
We all need sleep to perform at an optimum level the next day. We have all suffered from sleep loss and know how problematic it can be when you are tired the next day at work. Not only does your productivity decline, but you are also more prone to make accidents – car accidents are higher amongst people who are deprived of sleep than amongst those who gain enough sleep.
Sleep also affects mental health. When we do not get enough sleep, we are more prone to developing adverse psychological symptoms that could be detrimental to your life and performance. Harvard Health reports that there is a strong connection between mood and sleep. They also report that sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
Limit Your Access To Technology
Technology is taking our lives gradually, and our mental health is one particular area that is slowly starting to suffer from the drastic changes that technology is bringing towards our lives. Huffington Post reports that a recent study found people may become depressed while scrolling through their social media timelines.
When a person observes pictures posted by a friend, it might cause them to compare their own lives to the life of the person in the picture; thus causing them to become depressed if they do not have the same level of excitement in their lives.
To reduce the effects that social media and technology may have on your mental health, you should try to limit your access to these devices. It might be somewhat difficult in the beginning, especially if you have become “addicted” to browsing Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, but it will most certainly have several benefits in store for you.
Take A Dive
Swimming is a low-impact form of physical exercise that is beneficial for the physical health of the human body. The benefits of swimming, however, may not only be limited to your physical health though. Get The Gloss reports that swimming may offer you a boost in mental health. They continue to report that some people can experience an improvement in their overall mental well-being by simply swimming for approximately ten minutes each day.
Take Up A Yoga Class
Yoga has many benefits for your body and mind. It is often recommended to individuals who are stressed out and is also an excellent practice to help reduce tense muscles and even to alleviate pain. These are only a small number of health benefits that yoga has to offer you.
Yoga Journal reports that yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system while de-activating the sympathetic nervous system. This helps to put your body into a relaxed state. They also report that yoga helps to build a “sense of self.” In addition to these benefits, taking up a yoga class will also place you in a calm social environment where everyone is friendly and supportive, which is also beneficial for your mental well-being.
Dance A Little
Dancing is fun and, even though it acts as a form of exercise, it is also an activity that is known to reduce stress. Dancing is not only for show. It is an activity that can lead to many health benefits as well. For one, dancing is usually associated with feelings of happiness. Happy feelings are beneficial for your mental health. Furthermore, as you become a master dancer, your self-esteem increases gradually, which is also beneficial for your mental health.
There Are Times When You Need To Say No
This tip is a very important factor that contributes to better mental wellbeing – knowing when to say no. Stress from work and your personal life can quickly build up and cause you to feel burnt out. This leads to mental exhaustion, which is not only bad for your mental health at the moment but can also cause adverse effects in the long run. Thus, by learning to say no when it is appropriate, and taking a break from running up and down for others, you can easily avoid a burnout and keep your mental health at its peak at all times.
Consult Support Groups In Your Local Area
Being isolated from the world is one of the most harmful things that you can do to yourself if you are suffering from a mental illness, especially an anxiety or mood disorder. This can cause the symptoms you are experiencing to become worse. Instead, you should try to find some local support groups in your area and see if you can attend them. The other people that are part of the support group will be supportive and be able to share your emotions can benefit your mental health greatly.
Don’t Forget To Consult A Professional Therapist
Lastly, we want to mention the fact that many people overlook the importance of obtaining a consultation and examination from a professionally trained therapist if they have a mental illness. Time.com reports that, according to a recent survey, as much as 65% of patients who are suffering from severe depression symptoms are not being treated by a professional mental health expert for the condition.
Obtaining a consultation from a mental health professional is nothing to be feared and can be a simple procedure that doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. There are many mental health professionals that can assist those who are unable to afford professional medical care. Thus, you should never overlook this particular option for improving mental health – especially if you feel that you are suffering from any of the mental illnesses we have discussed in this article.
After you have obtained a consultation and was examined by a mental health professional, they may advise you on appropriate measures that need to be taken to help improve the symptoms you are experiencing and treat the mental illness you may be suffering from. This may include more therapy sessions, as well as the use of some medication to help you better cope with the symptoms.
Even though people often fail to consider their mental health when adhering to their personal well-being, mental health plays a vital part of a healthy, happy life. When mental health is not a priority on your well-being maintenance list, then you may be at risk of developing certain mental illnesses that could be unpleasant and disrupting to your daily life. In this article, we offered some essential information about mental illnesses and discussed ten effective ways of improving your mental health and maintaining a healthy brain.
He has been a Health & Fitness Advisor for Consumer Health Digest. He loves to write about General Health & Fitness topics. Will also believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers and constantly motivates them to achieve their goals. He is also passionate about traveling, arts and discovers and writes for people. Connect through: Facebook, Twitter, & Google+.