A healthy mind is even more important than a healthy body and becoming a picture of mental health in this hectic world is easier when you know what you’re doing. With this in mind, here are six things you can do to improve your mental health today.
1. Get to enough sunlight
The evolution of our bodies is always going to be lagging behind the rapid progress that we’re making as human beings. In a relatively short time period (when you take into account the age of our planet), mankind has moved from the outdoors, into indoor dwellings, which we leave only when we have to. Even when exercising outside, our goal is to lose weight and get healthy, and has nothing to do with sunlight exposure.
Although we don’t need sunlight in the way our photosynthetic green neighbors do, the artificial lighting fixtures will never replace the nurturing effects of the natural light.
Getting out during the day is even more important for those whose homes and offices aren’t exposed to enough sunlight. If you aren’t keen on taking walks outside, get a dog – in addition to many other mental benefits of having a pet, a dog will make you go out.
2. Exercise outside whenever you can
Going to the gym is definitely better than sitting at home, stuffing your mouth with snacks and your mind with bad TV programming. However, as soon as the spring comes knocking, you should forget all about your gym membership and go exercising outside. Whether it’s a team sport or running, working out in fresh air is a mood booster that will echo through your entire day.
3. Have a good night’s sleep
Lack of sleep has been found to result in depression, in addition to the general feeling of exhaustion. Even if you are your own boss and can perform work whenever you happen to wake up, the human sleep cycle is set in stone for most people – maintaining natural patterns of sleep can go a long way in getting you ready for the day and making you more concentrated, productive, efficient and, most importantly, happier!
4. Hang out with good people
Everyone deserves moments of solace; but human beings are social, just as they are solitary, so working on your social life is essential if you want to maintain good mental health. Regardless of whether it’s your family members or friends, nurturing relationships with good people is important – people who surround themselves with friends and family are generally healthier than those who are withdrawn from the society.
Even ambition isn’t a good enough reason for becoming a recluse – everyone needs a healthy amount of social contact and even if you think that spending every hour of the day alone will help you become a better professional, you are wrong – in addition to the fact that social knowledge is valuable, without a proper amount of social contact, you won’t be as efficient as a professional, regardless of your profession.
Surrounding yourself with good people is one of the pillars of happiness.
5. Deal with stress
Some people are excellent at dealing with stress and others simply aren’t. Practicing coping skills will help you alleviate or even eliminate stress, but you need to know what fits you the best – Tai Chi, exercise, walks, playing with your pet(s), writing a diary or a journal, listening to music – you should try everything until you’ve found a perfect solution. Cognitive supplements, such as this smart pill from Lucid can also go a long way in helping you lift your motivation, sharpen your focus and help you surpass stress.
6. Avoid psychoactive substances
Alcohol might seem like a good solution, but it will only mask your need for happiness, rather than satiate it. If you have mental health problems, alcohol is best avoided. On the other hand, other drugs, from pharmaceuticals to illegal ones are best avoided altogether!