Five Habits for Good Mental Health

September 27, 2019
Many of us have adopted some habits without realizing how harmful the can be to our mental health. Learn more about them and how to prevent them in this article.

Today, we’d like to talk about the five habits you should avoid to maintain good mental health.

Like any engine, our brain requires maintenance – and so does every other part of our body. Maintaining good mental health is essential. This is why October 10 is now “World Mental Health Day. This is mainly a date to raise awareness about the silent danger of mental illnesses and their stigmas and therefore emphasize the importance of asking for help when we need it.

We’re not aware of the importance of mental health until we put it at risk. Have you ever wondered or calculated the time you spend taking care of your psyche?

Why should we maintain good mental health?

A person doing yoga at the beach.

Our mental state is equal to or even more important than our physical state. So, it’s paradoxical that we’ll often go to the doctor for any medical condition but we refuse to seek psychological or psychiatric help when we’re overcome by our emotions.

Mental health is something you can’t see with the naked eye. After all, what we feel, most of the time, are subjective symptoms. Therefore, most of the time, we don’t worry about it too much and don’t even seek medical help. Because of this, we may be incubating a discomfort long enough for it to become a disorder.

This is why it’s extremely important to take good care of your mental health and get help if you think you need it. In a perfect world, we’d all go to the psychologist for check-ups just as much as we go to the doctor!

That said, let’s take a look at some habits you can implement today to help take care of your mental health.

Habits for a Good Mental Health

1. Always eat breakfast.

How many times have you heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Even so, many people just can’t get used to having breakfast. Unfortunately, this is very unhealthy, because our blood sugar will drop if we skip it. Do you know what happens then?

Well, your organs are compromised by not knowing where they’re going to get sugar, so they generate an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain and it slowly degenerates. Then, you’ll have lower intellectual performance throughout the day.

Believe it or not, these drops in blood sugar can even cause symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

You might want to read: Seven Consequences of Skipping Breakfast

2. Always get enough sleep.

Your body cannot regenerate without the right amount of sleep. Many people go to bed late or cannot sleep properly due to stress. When this becomes a habit, your cognitive processes are significantly affected. A lack of sleep can lead to stress, depression, moodiness and – in the long term – strokes, among other problems associated with your mind.

Keep in mind that you must sleep at least 8 hours on average to maintain your good mental health.

3. Don’t smoke if you want good mental health.

A person smoking.
Quitting smoking will promote health in all of your systems and will improve your mental health.

Health professionals who treat people with psychiatric problems often overlook the smoking habits of their patients. This is because they assume it helps them deal with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse problems.

However, research from the University of Washington shows that people struggling with mood or addiction problems can quit smoking safely and, moreover, that quitting this habit is associated with better mental health.

Read also: Reasons to Quit Smoking and Strategies for Success

4. Get enough physical activity.

“Even though the impact of physical exercise on mental health is still being studied, exercise acts on the central nervous system, stabilizing its proteins and avoiding diseases caused by the breakdown of the balance of these substances,” says Miguel del Valle, professor of the University of Oviedo and delegate of the Rectorate for Sports and Health.

Also, being on the move isn’t only good for your body, but your brain will thank you. This is because better circulation promotes a healthier mind. Physical activity also helps reduce stress and pause your thoughts.

5. Don’t overuse electronic devices.

A person looking at her phone.
Excessive use of digital screens has been associated with problems such as insomnia and higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Currently, most of our social practices are experienced through the internet. Thus, our pace of life focuses on those electronic devices where we can access social networks and other similar things.

The constant use of technology, especially smartphones, prevents us from living in the present. It also leads to vision problems, stress, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Now you know some everyday habits that you should implement to promote better mental health. Remember: you can greatly improve your quality of life to enjoy good mental health even by making some small changes.

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