Nowadays, people are often more concerned about their physical health than they are about their mental. However, your mental health is just as important, if not even more. Being mentally healthy allows you to lead a mature and responsible lifestyle, have meaningful relationships, and be happier overall. With that in mind, here are five lifestyle factors that can influence your mental health.
1. Activity level
We all know how important it is to exercise, but that’s not true just because it can help us look good. Exercise can improve your mental health as well, and some research has shown that it can be a very effective way to deal with depression. However, there isn’t the right amount of exercise – it depends on your own personal needs, free time, and general activity. If you have the ability and opportunity to walk to work or ride a bike, you should always take it. Plus, exercising outside can alone improve your mood, so try to keep that in mind as well.
Studies have shown that almost 50% of people with some kind of mental problem are also smokers. It might sound logical that smoking a cigarette could help you relax when you’re stressed out. However, as relaxing as those five minutes could be, it is the number of toxins your body receives that can lead to many mental issues. Not to mention all the physical consequences of smoking – coughing, heart and lung disease, lower energy levels; all of them can affect your mental health. In short, if you are a smoker, quitting is definitely one of the best things you could do for your health.
3. Physical health
No matter how much you might try, you cannot separate your mind from your body. This means that if you are struggling with any physical issues, you’re likely to develop some mental problems as well. For instance, if you have spine problems, the back pain that accompanies it could affect your mood, energy levels, motivation, etc. In short, you can’t be yourself when you’re in pain. Luckily, you can always get some help. For the mentioned spine problems, you can contact doctor Timothy Steel, one of the best neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in the Land Down Under. Once you deal with your physical problem, your mental health is bound to improve too.
Most people say that you should not get engaged in any kind of romantic relationship until you work on yourself. While that is definitely true in most cases, it’s also true that, sometimes, all you need to feel better is a healthy relationship. The thing is, there are always negative habits and personality traits that are difficult to change on your own, without any external support and motivation. In a relationship, though, you are usually much less anxious, shy, lonely, etc. In other words, you become more motivated to work on yourself once you have somebody else engaged in your life as well. Plus, even if you’re mainly focused on that relationship, working on it could affect you as a person too. Just keep in mind that this is mostly true for milder mental issues – for serious problems, you should get professional help first.
5. Healthy sleep
No matter how much work you have, you should always find enough time to rest and recharge your batteries. Some people need less, but most people can function best with 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It’s not just about the amount of sleep you get, though – it’s also about your sleep routine. By going to bed every day at the same time, you can help your body adjust to it. Once your body gets used to its sleep/wake cycles, you’re guaranteed to feel many mental benefits. For instance, your immunity will improve, your concentration will become better, and pretty much anything you do will be easier due to having more energy.
The Bottom Line
From the amount of exercise you get to the physical issues you might have, there are more than a few lifestyle factors that can affect your mental health. This is why you should make sure to improve your everyday habits – every step in the right direction is bound to make you feel better.