Mental wellbeing has very much been in the news in recent times as awareness of these issues grows. The pandemic brought mental health concerns to the forefront even more. The negative effects of lockdowns and separation from family and loved ones, plus fear of the virus itself, caused anxiety, concern, and fear.
Depression alone is suffered by more than 260 million people around the world and can be crippling in severe cases. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the world, but it is just one of a list of mental health issues that include stress and anxiety.
Many mental health conditions benefit from prescribed medication, and for some drugs are essential, but some symptoms can be alleviated through other means. General mental well-being can be helped through small lifestyle changes, and with the use of various activities.
What causes poor mental well-being?
When discussing serious mental illness, then it is paramount that professional medical help is sought. When it comes to general mental wellness, however, there may be causes that can be rectified, or at least actions that can be taken to make improvements.
For instance, when a person is recovering from an accident or injury it can affect their mental health. It is essential to understand how to manage mental health whilst in recovery. Anyone who is bed-bound is likely to become frustrated, feel low at some points, and perhaps become prone to introspection. It is important to manage expectations in these circumstances.
Other people find their mental wellness deteriorating due to their lifestyle and the people around them. Things such as diet, substance abuse, relationships, and daily routines, can affect a person mentally and physically.
How can you improve your mental well-being?
If you are feeling low or finding yourself trying to deal with more stress than normal, then there may be something in your life that can be changed for the better. It may be something very simple, and it might just be that you need to introduce new activities into your life.
Below are some of the feelings that you may be struggling to cope with, and some ways that may benefit you.
Exercise has a range of benefits
When you are feeling low, exercise can be one of the hardest things to get yourself motivated for. However, it brings a huge range of benefits, both physically, and mentally.
Exercise is known to improve anxiety, depression, negativity, and low self-esteem. Exercising not only releases endorphins that lower stress and make people feel good, but it can also improve social lives.
Joining a gym, a running club, or another group activity, means that you will meet more people. Social activity is good for mental well-being while isolation brings negativity.
Listening to music
Music is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to improving mood and mental wellness. In fact, professionals agree too as it is used in different forms of therapy for mental health issues.
Music can be used along with therapy to help victims of trauma, and patients with schizophrenia and depression. But, music also has the power to simply brighten someone’s day when the right song comes on the radio, or someone picks up a guitar and plays some chords.
If you are feeling stressed then a relaxing bath with soothing music can reduce those feelings. Music can also help improve sleep which is remarkably important to mental well-being.
Improve your sleep
Everyone needs to have good quality sleep to be in good shape. Poor sleep leads to poor psychological conditions and can lead to someone developing mental health issues, such as anxiety, that they never had.
The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Poor sleep can lead to physical health problems as well as affecting the mind.
Sleep patterns can be affected by such things as too much caffeine, poor mattress, stress about work or other areas of life, and using smartphones too close to bedtime.
Take up a hobby
Being inactive can lead to mental health and wellbeing issues. Sedentary lifestyles can cause depression, stress, and feelings of worthlessness. The right hobby can improve the daily life of an individual in many ways.
Once the right hobby has been found, the individual will feel happier, more relaxed, have improved self-esteem, and have less stress. Playing an instrument is just one way to improve mental well-being.
Playing the guitar brings about some physical improvements in the musician, as well as affecting the mind. Learning chords guitar beginners takes time but can bring feelings of achievement which boosts self-esteem. The person playing the guitar will have increased perseverance, patience, and improved memory.
One other bonus to learning to play the guitar or another instrument is that you can bring pleasure to others – once you learn that is – and you can expand your social circle. Music brings people together, and musicians can meet and work together too.
Drink more water
One of the simplest ways to improve focus and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety is to drink more water. It is believed that the majority of adult Americans do not drink nearly enough water, and many are suffering from dehydration.
Water affects the physical health of humans, but it is also needed to have a healthy, active brain. If you want to study and focus as successful students do, then drink more water.
Set yourself realistic goals
If you are suffering from feelings of stress, it might be because of you. Sometimes the biggest problem is putting too much on oneself. So that you don’t become overwhelmed or have feelings of stress, make sure the targets you set yourself are realistic.
Setting targets is good for self-improvement, and can lead to a great sense of achievement. People need to challenge themselves, some more than others. However, when setting targets, it is important to make them practical and attainable.
Reduce coffee and alcohol
What you take into your body affects you both physically and mentally. A poor diet can lead to sluggishness and depression. Similarly, things such as caffeine and alcohol can also affect mental health and wellbeing.
Both these substances can affect sleep which as you have read, can affect your mood and daily performance. But, they can affect your mental health in other ways too.
Caffeine is known for causing and raising levels of anxiety, and alcohol is a known depressant. Not only do both substances negatively affect mental health, but they can also both be addictive too.
Various mental health issues can benefit from the use of therapy and consultation with a medical health professional. Indeed, some conditions need to be treated with a combination of medication and ongoing psychological help.
However, minor conditions and symptoms may benefit from simple changes, such as a healthier diet, joining a local club, or getting more exercise. Drinking more water can improve focus, relieve feelings of lethargy, and improve brain function.
Taking up a hobby can be a rewarding way to improve mental wellness without even trying. Playing a few chords on a guitar can be so much more than just making sounds. Listening to and playing music can elevate moods, and reduce feelings of stress, and depression.