Health and Fitness

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Your Mental Health

Figuring out how to improve your mental health is a journey that is very individual. Ultimately, recognize that in many cases, reaching an ideal place with your mental health will not only require lifestyle changes but will also require help from professionals and medication. Be willing to explore all the options in order to find the best approach for you.

Start Exercising

According to Better Health, exercise has so many physical and mental benefits. If exercise isn’t exactly your thing, try to find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy—yoga in the park, walking, or even kayaking. Taking the time to exercise helps your brain produce more endorphins, a hormone that results in feelings of calmness, happiness, and better ability to respond to stress. Over long periods of time, consistent exercise helps you decrease your likelihood of stroke and other health issues as well.

Improve Your Diet

Improving your diet is one of the most important things you can do for your health in general as well as for your mental health specifically. Eating excessive amounts of sugar, processed foods, and foods high in saturated fats have been linked to various negative effects on your mental health. According to TMS Clinics of Canada, sugar can exacerbate your anxiety.

If improving your diet is something that is particularly challenging for you, start by changing your mindset. It is so easy to see this lifestyle change as something that you’ll start tomorrow, next week, or next month. Instead, start to see the way you eat as something you want to work on right now. If you don’t eat a nourishing breakfast, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, commit to eating a nourishing lunch.

Get Better Sleep

Getting good sleep can be an uphill battle for so many people. But according to Talkspace, studies have shown that getting good sleep results in much better mental functioning. Getting good sleep allows your body to better digest and process memories, emotions, and heal the brain to some extent.

Without good sleep, you even increase your risk for things like diabetes, heart attack, and duller skin. Even though it is difficult, prioritize your sleep and do the work to develop a sleep cycle.

As you work to improve your physical and mental health, try to celebrate your wins even when you don’t achieve everything you set out to do. Ultimately, making small changes is much better than making no changes. And as you celebrate the little successes, you’ll start to build more confidence in yourself, enabling you to keep going.

Read this next: How to Keep Your Healthcare Costs Reasonable

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