Mental health is under the spotlight at the moment after spending centuries in obscurity and it is the best thing to have happened to humanity in a while. We have long understood the importance of keeping our body in good physical shape, but mental health has largely been ignored. Good mental hygiene can prevent all kinds of diseases, including depression, anxiety, dementia, and a range of stress-related conditions.
So, how do you keep your mind in tip top shape? Here is what the experts recommend.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Staying up late and waking up early for work might seem feasible when you are in your 20s, but that lack of sleep will catch up with you eventually. As boring as it may sound, a regular sleep cycle is seriously important and if you don’t have one you risk feel sluggish, irritable, and even depressed. Get eight hours of sleep every night, ideally at the same time each night, and it won’t take long before you start to feel a difference in your mind and body.
Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head. Meditating is an excellent way to shut out the noise in the back of your mind and to focus on being present. If you haven’t meditated before and aren’t sure what to do, there are loads of videos on Youtube that take you on guided meditation sessions. Alternatively, most cities in the western world have meditation centres and classes that you can attend – often free of charge! It only takes a few minutes a day for the effects of meditation to kick in.
Spend Time Outside
Staying cooped up in your house 24/7 can make you feel terrible and can negatively affect your mental health. Make an effort to leave your house every day, even if you don’t have to. Go for a walk or cycle around your local area. Anything that allows you to soak up some natural light and get some fresh air in your lungs will do the trick. If you’re feeling lethargic, you should find that this wakes you up and brightens your mood.
This kills two birds with one stone. Exercise is good for both your body and your mind. There are several ways in which exercise can improve your mental health. First of all, exercise releases endorphins. Have you ever heard of a runner’s high? Well, that’s a real thing and it really does make you feel good. On top of the chemical elements that make you happy, exercise has psychological benefits. We know that exercise is good for us and doing things that are good for us can’t help but make us happier.
Form Strong Bonds With Other People and Maintain Them
Even the most introverted person needs a friend or two. In the digital age we now live in, it can be hard to meet people in the flesh and to form deep, lasting friendships with them. However, the art of making friends has not been lost, you just might need to try a bit harder than before. Open your heart and mind to the possibility of creating new bonds with people and once you have those bonds, make sure you nurture and cherish them.