By Rasheedat Balogun
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment”. Mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. It is also defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
A person struggling with mental health or illness may experience this as a result of stress, loneliness, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, death of a loved one, grief, addiction, ADHD, self-harm, mood disorder, and other mental illnesses of varying degrees, as well as learning disabilities. Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners or physicians can help manage mental illness with treatments such as counseling, therapy, or medication.
Building up our mental wellbeing is important because we all want to feel good; both about ourselves and about the world around us. We all want to be able to get the most from our lives. However, there is evidence that good mental wellbeing is not only about feeling good, it is also important for our physical health, and for helping us achieve the goals we set for ourselves.Your mind and your health are worth it. Here are various tips to keep fit mentally:
Be social: Spending time with family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues is important. They are a valuable source of support. Fulfilling social relationships can protect against dementia and depression.
Eat healthy: Lack of variety in your food may lead to vitamin deficiency, which can lead to memory problems.
Do the things you enjoy: Find activities that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
Get enough sleep: There is a lot of scientific evidence that a good night’s sleep for seven to nine hours improves health, memory and mood. Keep to regular sleep and wake times, have a consistent bedtime routine, and avoiding light before bed time to help to ensure a restful, healthful sleep.
Task your brain: Solve crosswords, figure out puzzles, learn a language or learn a new skill.
Read often and read widely: Keeping an active interest in the world around you will help to exercise your brain and improve your mental fitness.
Exercise your body: Cardio exercise increases neurogenesis and improves memory and mood.
Actively manage your health: Conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can affect mental performance if not diagnosed and treated. Have regular check-ups with your doctor to prevent future problems.
Stop multitasking: You may think that multitasking enables you to get more things done at once, but it actually creates more problems than it solves. Focusing on one task at a time will improve your concentration and help you to be more productive.
Be positive with yourself: Positive affirmation is one avenue to increased mental proficiency. To start, make a list of your good qualities. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be perfect. Set goals for what you want to improve and start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Give to others: even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.