According to WHO Health is health is the state of physical, mental and social fullness. For this reason, we must take care of our mental health as much or more as our physical, however people tend to underestimate it and many times they take risks with practices that damage them in the long term.

Why do I have to take care of my mental health?

Why do people take so much risk with their mental health? Why not take as much care as with physical health? What leads to it being undervalued? Mental health is something that cannot be seen with the naked eye when we look in the mirror because what we feel most of the time are symptoms, which unlike the signs, these are not seen with the naked eye. The signs warn us of physical diseases, however, psychological disorders rarely show them, we speak rather of internal symptoms. Which means that in most cases the person does not worry so much and does not go to a professional. Because of this we may be incubating a discomfort long enough for it to become a disorder, when it could have been treated in a simpler way from the beginning.

Habits to improve mental health

You don’t have to practice them daily (although you should), however, get in the habit of doing them frequently.

1- Keep your brain active

Inactivity leads to more inactivity … So … put it to use! Make it work! Some hobbies that will bring you these benefits are word searches, sudoku puzzles , finding the differences, operations … and all kinds of puzzles and games that work on logic! Checkers, chess, dominoes … are games that keep your logic and reasoning better if you practice them frequently. On the other hand, reading and writing are two wonderful resources that help us avoid our daily problems. Reading is more enjoyable but if you like to write and you entertain yourself with it, you will also be developing your imagination.

2- Look for goals

Keep your brain young and awake with new challenges every day. How? Set daily goals or objectives that do not have to be very big but are minimally motivating . To do this, set yourself a long-term challenge, for example one year. Then divide that goal into two or three medium-term goals (4-5 months) and finally into short-term goals (every month) that bring you small benefits. That will give more meaning to your life because you will be fighting every day to achieve your goals and if you also remain constant you will see that every day you will be closer to them.

3- Rest more hours

If you are those who sleep little, you have to know that if you want to improve your mental health you must sleep the minimum recommended hours. There are people who do not need the stipulated 8 hours and who work correctly with 7 for example, the opposite can also be the case, because there are people who need 9, however, sleeping less or more hours than your body needs dulls the brain and long Term weakens you, making you more vulnerable to psychological problems such as anxiety, difficulty managing emotions and sudden changes in mood.

4- Practice assertiveness

The Assertiveness is the ability to say what you think and defend your rights without offending or feelings or violate the rights of others. It is the best way to release anxiety that is generated in social relationships without harming other people. Therefore, it is important that you learn to say “no” when you don’t want to do something. Social or work commitments often make us shut up and put up with it, however it is not good to get used to it, we all need to rest and take time for ourselves.

5-Follow a balanced diet

If you want to improve your mental health, you must not forget your physical part. That is why you should eat properly and eat in a balanced and varied way, trying foods from all groups. Of course, it is better that the foods are natural and not processed. You should also control the portions, it is fine to eat all kinds of food but in its right measure, without abusing a specific type. Especially good for the brain are those that contain Omega 3 and 6, B vitamins such as B6 and B12, folic acid, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium …

-Nuts, almonds and other nuts because they enhance memory and concentration.

-Blue fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies …

-Drinks with antioxidants: coffee, tea and other infusions (always without abuse).

-Fruits, vegetables and greens: citrus fruits, tomato, blackberries, strawberries, aubergines, broccoli, avocado, etc.

-Foods that increase levels of tryptophan , a precursor of neurotransmitters such as the famous serotonin and melatonin, which are vitally important in mood and regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Some of them are chicken, turkey and other lean meats, egg yolk, dairy, pineapple bananas, avocado, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, dark chocolate, and legumes.

7- Practice physical exercise

Did you know that one of the benefits of exercising regularly is improving our physical activity and mental health? 4 days a week are enough to start noticing the benefits. When we exercise (especially aerobic ) our brain secretes endogenous endorphins that act in the reward circuits and generates a pleasant and pleasant sensation on our body, improving our mood a little and leaving the body in a state of relaxation and well-being. In addition, the effect is cumulative, this means that even if the first times you do not notice the effect, over time it will be more and more reinforcing for you.

8- Disconnect everything

Spend time every day , just for yourself and for something you like to do : a bubble bath, read a good book, watch your favorite series, take a nice bike ride … whatever it takes as long as it makes you disconnect from the work and daily chores. When you live with more people it may sound difficult to find time alone but you should see it as an obligation, especially if there are other people who depend on you. If you are not mentally healthy, how are you going to take care of others? 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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