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7 Tips to Strengthen Your Mental Health

Stressful daily life puts pressure on the body. This is well known. After all, you are tired and exhausted at the end of a long working day. But the mind is also affected by stress. The mind also needs time off to recover. Although physiological indicators of fatigue are usually recognized, mental needs are rarely considered. Ignoring these indicators can also lead to psychological distress. Therefore, it is important to prioritize your mental health. This article presents 7 tips to strengthen your mental health.

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What is mental health?

Mental health is a term used to describe the health of the mind. It includes all the psychological and emotional processes that affect your well-being. If you don’t pay attention to your mental health, you risk having a lower quality of life. Why is that? Because without mental health, you may no longer be able to perform as desired or expected. The stakes are high.

As professional and personal life becomes increasingly stressful, mental health issues are more important than ever. Every year, millions of people are unintentionally confronted with these issues. They suffer from a mental illness. Something that has unfortunately been considered a social taboo for too long. Because people don’t talk about mental health issues. It is a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, those affected still have to fight against prejudice, lack of understanding and stigma. “Think positive for once. “Don’t be like that.” “The younger generation can’t take it anymore.” These are just some of the statements that people with mental health problems often hear.

In 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month in an effort to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. The goal is to increase public awareness and education about mental health. In an effort to combat stigma and reintegrate individuals with mental health concerns into the fabric of society. This innovative movement was founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers. A young man from Connecticut who had experienced mental illness first hand. Taboos were broken when he published an autobiography detailing his bipolar disorder and a truly harrowing experience in a psychiatric ward. His activism established him as a progenitor of the American psychiatric reform movement.

How important is mental health?

Very important. Because if you are not mentally balanced, you can neither enjoy life nor function professionally. It’s that simple. Mental health challenges you to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and affects every aspect of your personal life. It also affects quality of work and job satisfaction. Mental health problems therefore lead to anxiety about the future and often financial worries. Mental health therefore has a major impact on every aspect of life. Not taking care of it will have fatal consequences sooner or later.

Strengthen your mental health: Here’s how!

Mental health is very important. That is why it is important to maintain and strengthen it. The following 7 tips can help you improve your mental health and maximize your well-being.

Exercise

Exercise improves not only your physical health, but also your mental health. This has been scientifically proven. Physical activity has a positive effect on your mental state and overall health. Why does this happen? Because physical activity stimulates the production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. At the same time, every step you take decreases the stress hormone cortisol.

Exercise not only benefits the prefrontal cortex, but also the chemical changes that occur in the body. When thoughts are racing through your mind, this region of the brain is particularly active. Exercise and physical activity decrease the activity of the prefrontal cortex. The flow of negative thoughts stops and calm returns.

Regular rest

Switch off and breathe deeply. What sounds so simple is often difficult to do in everyday life. Stress, deadline pressure, and constant availability cause the body to tense up. Breathing becomes shallow. Taking short breaks throughout the day will help your body and mind relax. A longer break at the end of the workday or on the weekend is also very beneficial for the soul. Make sure you don’t experience stress outside of work. Hobbies, activities, and getting together with friends and family are important. So is resting in between.

Treat yourself to a media-free day

Laptops, phones, and tablets – life happens in the digital space and on digital devices. While these gadgets make our daily lives easier, the accessibility they provide also creates stress. And that, in turn, can have a negative impact on our mental health. So try to set aside some media-free time. Ideally, a whole day. This will give you time for yourself – without Facebook, WhatsApp, inboxes and the like. Learn to take short breaks in your day without filling them with your phone. Don’t sleep with your phone either. Instead, have an analog alarm clock wake you up and make your bedroom a media-free space. This will give you the opportunity to fall asleep reading and wake up without looking at your phone.

Actively relax

Media-free days are about relaxation. Because a happy mind needs one thing above all else: adequate rest. And that is the foundation on which mental health is built. So always make sure to give your body and mind the space they need to rest. This includes a quiet and restorative night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep, with enough deep sleep, makes you more resilient to stress. So getting enough sleep is important. But it is not the only key to mental health. There are many small routines in daily life that can help you finally get a good night’s sleep. For example, an aromatic hot bath and a long shower with classical music, an evening with a face mask and your favorite food, or a massage with hot oils are all guarantees of relaxation. So make sure your daily life is peppered with islands of relaxation. Meditation is another way to bring more peace and mindfulness into your daily life. Meditation helps you relax in the short and long term.

There are many approaches to meditation that will help you find the right way to relax. Whether it is classical sitting meditation, walking meditation, MBSR meditation, or spiritual types of meditation such as mantra chanting or transcendental techniques, each form of meditation allows you to switch off and rebalance your inner self. Meditation also has many scientifically proven effects on the body and mind: Meditation creates a happiness spiral, reduces the effects of stress on the body, improves sleep, cognitive function and creativity, and teaches mindfulness to help you cope with stressful situations. And that has a positive effect on your mental health. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily life is not easy. But it can be done with guidance.

A healthy diet

Eating a nutritious diet is essential. For the mind as well as the body. Why is this so? Because what you eat affects your health. There’s a reason we call it comfort food. In other words, food that makes you feel happy for the moment. But that is not what is meant here. We’re talking about a balanced and healthy diet that has a lasting positive effect on your psyche, not just in the moment. In 2019, a Canadian study showed that salty products, chocolate and a low intake of fruits and vegetables can promote depression in women. A healthy diet, on the other hand, reduces the risk of depression. It is important to get plenty of vitamins from fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. And if healthy food tastes good, it can be comfort food, can’t it?

Spending time with friends and family

Positivity is contagious, so surround yourself with people who radiate optimism and are good for you. Friends and family can be real mood boosters. A scientific study from 2011 proved that activities with friends reduce stress, promote health, strengthen well-being and also improve self-esteem. If you meet these positive people not just via Skype and Zoom, but in person, the effect is even greater. Pay attention to which people are good for you and strengthen your relationship with them. You will realize that not every person in your circle of friends is one of them. On closer inspection, some people turn out to be real mood killers. They take energy away from you instead of giving you strength. They talk you down instead of recognizing the great things in you. Furthermore, they have a direct impact on your mental health – but unfortunately not a positive one. It is therefore possible that one friendship or another will come to an end at some point because it is not good for you. But this should happen fairly and with mutual respect.

Sleep well

Mom always said: “Sleep well.” And she was absolutely right. However, what she said about the body also applies to the mind. It needs enough sleep to recharge its batteries for the day ahead and its tasks. So try to get about 8 hours of sleep every night. Of course, your personal need for sleep may differ from the 8 hours. However, you should not sleep less than 6 hours a night. Too little sleep is not healthy. It puts a strain on both your body and your mind. Both are then less resilient and more susceptible to illness. So always listen to your body – it will tell you when it’s tired.

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FAQ

What is mental health?

In today’s fast-paced society, mental health issues are often overlooked. Few people give their mental health the same priority as their physical fitness. This is unfortunate. After all, social engagement, quality of life and performance all depend on mental health. A reassessment is needed. Fortunately, more and more people are realizing the importance of keeping their psyche in balance. In fact, mental health issues are not uncommon. Everyone seems to know someone who is struggling with mental health issues. This is not unexpected. The Robert Koch Institute reports that the prevalence of mental illness is increasing every year. In particular, the number of people with mental health problems has skyrocketed due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The effects of anxiety disorders, exhaustion, and sadness, among others, are evident in society. In addition, there are over two hundred different types of mental illness, and each one manifests itself differently in a person. It’s time to take action and give your own mental health the attention it deserves.

Can you actively improve your mental health?

In the article above, we’ve compiled 7 tips to help you regain your inner balance. Focus on:

  • Exercise
  • Regular rest
  • Media-free days
  • Active relaxation
  • Healthy diet
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Sleep well

To improve your own mental well-being. When it comes to mental health, however, self-interest is not the only factor to consider. It is also about others. It is especially important that you, as a manager, ensure the mental health and resilience of your employees. Therefore, it is important to integrate mental health into the organization. This will foster greater understanding within the organization and combat the stigma of mental illness.

As an employer, this will help ensure that symptoms of potential illness are identified early so that action can be taken at the right time. Overworked employees don’t have to burn out. Those who take action within

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