5 Tips to Improve Mental Health in This Crazy World
You wake up in the morning refreshed, rested, and ready to take on the world. Brush your teeth, shower, and then sit down with a cup of Pachamama Coffee and look at your smartphone for the news...
Looting, Riots, Plague, cities burning down, unemployment, an election. 2020 is a year like no other. This can cause severe stress, feelings of helplessness, anger, fear and disbelief.
But you can only control you. What does this mean?
What’s going on around you is largely out of your control. You can help voices get heard through protesting, voting, and other means, but generally speaking, you can only control how you react to the stress around you. This is where mental health comes into play. Here are five proven techniques to help you thrive through these crazy times.
This goes without saying in anything I write - exercise is the key to life. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, preventing depression, and alleviating a negative mood. It also improves self-esteem and cognitive function, plus if you go to the gym provides much needed social interaction.
Some, but not even close to all, benefits of exercise include:
- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness (1)
2. Healthy Diet
“We have found that there is increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence.”
--Professor Suzanne Dickson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) (2)
The above study references the Mediterranean Diet as a great option for a “healthy diet” but also notes that there isn’t one diet for all, and for people with medical conditions like seizures, for example, a lower carbohydrate diet might be better.
Essentially, the take-home is to eat whole, minimally-processed foods and maintain a healthy weight. Lay off of fast food and fried foods and aim for whole, natural food sources.
3. Turn Off Social Media
While it's unclear if social media is detrimental to one’s mental health, there are studies that indicate that social media may lead to increased signs and symptoms of depression. (3)
With the graphic videos of violence and constant bickering between groups, it can cause irritation.
Social media is how people communicate. I suggest periods of focused work, exercise, and even….
Meditation doesn’t have to be done cross-legged with your palms up. Just sit, relax, close your eyes, and think about nothing. Clear your mind. I do this nightly in my home sauna. I sleep better and destress from the day of work and life.
Studies clearly demonstrate that meditation can help with depression and anxiety, aids with brain function, and even alleviates constant pain. (4)
I learned of meditation from my partner in Ambrosia, Mike Rashid, and have been a fan for years.
Watch a silly movie, tell jokes, LAUGH! And science has demonstrated laughter helps alleviate stress and depression, promotes mental health and a strong immune system, and also has beneficial hormonal benefits. (5) Let loose and LAUGH!
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And here are some tips from Twitter!