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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES THAT LIE WITHIN YOUR CONTROL
You may be used to seeing numerous ads about keeping fit and being physically healthy, with all sorts of tips about having a positive lifestyle, types of exercise and gizmos and gadgets to help you keep your body in shape. What you may not see as often is information about how to improve and maintain good mental health. It's essential to be mentally as well as physically healthy and in many ways the two elements are linked. Most of us have times when we feel overcome by the cares of the world, whether it's a stressful job, maybe some tough family circumstances or just despair at things that are happening in the wider world. You're not alone, and you can certainly start thinking about what will help you improve your mental health. Here are a few thoughts to help you focus on the positives that lie within your control.
Talking is good
It's not always easy to talk about your feelings when you're troubled and worried, but it can be a great help to start lifting your mood. Being strong and silent is what many men think they should be and believe any other way is a sign of weakness. It's not. It's about you being in charge and starting to explore (with someone you trust) what you're feeling, why you're feeling it and then starting out on the road to dealing with it. Remember there may be others who feel the same way, and it could be by talking about your issues that you might help others to benefit by revealing their own.
Keeping active can be a real boost to your self-esteem because. Experts believe exercise makes you feel good by releasing chemicals into your brain. Your concentration can be improved, you're more likely to sleep well and your vital organs are kept healthy – including your brain – making you feel good. You don't have to join a gym or buy expensive equipment, but if that suits you then go for it. A stroll in the park, especially when the weather's good and the flowers are in full bloom, or just doing some work in your garden are ways to exercise more gently.
Plan your eating
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and there's no doubt that many people don't eat a healthy, balanced diet. It's why the medical profession is so worried about the increase in obesity, not just for adults but children as well. Eating well is an essential part of helping to improve your mental health because your brain needs a range of nutrients to stay healthy. You can choose to boost this side of your diet. You can contribute to both your physical and mental health by sensible eating, so eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, seeds and nuts, oily fish, dairy products and wholegrain breads and cereals. Try to cut down on sugary or high-caffeine drinks, eat three meals a day and make sure you have plenty of water to drink. Alcohol may make you feel good, and there's no reason to stop drinking it, but it's best to do so in moderation because it's a depressant and could, in the long run, have adverse effects on your mental health.
Search for light
Natural light is a natural mood enhancer, and in Britain, we often don't get enough of it. Getting out and about for your exercise helps you get plenty of light but think also about light control in the home. You may be used to lots of electric lighting but look at how you let natural light into your rooms. Curtains and blinds are frequently used as window coverings, but they don't always allow you to control how much light is let in. Shutters are a good way to give you far more control and because they can be designed to fit any window no matter the size or shape, they are an ideal solution to your natural light requirements. Flexible and versatile, shutters can come with moveable louvres to give you even more control over your interior light.
Sleep, perchance to dream
Sound sleep is a vital part of improving your mental health, so set yourself a sleep schedule and avoid too much visual stimulation, such as electronic games or social media before you go to bed. Take the time to plan the things you intend to do to improve your mental health, talk to people about it and then move forward and implement those plans.
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