Self-Care

3 Tips for Optimal Mental Health

The importance of mental health and keeping your mind healthy are being recognised more today than, perhaps, any time in human history.  Society is no longer viewing mental health conditions as something people should be able to just ‘shake off’ or deal with on their own… yet, there are a number of things you can do to take care of your own mental health which is what we’re going to look at in this article.

We’re also becoming more aware of brain related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia that essentially rob the person of who they are and make them regress to the point of being an infant that has to wear name labels in their clothes.  

With such awareness, and perhaps even first hand experience of people suffering from conditions such as dementia, we’re all looking for ways to optimise our mental health.

Now, according to Harvard University, a number of studies have shown that you can reduce the risk of dementia with the six basic lifestyle habits:

  • staying physically active
  • getting enough sleep
  • not smoking
  • having good social connections
  • limiting alcohol to one drink a day
  • eating a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats.

In addition to these basic lifestyle habits, you might want to consider the following suggestions that are proven to slow down cognitive decline and even avoid it all together.

3 Tips for Optimal Mental Health

SUPPLEMENT

There are a number of supplements such as Ginkgo Biloba and certain oils (e.g. Omega 3, 6 and 9) that are all well known for keeping the brain healthy.  Equally important with regard to nutrition is that you keep yourself hydrated, as your brain’s composition is predominantly made up of water.

MANAGE STRESS

Managing stress, is absolutely essential to your mental health.  Indeed, so many people end up having to visit a cardiologist due to the damaging psychological effects of stress, but it is only after a scare such as a heart attack that people start to take their stress management seriously.

A good way to think of it is that each time you have a stressful incident which puts your psyche through emotional stress, it creates physiological stress in your body, and this can take its toll on your organs, over time.  If you want to have optimal mental health then you absolutely need to find a way to manage your stress.

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

There are lots of ways you can keep your brain active, from crossword puzzles to app based games such as Peak that have been developed by scientists to stimulate a variety of brain performance attributes such as mental agility and memory.  That said, doing a simple crossword or sudoku puzzle can be just as effective in terms of keeping the mind active; as can wordsearches which seem a popular favourite with older people.

In summary, your mental health is just as vital as your physical health – and it needs to be looked after in the same way there is a need to look after our bodies.

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