This is my second blog after the first one “The Pursuit of Happiness.” I have named this blog after one of my most inspirational movie’s - 3 idiots song…..Aal izz Well.
According to the WHO definition of health that we as medical students learned by heart”Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So today again I shall be focussing on mental health and ten easy tips that one can follow to achieve his or her’s goal of achieving and maintaining good mental health.
One has to remember that the way we see ourselves,others and the world at large and how we think,feel and react to our emotions and to stimuli we get from the outside develops gradually over a period of time.There would be healthy or adaptive ways to deal and unhealthy or maladaptive ways of dealing with our emotions,ourselves,others and the world at large. As with everything that we have learned, Practice makes one perfect and by following the below mentioned tips I hope that we are better able to look after our mental health. So let us delve into the tips to keep ourselves mentally healthy.
1) TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
I read somewhere that it was a japanese who invented “emojis” to help us communicate our feelings in the modern era of virtual communication and they became an instant hit and are an essential part of today's communication whatever the electronic medium.Sharing and talking about your feelings is very essential and it entails that first one recognises what one is feeling then be able to describe it and ultimately communicate it to self and others.Move from the situation of saying. I don't feel well and on being asked say”Pataa nahin”. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It’s part of you taking charge of your well being and doing what you can do to stay healthy.
2) EAT WELL
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel eg sugar,chocolates, caffeine can have an immediate effect of lifting one up and if indulged in wisely are good.But often people fall in their trap. Start binging and the vicious cycle of “Ups” and “crashes” ensues.Eat well,Eat healthy,Eat wisely is the mantra. Regular meals are essential.Adding healthy substances to your diet which are essentially brain tonics is a good idea. Nuts are full of nutrients but individuals with kidney disease need to take care as can elevate potassium levels. Fish and fish oils eg Seven Seas are very good sources of not only vitamins but also Omega-3 fatty acids like EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA.They maintain neuronal membrane structure and modulate prostaglandins and leukotrienes which are essential in fighting off stress and keeping us healthy. So food does have a long lasting effect on your mental health, so Eat healthy!
3) KEEP IN TOUCH
Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help you keep active, keep you grounded and help solve practical problems. So keep in touch.
4) TAKE A BREAK
A Change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.It could be a five minute pause from your daily routine work. Walking the dog, going for a run, spending a weekend exploring somewhere new with friends and family it can be one of so many. A few small breaks can be enough to de-stress.
5) ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, painting, singing, dancing, others cook fantastic meals. Some of us are just ordinary. Some of us share our lifestyles with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We are all different and it's Okay! Accept, acknowledge and appreciate who you are.
6) KEEP ACTIVE
Exercise releases chemicals in your brain as discussed in the previous blog that make you feel good.Remember the endorphins - Anandamide. Regular exercise boosts your self esteem and self image and helps you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise also keeps your brain and other vital organs healthy.
7) ASK FOR HELP
Remember however good you are, none of us is a superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you find it difficult to cope, ASK FOR HELP, It’s available easily than you think it is.
8) DO SOMETHING YOU ARE GOOD AT
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you are good at it and achieving something boosts your self esteem.
9) LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Research tells us that from the age of 25 our brains are continuously shrinking ie the nerve cells in the brain that control everything are decreasing. Learning something new stimulates not only new nerve cells but also helps them communicate better and at the end of the day helping us feel better.
10) CARE FOR OTHERS
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It boosts the feel good neurochemical serotonin. It can even bring people closer.
11) CARE FOR YOURSELF
Remember however strong you are you have your limits.You can only help others if you remain well. So take good care of yourself.