We are growing each day and so as our brain. Our brain controls every part of us which means how we feel the entire day is the result of our brain's signals. The brain continues to develop, however, with our sedentary lifestyle and external influences we damage our brain health gradually, which eventually affects our mental health. But the good news is that there are several things you can do to keep your mental health in check. On this Mental Health Day, make a promise to yourself to adapt these five lifestyle changes to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Meditation: The most important action one can take towards mental health is channelise the energies through focus. And what better way to bring the focus than pranayama and meditation. Start with deep breathing as this is a scientifically proven remedy to reduce stress. Deep breathing will fill in more oxygen in the body and this oxygen helps in suppressing the cortisol levels or the stress hormones. Therefore, it helps in relaxing the brain to make it stronger, calmer, and detoxified leading to enhanced function.
Sleep well: We may not get enough time to sleep due to our stretched working hours, however, our body undergoes a proper healing, recovery, repair and detoxification during sleep. Our brain shrinks to 60% leaving spaces between cells for cerebrospinal fluid to flush the toxins out of the system (blood brain barrier). So, if we are sleep deprived, brain becomes loaded with toxins. That's why getting into a deep sleep cycle is very important to detox the brain.
Consume healthy fats: We may not want to embrace fats on our body but healthy fats like Omega 3 are the essential fatty acids which reduce inflammation from brain cells. It also helps in building the healthy brain and nerve cells for proper functioning. This leads to improved nerve cell communication and enhances entire body function. Walnuts and flaxseeds are the best source of Omega 3 along with a good quality cold pressed oils.
Exercise: Nothing in your positive health check is complete without a physical movement. When the body is active it releases feel good hormones, endorphins that make us feel relaxed and control the stress. Walk at least 10,000 steps every day or exercise for minimum 30 minutes for three-four days a week. This will not only improve your physical health but will also keep your mental health in check with lower stress.
Reduce your time on gadgets: Most of our day goes on surfing on the internet, working on computer or watching TV in the evening. We may not be able to help it, but we can certainly control our exposure to gadgets once we are back home or at least four hours before sleeping. Start with 30 minutes and gradually increase the time to stay away from your phone or laptop. The deceptional reality of social media and negative news can affect your mental health. Even if a few likes and comments on your social media post are making you feel stimulated, it is a dependency that may affect you negatively tomorrow.