Mental well-being is as important as physical health. A well-maintained physique is of no use if your mind is not healthy. But there is a lot of stigma associated with mental illness in India. It is estimated that only 10-12% of people who have a mental disorder seek medical help, due to lack of awareness or unavailability of professional help. Though a lot is always said about physical ailments and how to avoid them, there is very little awareness about mental disorders and how to prevent them.
Let’s discuss some ways to prevent mental disorders and stay healthy:
Good sleep is essential for your physical as well as mental well-being. Sleep regulates the chemicals that are important for the management of your mood and emotions. Moreover, if you have slept well, you feel more energetic and active throughout the day. A lack of sound sleep can also be a reason for depression and anxiety. So, start enjoying a full night’s sleep to stay healthy.
Food is not only required by your body; your brain also needs it to function efficiently. Apart from showing adverse effects on your body, deficiency of certain nutrients such as iron or vitamin B12 can cause low mood too. So, start consuming a well-balanced diet to benefit your body and mind.
Exercise is not only good for physical fitness; it impacts your brain as well. It reduces the symptoms of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. A good workout session is also a mood elevator and can make you feel light and healthy.
Alcohol greatly affects your mental health. You may feel light and relieved while consuming alcohol, but it will show its actual effects in the coming days by making you depressed and anxious. Continuous and excessive intake of alcohol can cause a deficiency of thiamine, which is an essential nutrient for your brain. Its deficiency can result in memory problems, coordination issues, continued confusion, etc.
Similarly, smoking is also injurious to mental health. Your brain goes into withdrawal symptoms – confusion, irritability, anxiousness, etc. – between cigarette-smoking intervals. Certain drugs too affect brain functioning and can cause low mood and anxiety. So, avoiding any addiction is essential to keep your mind healthy.
Strong relationships with friends, family, and loved ones is a great thing to have. This gives you the opportunity to share your feelings or talk to someone when times are hard. Their presence in difficult situations can make you mentally strong and content. So, invest time in building good relationships.
It is important to understand that stress is a widespread phenomenon that frequently occurs to everybody. It can be good to be under a little stress in some situations such as exams, interviews, competitions, etc. This sort of ‘good stress’ pushes you to perform better and goes away once the event is over. But many people suffer from chronic stress and are always in a state of anxiety and panic. This is unhealthy for the mind; you should make a conscious effort to control your emotions and stay calm during regular life events.
Hobbies are favourite fun-filled activities that give pleasure. So, take time out of your busy schedule and enjoy your hobbies. It could be gardening, watching TV shows, playing a sport, or doing anything that makes you feel happy and satisfied. Start living your life to the fullest and enjoy everything that comes your way.
Meditation is the best exercise for your mind. It helps you stay calm and composed even during difficult times. It enables you to control your thoughts for better handling of every situation. Even a few minutes of meditation can relax your body and mind, and offer health benefits.
According to a report, about 150 to 200 million people afflicted by mental illness live in the south Asian region, including India. The number is alarming, and it is essential not to add to it. So, do take proper care of your mental health.
Apart from the suggestions above, the best way to keep your mind strong and healthy is to accept yourself the way you are. If you start loving and understanding yourself and take life as it comes, no mental disorder can affect you. So, stay positive and motivated, and make every effort to maintain optimum health of your body and mind to avoid physical and mental disorders.