Improving Mental Wellness

January is the beginning of a new year, with new opportunities, and a fresh start. It’s a chance to reevaluate and make resolutions for new things in the coming year. It also happens to be Mental Wellness Month! Just like physical wellness and emotional wellness, our mental wellness is something that requires time, examination, and work. The National Alliance on Mental Illness notes that 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience some form of mental illness. That’s about 43.8 million people. How can we manage and work to improve our mental wellness? Here are some places to start:

Physical Activity
It’s been proven that physical activity has a positive impact beyond just physical health. Exercise can also help reduce mental strains such as stress, depression and anxiety.

Diet
Like physical activity, what you eat can affect how your state of mind as well as your body. A diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants (berries, dark chocolate, spinach), vitamin C (citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, grapefruit), omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, trout, tuna), and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal) is key to improving mental wellness. All of the above accomplish things such as improving memory and concentration, cognitive function, reducing depression, and support healthy blood flow to the brain.

Socialize
It’s important to have connections with others. Building and maintaining relationships with people and loved ones can help with long-term mental wellness. Psychologists report that face-to-face contact with others releases neurotransmitters that in turn help lower stress.

Find Activities That Bring Happiness
Everyone has their own hobbies and activities that bring them joy in life. Finding that joy in nature and the outdoors can multiply the results as well. Being outside in nature and around fresh air can further help reduce stress.

Fighting Back Against Stress
Finally, examine mental wellness from the other side: one of the most common causes of mental challenge. Finding a person who doesn’t have some form of stress in their life may be nearly impossible. Stress is a natural a part of life. It happens. The best techniques for managing stress include exploring breathing techniques, setting reasonable expectations, and learning to reframe stress.

Posted on December 31 2018 in Blog

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