Men and women are different not only in their physical attributes but mental ones as well. Women communicate, express their feelings and react to stress differently than men. Unipolar depression, which is the second leading cause of global disability burden, has been found to be twice as common in women. Here are a few ways in which you can take care of your mental health and enjoy a fulfilling life:
- Positive affirmations: Research has shown that how you feel depends directly on how you think about yourself. Repeating positive things to yourself on a daily basis will help you be mentally strong and more capable of dealing with stress. Instead of saying “I’m such a loser, I fared so badly in the interview”, say to yourself that “I couldn’t do the best of my abilities but I am surely going to learn from my mistakes and be better the next time. “
- Practice gratitude: Practising gratitude in daily life and being grateful for small things in life will help you be more content and thus happier. You can even prepare a gratitude journal and note down things that you are truly grateful for. Basking in the feeling of gratefulness will bring you immense heartfelt joy.
- Be mindful of the present moment: Do not fret about the past and do not worry about the future. The key is to be fully immersed in the present moment be it while doing simple things like eating your meals, taking a shower etc. Do not let your mind wander towards negative things.
- Physical activity: It has been proven that physical activity like yoga, aerobics, running or dancing releases stress-relieving endorphins that instantly boost your mood. Aim for at least thirty minutes of physical exercise a least five times a week. Also, spend a few minutes in natural sunlight daily. This helps the body to produce Vitamin D thereby increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.
- Enjoy good, wholesome meals: Healthy eating habits also go a long way in improving your mental health. Good and wholesome meals nourish your body as well your brain. Proteins-rich foods are known to increase dopamine, norepinephrine and tyrosine that help you stay alert. Carbohydrates increase serotonin that is said to have a calming effect on the mind. All fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that directly affect the mood-regulating brain chemicals. Foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty-acids like nuts, flaxseeds and fish restore structural integrity to the brain cells that is helpful in cognitive function.
- Be more social: Talking to others, extending a helping hand and opening up to others are also important ways to cater to your emotional well being. Build long lasting friendships and take care to nurture them. Learn to appreciate the positive traits in other people and you will also get better at recognising your own.
Remember that you have the power to control your mind and the thoughts that pas through it. Take charge of your mental health right now as it is as important as your physical well being.