What exactly can you do to promote better mental health?

Anonymous asked 5 months ago

What exactly can you do to promote better mental health?

1 Answers

Ramal Lakshan Staff answered 5 months ago
  1. Cut negative people out of your life. I think I’ve written about it here before, but my parents are extremely abusive and toxic. I’ve spent my entire life trying to please them and get along with them but it took me until the age of 31 to realize it couldn’t be done. Toxic people, whether you are related to them or not, will eventually destroy you mentally. I promise you can’t love them enough to “fix” them or make them happy. That is something that they have to do on their own and they’re either willing to do it or they’re not. But after completely cutting my parents out of my life my depression and anxiety started to improve tremendously. Things still aren’t perfect but I can honestly say I’m probably 90% better than I used to be.
  2. Eat healthily. It’s easier said than done in today’s busy world but in my experience, it really does help. I have a bad tendency to gravitate towards high carb foods and sugary drinks but after a few days of that, I start to feel tired and sluggish. I have trouble sleeping (despite being tired, which is weird). My mood will be crappy and I’ll have trouble concentrating. But when I cut down on carbs and eat more protein and non-starchy veggies and get plenty of water, I feel a lot better.
  3. Exercise. I feel better when I exercise too. I think it’s kind of a form of stress relief. I could be wrong, it’s just my personal theory. But I think in the past our ancestors got stressed out over things we could do something about in a physical way. If there was someone or something trying to hurt you, you would either fight it or run away. But now we have the same stress responses to things we can’t do anything in response to, at least not physically. When your bills are piling up and you’re worried about paying them, you can’t punch them in the face and you can’t literally run away from them. But I think exercise might help with that in away.
  4. Sun exposure. I always feel a lot better in the summer because I get more sun. Just make sure you don’t get too much of it because you don’t want to risk skin cancer.
  5. Sleep. This is extremely important for me personally because when my sleep gets screwed up it’s a big trigger for my bipolar disorder. But I think maintaining a good sleep schedule is important for everyone. I try to go to bed around the same time every day and wake up the same time every morning. I try to avoid caffeine in the evening.
  6. Never stop learning. Learning is good for you. It helps stimulate your mind and exercises your brain. I’m not talking about those “brain training” games but just learning in general. Pick a subject you’ve always wanted to learn more about and dive in. These days, with the internet, you can learn about pretty much anything.
  7. Don’t forget to relax. I used to be in the habit of constantly having my TV on even though I’d usually be on my computer, not paying attention to my TV at all. One day it just kind of dawned on me that I felt kind of overwhelmed but I wasn’t sure why. Then I finally realized that I felt overstimulated and it occurred to me to just turn the freaking TV off. I know, it sounds ridiculous lol. But when I was growing up someone always had the TV on. Then I became an adult that always had a TV on. It just never occurred to me to NOT have it on. It seemed weird at first but just that one little thing made me feel so much more peaceful. After that, I started looking into REAL ways to relax like breathing exercises, meditation, even ASMR videos. I don’t know how true it is but I’ve even read that coloring is similar to mediation and a lot of people do that now to relax. I do that sometimes too. My therapist even recommended it the other day. So make sure you find a way to relax regularly.
  8. Communicate. It seems like such a simple thing but so many people fail to do it. The bottom line is if you need something from someone else but you never ask for it, you’ll sure as hell never get it. So whether it’s something small like you want someone to call you more often or it’s really big (like you’re horribly overwhelmed at work and need to take time off for a while)…if you don’t tell people what you need/want, they certainly can’t help you. This is something I struggle with really bad because I grew up in an abusive environment where my feelings and needs were constantly disregarded. So for me, this feels like confrontation rather than communication. But the last few years of my life I’ve finally started getting better at it and life is so much better when you aren’t afraid, to be honest with people.
  9. Help others. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself and there is nothing wrong with that. A lot of times it gives you some insight into what life is like for people in different situations and can make you more grateful for the positive things you have in your own life.
  10. Journaling. It can be helpful to write down what has happened throughout your day or week and how you feel about it. Sometimes it just feels good to get those feelings out and sometimes it will actually help you work through problems and figure out solutions.