Do Our Lifestyle Choices Impact Our Mental Health?
Yes, smoking, drinking too much alcohol or energy drinks, not getting enough sleep or having an irregular sleep pattern, over-dosing on caffeinated drinks and hanging around people who stress you out can all contribute to your stress levels rising through the roof. But, if you try to give up these harmful habits to help with your stress and anxiety, what are the best options for you to replace them with? Often, replacing a habit with another habit can be a great way to help you quit the first one.
For example, those who smoke may want to replace smoking cigarettes with vaping, which is less harmful but provides them with something to do instead of lighting up a cigarette. Others prefer to swap harmful habits for good habits which are drastically different – for example, someone who drinks too much alcohol may decide to start lifting weights to give them something else to do instead of having a drink.
Regular exercise is one of the best lifestyle habits that you can have when it comes to improving your mental health and making sure that your stress levels are under control.
Taking part in activities such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, and even weight lifting or playing a team sport can boost physical fitness, improve strength, and increase self-esteem and confidence, all of which can help to improve stress and anxiety. Exercising itself releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, and has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
When it comes to combating stress, meditation is a great habit to take up and integrate into your lifestyle. For centuries, meditation has been used to help people deal with their stress and anxiety levels and feel calmer within themselves. Meditation helps you to find the positive energy inside of yourself and feel more connect-ed and at peace with yourself and the world around you.
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Posted by Potentialz Unlimited – A Psychology Practice on Thursday, May 10, 2018
Those who meditate regularly find that stressful situations no longer overwhelm them as much; they are calmer, more relaxed, and able to take on more and more. Whether you are a spiritual per-son or not, there is no doubt that mindfulness meditation can help you to feel more relaxed and in control.
Even the act of taking the time to sit in quiet and collect your thoughts for a while can help to reduce stress, as meditation requires you to breathe deeply, which will oxygenate your brain and give you more energy to deal with your stress. Mindfulness mediation can be done at home, or in a class. You can also use a range of essential oils or music to aid you.
Getting creative can be one of the best ways to deal with stress. And, the best thing about using creativity to combat stress is that you don’t have to be particularly artistic in order to so successfully. There have been many studies which directly relate getting creative to lower stress levels, with adult coloring books and apps for stress being a huge success.
The simple act of coloring in pictures, or perhaps doing something creative such as baking, needlework or even DIY, can be very therapeutic and can distract your thoughts and focus from your stress and on to something else. So, if you’re feeling stressed out, it might be time to think about taking up a new creative hobby.
Friends and Family
People who are mentally strong do not dissociate themselves from those who are closest to them. When you’re feeling stressed out, it can be easy to try and hide your stress levels from your family members and close friends as naturally, you don’t want them to be worried about you.
However, knowing when to ask for support and having the best people around you to offer that can be very important when it comes to effectively managing stress. Building and maintaining strong relationships with your family and close friends means that you will have somebody to talk to when the going gets tough, which can be extremely helpful for stress.
Having somebody to talk to and confide in about whatever is stressing you out can help you by giving you an outsider’s perspective, which can often help by putting your own thoughts into a better perspective. Along with that, having people to turn to can stop you from taking too much on yourself, giving you more time to relax and keep on top of your mental health.