Lifestyle factors are very important in determining both physical and mental health. In modern societies, the diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, obesity and cancer are now strongly determined by lifestyle. Smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity and diet are the lifestyle factors that have a major impact on mortality. Even small differences in lifestyle can make huge impact on health status.
The importance of lifestyle factors for mental health has been significantly underestimated by the health professionals. The unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to multiple psychopathologies, as well as the healthy lifestyle can be used in treating different psychopathologies.
The mental health professionals have moved away from effective lifestyle interventions because of the economic and institutional pressures, which leads them towards more stylized and briefer interventions. As a result, patients suffer from inattention to complex psychodynamic and social factors and even more stressful thing is the costs of trying multiple medications while attending therapy.
Lifestyle changes alone are not enough to treat mental illness.
Lifestyle changes alone are not enough to treat mental illness. However, treatment options will work more effectively in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and more rapid changes can occur. Exercise, diet, smoking, physical health, relationships, social and community activities, healthy sleep and meditation are some of the lifestyle factors that can affect our mental health.
Exercise and Diet
In addition to physical health, exercise also offers protective benefits to our mental health. According to some studies, in treating mental health problems, exercise is as effective as popular antidepressants. In order to deal with mental health challenges, only a slight amount of exercise is needed. For example, increase your walk, go for a leisurely bike ride and take stairs instead of elevators. These small exercises will offer you a chance to improve your mood. Diet is another important factor for both physical and mental health. Research shows that the healthy fats can boost brain power and improve mood.
Smoking and Physical Health
There is an increased chance that a person with mental illness is a smoker. To get rid of smocking is a challenging task and may results in a temporary downfall in mental health. However, research has shown that quitting smoking results in benefits to mental health within a few weeks. While smoking, you take in a variety of toxins, which cause mood problems. In addition, physical problems caused by smoking can lead to mental health challenges as well. Actually, the human body and mind are not separated. A person struggling with physical health problems is at an increased risk of mental health issues. As a result, physicians advised that prompt medical care of physical issues should always be considered.
Relationships and Social Activities
A healthy romantic relationship is also an important factor for good mental health. A good relationship could help people avoid anxiety and tensions. Social and community activities can also make a big difference in mental health. People having fewer friends are more likely to struggle with mental health problems. Research shows that even a single weekly daytrip with friends can improve your mood for days. A person involved in the larger community will feel more connected. It is always good to spend time with people and you will feel better after spending time with someone you care about.
Healthy Sleep and Meditation
Regular sleep schedule is also important to avoid mental health issues. Most sleep experts recommend at least eight hours of sleep per night. Huge mental health improvement can be achieved by going to bed at the same time each night and getting up around the same time each day. Mediation, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques really work and with the passage of time, meditation can actually change the way your brain processes emotions. By regularly meditating and breathing deeply you can control your temper, improve your ability to tolerate frustration and manage anxiety.
Nature is always recommended as a source of healing and wisdom from thousands of years. Nature heals and calms, removes mental stress and reminds one of what really matters. Romantic poet William Wordsworth described the absence of such a healing connection:
“Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away . . .”
Religious and Spiritual Involvement
Religious and spiritual concerns are extremely important to many people. Religious practices are the major means of handling stress and illness. Research studies show a beneficial relationship between religious involvement and mental health. According to some studies, religious people are happier because they have regular socialization opportunities at religious functions.
In short, the lifestyle really does affect how a person feels. The lifestyle needs to be a central focus of mental, medical and public health.