One of the things that have the most significant impact on our mental health is our lifestyle.
Your psychological and emotional well-being are both parts of mental health. They influence your emotions, thought processes, demeanor, and how you respond to stress and make decisions. The relationship between lifestyle decisions and mental health is multifaceted and varied. Whether conscious of it or not, many things you do daily can affect your mental health, either positively or negatively.
So here are some things you do in your daily life that can impact your mental health. Let’s take a look.
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
If your lifestyle includes excessive alcohol consumption, it’s time to rethink your decision.
The chemical changes alcohol induces in the brain give us the relaxed feeling we sometimes get after a drink. Some people may feel more confident and less anxious after drinking because alcohol starts to suppress the brain region associated with inhibition.
While drinking alcohol occasionally has a short-term positive effect on your mood, it can have long-term adverse effects on your mental health. It is why it is important to watch your alcohol consumption and not let it become a problem for you.
If you feel like you cannot limit your alcohol intake or find it hard to go a couple of hours without a drink, you might need professional help. You can contact a professional facility like Delphi Behavioral Health Group to help you fight your addiction. Getting rid of a drinking problem won’t drastically alter your way of life overnight, but it will have a cumulative positive impact on your mental health.
- Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle has become a reality for most people and can adversely impact your physical and mental health. It is vital to indulge in some physical activity, whether a sport or hitting the gym, to improve your quality of life overall. Exercise has numerous advantages for both your physical and mental health. It causes the release of mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, which play a role in uplifting your mood.
Regular exercise can help you deal with mental health issues by reducing stress and the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also improves sleep quality, makes people feel more at ease and upbeat, and gives them more energy throughout the day.
Additionally, it can help connect with others, get out into the world, and lessen feelings of isolation and loneliness. All this contributes majorly to the wellness of your mind.
- Poor diet
Your diet affects your brain just as much as the rest of your body.
It may come as a surprise, but your brain is related to your gastrointestinal tract, one of the reasons your dietary choices impact it.
When you eat healthy food, the growth of beneficial bacteria takes place in your gut. These bacteria then carry out several vital physical functions that indirectly regulate physiological processes – sleep, hunger, attitude, and emotion. Conversely, a poor diet may result in something else.
For instance, preservatives, food colorings, and other chemicals may contribute to or exacerbate hyperactivity and depression. While consuming vitamin D-rich foods aid in the production of serotonin, the happy hormone. Given this, healthy eating should be a lifestyle choice to have good mental health.
- Skipping Breakfast
Have you noticed feeling irritable on days you skip breakfast? There is a reason for that.
Missing meals, particularly breakfast, can lower blood sugar, making you exhausted and foggy-headed. Your brain even produces more cortisol, which causes you to feel anxious and tense and worsens the state of your mental health.
While according to research, eating a healthy breakfast can result in an improved, upbeat, and balanced mood. By incorporating breakfast into your daily routine, you may give your brain a mental boost that will help you make better decisions for the day and start your day off well.
- Sleeping schedule
Many of us know that a good night’s sleep makes us feel better, while a lack of it makes us grumpy.
Insufficient or poor sleep decreases positive emotions and increases adverse emotional reactions to ordinary circumstances.
Inadequate or impaired sleep can ruin your day and contributes to the onset and aggravation of various mental health problems, such as insomnia and anxiety.
Studies on sleep deprivation indicate that even otherwise healthy people can become more anxious and distressed after a night of poor sleep.
A proper sleeping schedule is vital for many physical and cognitive processes involved in processing daily affairs and controlling emotions and behaviors.
- Social media use
With all the platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok, we have become accustomed to constantly checking our social media and scrolling.
This unnecessary use makes your self-esteem suffer, anxiety spark, and makes you miss out on certain things of value.
If you use social media more frequently when you’re lonely or bored, you may be using it to block out negative emotions or elevate your mood. However, it may also be signs of underlying issues like stress, depression, or boredom.
It’s one of the unhealthy lifestyle choices that should be altered to improve your mental health.
- Water Consumption
Water promotes brain function by transporting nutrients to the brain, removing toxins and inflammatory indicators, and providing the brain with energy sources.
It is essential to stay hydrated since the human body needs water to function, while dehydration, on the other hand, is known to impact both physical and mental health.
Since the brain contains 73% water, you can probably understand what occurs when you become dehydrated, and because of how it impacts the brain, it may affect your mental health.
If it isn’t already, drinking enough water should be a part of your daily routine.
While you try to keep up with the rat race in modern times, paying close attention to your mental health is vital. Factors like your diet, sleep, and other lifestyle habits can significantly impact your mental health more than you think. So it’s crucial to adopt habits that do not jeopardize your mental health. It all comes down to what you prioritize and how much effort you put into living a healthy lifestyle.