It’s not surprising that people who abuse substances lean towards the development of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety but in one study, some of an ordinary person’s seemingly harmless lifestyle habits can also predispose one to psychiatric disorders.
Researchers found out that people who are at high risk for developing anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and other psychiatric conditions possess three characteristics: high media use (video games, TV, Internet), low levels of exercise and sleep deprivation.
These three behaviors aren’t that as unrelated as they seem. People who spend an excessive time watching TV, being on the Internet or playing video games tend to go to sleep late in order to prolong these activities and eventually neglect physical exercise. Aside from their domino effect on the body, each of these behaviors has a negative effect of its own.
But achieving a certain level of mental health isn’t as simple as logging out of your social media accounts. When hoping to find balance in your life, try these simple guidelines:
Find value in yourself. Everything starts with you so treat yourself with respect and kindness. Find some time for you to engage in your favorite hobbies and achieve some of your personal goals.
Don’t forget to take care of your body. Your physical well-being helps improve your mental health. Exercise helps in the production of endorphins which help you feel good and having a fit body can do wonders for your confidence. There are even different types of healthy food to help you cope with stress.
Surround yourself with positive people. People who have strong support systems tend to be mentally healthier than those who are surrounded by negative people. Make plans to see supportive family members and friends once in a while or seek out activities where you can meet new people.
Do something for others. Do volunteer work. Help someone else. You will feel good about helping someone in need and it’s also a great way to meet new people filled with positivity.
Plan on how you’re going to deal with stress. Stress is a part of life and although there’s no hard and fast rule to facing stress, you can try different methods to help you relax whenever you have to cope with stress.
Find something that makes you laugh. Whether it’s the company of good friends, a funny sitcom or a satirical website, there’s nothing like a good laugh to kick up your mood a few notches. Also, laughter boosts your immune system, eases your pain, reduces your stress and relaxes your body.
Find a moment of peace every day. Meditating or even praying can help relax you and improve your state of mind. These peaceful activities can help you feel calmer.
Be realistic. You can only achieve so much academically, professionally and personally. We’re not saying you should hold back and be an underachiever. Rather, write down goals which are attainable and also write down the plan you will use in order to reach them. Aim high, but keep yourself grounded in reality.
Free yourself from the rut. Having a routine makes us more efficient but changing it up can help make your life more exciting. Plan a roadtrip, change your workout regimen, eat at a new restaurant!
Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Parties are fun but using alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” does more harm than good and indulging in these don’t make the problem go away. Keep alcohol to a minimum and avoid recreational drugs.
Get professional help when you need it. Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness and it’s important to know that getting treatment or counselling can help you bounce back a lot faster. A qualified therapist in South Florida might just be what you need to help balance out your life. Rebecca Ginder is always happy to help with clients who are looking for a way to live better and more wholesome lives. Click here to schedule a session with Rebecca Ginder.