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Exclusive: Psychologist shares 10 tips for sound mental health in the new year

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When we speak of good health, we usually focus on physical health only. But mental health is extremely crucial and it can affect every aspect of our lives. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is one of the leading causes of disability. “Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions,” the WHO website mentions. As we get ready to bid goodbye to 2022 and welcome the new year,  Mahima Sahi, Chief Psychologist, heyy – a popular mental healthcare app – shares with Zee News Digital 10 tips to ensure sound mental health in the new year. 

1) Focus and Unfocus

Focus is an important driver of excellence, but too much focus can exhaust the brain circuits. Harvard Business Review seconds that there is a need to have a balance between “focusing on here and now” and “not-focusing on it” at times, by either daydreaming or taking quick naps, which can actually activate the brain’s “default mode network” and help one remain mentally healthy.

2) Practice Self-Love

Practicing self-love can improve both your physical and psychological well-being over time. Taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being for others is proven to lead to better mental health, higher self-esteem, improved motivation, and reduced risk of depression, stress and anxiety. Celebrate yourself before you expect the world to do so.

Also read: How to stay physically and mentally healthy during menopause – follow these tips

3) Do what you Love

Take out time to do things that you love. Adulthood is often associated with reduced time for activities that give you joy. But having a routine with the things you enjoy, such as cooking, dancing, exercising, painting, or the like can induce happiness hormones and help maintain good mental health.

4) Practice Gratitude

Deliberately taking out time to recognize and appreciate everything you have can instill healthy well-being. Research suggests, being “thankful” boosts “dopamine”, the body’s pleasure hormone, so the more grateful you are the healthier and happier you would feel.

5) Maintain Physical Health

The body and mind are interconnected. Our mind can only be healthy when our body feels fit. Staying active during the day for a minimum of 30 minutes with a quick jog or walk, a balanced diet and enough sleep are all prerequisites for feeling mentally well. Physical fitness can boost one’s mood and reduce feelings of distress and worry.

6) Forgive yourself

Mistakes are inevitable but “forgiving yourself” for taking the plunge requires immense mental strength. Research suggests, “Unforgiving feelings” can raise your brain’s “cortisol hormone” that’s responsible for activating stress. Going easy on yourself can boost your well-being and prevent you from being at risk of experiencing uncontrollable feelings of anger, anxiety, or sadness.

7) Limit Social Media Use

Social Media has become our go-to pleasure and validation-seeking medium. We now allow AI and machine learning to control our social relationships based on the “likes, comments, views” we get instead of making decisions for ourselves. The secret to a healthy state of mind is setting healthy boundaries while maintaining social visibility, so as to not give them the power to shape our perspective of ourselves or our feelings.

8) Focus on the Positive

Focusing on the “good things” you have around you can boost your immune system and improve your mental health. The brain builds around what it rests around, so what you focus on becomes “powerful”. Thinking about positive things helps to reduce feelings of distress, enhance creativity and improve your overall productivity.

9)  Connect with Yourself

Taking some “me-time” every day and reflecting on your thoughts and feelings may help in keeping them in check and tuning in with yourself. Regular me-time helps the brain to unplug and unwind and as a result, boost a healthier state of mind, reduce distress and be in control of your feelings.

10) Establish Human Connect

From waving hello to colleagues at the office or classmates at college to striking up a conversation with a neighbour next door, having coffee with friends post work, and spending the weekends with family, are simple things to keep one’s mental health in check. Focus on the “quality” of connections you build and keep the connection going if you feel supported, happy, useful, or loved.

 

 

 



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