How to Prioritize Mental Health: Best 15 Ways
Most of the time we forget to take care of our brains. Getting absorbed in our daily activities and thinking about the future slowly leads to irreparable mental damage. But mental health is the thing that controls the quality of your life. In other words, prioritizing it means you’re prioritizing a quality life.
So the question is, how to prioritize mental health? Lifestyle and diet structure, avoiding negative and repetitive thinking and saying ‘no’ can help. Thus, socializing, laughing, exercising, meditating and volunteering are also important. Besides, it’s okay to consult a specialist at times.
However, there are specific ways of maintaining all these above-mentioned activities. Considering mental health, we should definitely put importance on research and studies. Keep reading today’s article to know more.
How to Prioritize Mental Health?
Here are 15 of the most effective ways to prioritize your mental health:
1. “No” is the new “Yes”
It’s okay to say no when you want to. Trust me, it's not a bad thing. By saying yes, you can sometimes bring about unbearable pain in your life, which you’re not bound to do.
Some people might feel it really hard to say no. It’s actually due to upbringing issues. All of us are taught at some point that being positive is always saying yes. It’s not true.
Learn to be firm in your decision-making, and prioritise your feelings first. Set a clear limit in your work, home or anywhere you go. This will help you to quickly confront the situation and say ‘no’ whenever you need to.
2. Laugh Out Loud
Laughter is a charm that works like wonder on your heart, brain and whole body. Laughing is crucial in deactivating stress and tension factors from your life.
Put simply, it blesses your mental condition. You must have that one friend who makes you laugh every now and then. Try to contact him whenever possible and laugh as much as you can.
You can have pets too because animals do some really funny stuff from time to time. This will not only help you to be engaged but also give you a chance to laugh.
3. Brain Needs Food
There is no doubt that the gut-brain connection is real. Diseases that have connections to both the gastrointestinal and mental side are frequent these days. Diseases like IBS and IBD are prevailing among people these days.
The human nervous system usually gets signals from your guts on every single activity. And it’s not uncommon to see people with emotional disorders suffer from various gastrointestinal problems.
Besides, you can feel a headache after giving an exam or doing anything stressful. That’s because the brain suffers from glucose deficiency at that time which causes this to happen. And glucose comes from food.
Likewise, ensuring a high-fibre diet is very important for good mental health. If you have irritable bowel, find your triggers and refrain from those foods. Sugary and packaged food should be avoided. Put attention to biotics.
4. Drink Responsibly
Consuming alcohol is never a good thing for your mind, brain, and body. You might have some benefits here and there but in the end, it’s all for nothing. Even too much caffeine is also deteriorating your brain.
Give up alcohol TODAY if you want better mental health. Caffeine consumption should also be brought to a routine. If you’re used to tea or coffee every day a week, bring it down to 3 or 4 days.
Similarly, don’t intake any caffeine right before going to bed. Keep a substantial gap between the two. You can always look for other alternatives as well. Water is the best of course. Other healthy drinks are also recommended.
5. Boost Your Hormonal Chemistry
Exercises are very important for the hormonal chemistry of the human body. Moreover, mental well-being has a great link to physical activity. Yoga or any kind of cardio is highly beneficial in improving mental health.
You should try to enjoy physical activities by not considering them as burdens. It might seem boring at first, but as time goes by, you will find great amusement in such activities.
Moreover, try to find a partner who will join you in your workout. It becomes even more enjoyable when there is someone else with the same goal. Make a proper workout routine for a healthy life and brain.
6. Meditate Regularly
Meditation has been practised among humans for eternity. And modern-day researches prove the benefits of meditating in improving mental health. Being conscious about your own breathing does sound normal but isn’t that easy.
So, it’s good to fix a time for meditation every day. Religious activities are some of the best types of meditation. It can help you take a tour out of this monotonous life and improve your mental state.
You can find a noise-free place to meditate regularly. At first, it will be tough to cope with it. But gradually your control over your mind will get stronger. And this will make things a lot easier.
7. Become a Volunteer
Lend your hand to those in need. You don’t need to get anything in return, just do it for the sake of sheer help. Guess what, it will bring about a miraculous boost to your mental situation.
If you can nonchalantly grow this habit of assisting others in need, it will pay you back by removing your stress. It could be by listening to someone, giving the shoulder to someone to cry or even just taking some of their burdens.
You can volunteer such work all by yourself. Otherwise, you can join any group who do such things every day. Even feeding a hungry person can give you immense pleasure just by looking at the content face of that person.
8. Differentiate Between Home And Work
Nowadays many people have made their homes their offices. This is something that has its pros and cons. On one side, it has given the ease to many as they are working from a familiar environment.
However, some have lost the identity of their home due to this. Work stress is the cause of many mental conditions. It is very important to have clear limits on workloads and enough time to refresh.
Don’t take too much pressure. Maintain a healthy relationship with your employer so that you can discuss your priorities. Hence, keeping a precise work period is very important. Don’t bring work inside your leisures.
9. Don't Rush Your Rest
Being able to sleep or take a rest is something everyone should cherish because some people don’t get to enjoy this privilege. And the importance of sleep is unquestionable in our mental health.
The definition of resting might vary from person to person. To someone, only 10 minutes of a power nap is more than enough. However, it might not work for you. So be sure to find which activity actually counts as a rest for you.
It’s really good practice to have the sleeping data. You can do it manually or use smart devices to do so. Having a constant sleep period will always help your brain to get revitalised because the brain loves being organised.
10. Confront Self-critical Thoughts
Self-criticism is encouraged to improve oneself, but too much of this is considered a mental condition. This needs to change. Otherwise, things can be very disastrous indeed.
Actively identifying, challenging, and rephrasing negative, self-critical thoughts can help combat them. Restructuring the brain in this way is called cognitive restructuring.
Likewise, stop blaming yourself for everything that’s happening in the world! Learn to look at the positives of every scenario. Don’t think that the result will only be bad.
11. Engage in Social Activities
Socializing is an anti-depressant. Being a social being, every human needs this in order to lead a less stressed and relaxed life. Participation in social gatherings, sports events or even a video chat can boost your mental health.
There have been findings that social activity reduced suicidal tendencies among many individuals! Moreover, people who are deep connections in society, tend to live a much happy and more focused life. So, you should meet with your close ones every week and on a specific day.
Moreover, tours and dine-out events can also be arranged if it’s possible. Outdoor activities with your homies with a breath of fresh air will change the whole game.
12. Get into A Routine
An organised life is a healthy life. And the human brain prefers organised individuals. Because it puts less stress on the brain cell as it gets used to a structured way of life.
Better stress levels, better sleep, and a better life as a whole- all of these can be achieved through a routine life. Of course, it will need time to get into a routine if you aren’t already into one.
Besides, hanging out with organised individuals will help you feel the importance of having a routine. You can even start gifting yourself after doing some jobs timely. Having a timeline for every single activity will also help.
13. Refrain From Reiterating Thoughts
Depression and anxiety disorders share a symptom of repetitive negative thinking (RNT). The preliminary evidence suggests that decreasing rumination and worrying leads to improved symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Stop stressing about every possible outcome. There are things which you can’t control no matter how many hours you ponder about them. It will only make you stressed and sick. Mental health will develop serious complications in this case.
Meditating and being conscious of your surroundings in a positive way can be of big help.
14. Stay Grateful
Being grateful for the life you have is one of the keys to having a sound mind. Think about every body part, how they are functional and healthy. Then think of a person who doesn’t have a healthy body.
This will make your heart full of gratitude. You can even go and write down all these grateful thoughts in a diary. In times of mental breakdown, going through this diary will give you the ease of mind.
After keeping a gratitude diary for two weeks, healthcare practitioners reported a sustained reduction in perceived stress (28%), and depression (16%). You should consider it.
15. Consult with A Clinician in Psychiatry
It’s never too healthy to seek help if you are fighting your mental condition. Trained clinicians are always there to listen and give you the best possible suggestions.
Let them help you. They will show you the proper guidelines to win against all odds. You will feel the change after you start implementing those guidelines.
Let’s look at some of the common frequently asked questions:
Q: Why is it important to prioritize mental health?
Ans. Prioritizing mental health ensures the complete take care of your body and soul. Mental health affects your physical and emotional health if you don't take care of it.
Q: How do you know if you have burnout?
Ans. Experiencing excessive stress can feel like drowning in responsibilities, while burnout is feeling drained.
Mental illness probably hits a person harder than any other illness. It’s because the surroundings don’t want to accept it as an illness in the first place. Depression is not a joke. So nobody should neglect the fact. And prioritizing mental health is the prevention of any mental disorder.
Hence, you should try to maintain a hygienic brain by giving it the necessary ingredients. Be it a proper sleep or a walk beside the river or even bowing down your head out of gratitude towards your creator; do whatever makes you feel good. Moreover, never forget about your lifestyle.