How To Build Better Mental Health
For most people, physical health has always taken priority — as long as we’re physically fit, we can accomplish anything, right? Of course, we now know this is far from true. Building better mental health is just as important.
What Is Mental Health and Why Is It Important?
Mental health refers to the state of one’s psychological, emotional, or social well-being. Good mental health is key to living a healthy and happy life. It allows one to effectively face challenges, handle stress, boost productivity, make choices, and better connect with everyone. Mental health can also directly affect physical health, no matter one’s age.
What Are the Signs of Mental Health Issues?
Knowing how to spot signs of mental health issues can help a person avoid more serious health concerns in the future. Typically, these signs don’t appear out of the blue. Close friends, colleagues, teachers, and family may begin to notice minor changes in one’s behavior, feelings, or way of thinking. Early intervention can help prevent mental health issues from worsening and severely limiting one’s ability to function.
Signs of mental health issues can vary depending on the circumstances and the severity of the disorder. Some of the most common symptoms of mental health problems include:
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Using substances like drugs or alcohol to cope
- Changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Thinking about suicide
- Concerns about appearance and weight issues
- Changes in sex drive
- Trouble coping with everyday problems
Does Mental Health Affect Physical Health?
Physical and mental health are equally crucial for one’s overall well-being. They’re also closely linked. Good mental health can translate into a positive impact on one’s physical health and vice versa.
Mental health issues can lead to a deterioration in one’s physical health. Mental health issues like depression can impact physical health, leading to conditions like obesity, asthma, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. For example, heart disease and cancer patients with depression have a higher mortality rate compared to those without mental health conditions.
Mental health issues such as stress can also trigger conditions like psoriasis — and vice versa. This auto-immune condition is often treated alongside anxiety and depression.
Danish researchers who collected data from over 13,600 people with psoriasis showed that approximately 2.6% developed mental health disorders after five years. Still, there is no clear explanation why treating psoriasis helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
What Are the Signs of Good Mental Health?
Good mental health will manifest in a variety of ways, both inward and outward. When someone has good mental health they:
- Have a sense of belonging to a community
- Handle challenges well
- Have healthy relationships
- Are satisfied with life
- Take time to relax and unwind
- Stay active and eat healthy
- Are flexible to adapt to change
- Are uneasily swamped by emotions like anger and fear
- Have high self-esteem
How To Improve Mental Health
Anyone can experience mental health issues at any point in their lives. In the U.S., 1 in every 5 adults experiences mental illness yearly.
Most mental health issues are diagnosable and treatable when one seeks help from a qualified medical professional. But there are many ways own can improve mental health on their own, including the following:
Value Physical Health
As mentioned above, physical and mental health are intimately connected. To improve mental health, it’s important to take care of one’s physical health by staying active, eating healthy, and sleeping well.
One of the easiest ways to boost self-esteem, improve sleep and concentration is to exercise regularly. Workouts like swimming, running, and weight training can improve one’s mood and reduce feelings of depression and stress. When it comes to physical activity and mental health, even simple exercises like taking the dog for a walk every evening can have tremendous health benefits.
Healthy eating provides the body with essential nutrients, which can directly impact one’s mental health. A balanced diet of foods that are low in sugar and contain healthy fats can support brain health and keep energy levels steady. Foods like eggs, nuts, fish rich in omega-3 fats, and leafy greens are great for the brain and body.
Get Good Sleep
According to researchers, lack of quality sleep can affect one’s mood and even contribute to anxiety and depression. While getting enough sleep is important, the quality of sleep is just as crucial. Soothing music, a warm bath, and sleeping in a dark and quiet bedroom are some techniques to help get better sleep.
Keep in Touch
Catching up with family and friends can help calm one’s nerves by releasing stress-reducing hormones like oxytocin. Social interactions — be it getting involved with a community project or going for a hike with friends — can help lower the risk and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Take Time to Relax
Relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing, self-hypnosis, and guided imagery can reduce muscle tension, lower blood pressure, and alleviate stress. Although these methods may take time to master, they can help bring a state of balance to one’s physical and mental health.
Develop a Purpose
Having a sense of purpose — whether it be caring for a loved one or learning something new on your own — can be a rewarding challenge that will help boost mental health.
Can Cannabis and CBD Help With Mental Health Issues?
Why is mental health awareness important for students, parents, employees, and the general public? This is a question that has finally made its way into the public consciousness. Along with the tips provided above, CBD (cannabidiol) — found in the cannabis plant — can help treat mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
CBD’s stress-relieving properties can help suppress disorders like depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels. This non-hallucinogenic plant compound is also an effective treatment for sleeplessness and insomnia — both of which can have a great effect on mental health. Regularly consuming the right dosage of CBD can help manage serotonin and stress levels and promote relaxation and good quality sleep.
At Muscle MX, our CBD products are made from the finest American-grown hemp, guaranteeing optimal user experience. We ensure that our products are free of pesticides, solvents, or any form of heavy metal residue. Check out our CBD products — including topicals and balms — to find out how they can help build mental health.