Reports suggest that our mental health is deteriorating at a rapid pace.
It's believed that more Americans suffer from mental health issues than people in any other country. There are many reasons for this that range from experts predicting another market crash, to increasing prices and strained relationships.
While you may not be able to control external circumstances, you can bring certain changes to your lifestyle to combat depression and improve your mental health.
Here are four tips that can help you achieve this improvement:
1. Set Attainable Goals
It's common to set goals that look good on paper, but at times people forget that goals need to be attainable.
Aiming too high is one of the main reasons for poor mental health. It's believed that aiming for perfection can also increase the risk of death, and cause depression.
Creating goals that are too difficult or impossible to attain can result in unnecessary strain. First, one begins to exert too much pressure in order to attain the set targets. Then, the failure to actually achieve success from those targets results in depression.
The problem isn't setting goals, it's obsessing about them. When we obsess about the goals we have, we get overwhelming feelings of failure when they're not achieved exactly when we want them to be, or ever. This combination creates havoc on our mental health.
From a business perspective, it's important to set goals that let you push yourself. But never let those goals impact you personally.
The best strategy is to break one major goal into several, smaller sub-goals. This way they become easier to attain, plus the worry is reduced. Additionally, you'll feel the satisfaction of achieving each objective, one-by-one, making you feel like a winner.
2. Take A Breath
Give yourself a break and step away from the hustle and bustle of this world.
Try taking a vacation to leave your worries behind for a little. If you can't go on a real vacation, you should make it a habit to step outside, take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air.
Always remember there's a whole world outside of the things you're stressing out about, and use that as a way to help you relax.
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, it's beneficial to walk at least 90 minutes every day.
Walking helps decrease brain activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, the region most affected by negative thoughts. It should also be mentioned that walking on a busy street and using the treadmill at the gym don't provide the same results as taking long, quiet strolls.
It's important that you go to a serene place to enjoy your walk because that's where your 90 minutes of peace is happening. Being in a peaceful environment can reduce stress and even boost your self-esteem.
3. Meditate And Exercise
Meditation very positively impacts your mental health. Research shows, those who mediate tend to be less rigid when making decisions and are calmer compared to those who don't.
According to the study, mediation helps people focus on positive things, which distracts them from negative thoughts and reduces anxiety and depression.
Some studies suggest that meditation physically alters the brain by thinning the frontal cortex. In addition to this, several techniques also help people clear their minds after a stressful or sad event, allowing them to rebound quicker.
Some studies suggest that physical exercise is more important than mental exercise. However, most experts believe that you should include a mix of both in your daily routine. Exercising prevents your brain from losing flexibility and adaptability, and it also improves neurological connections.
4. Be In A Happy Relationship
Man is a social animal. We need our share of relationships, and it's not surprising that being in happy relationship is better for many people than being single. Reports indicate that most people have a boost in their mental health right after they get married.
It should be noted that non-romantic relationships are equally as important. Having someone to talk to can add years to your life and make you more content.
Remember this: The key lies in being happy and doing your best not to worry excessively, especially about things out of your control.