World Mental Health Day: How our choices are affecting our mental health

With 10th October being celebrated as World Mental Health Day, we point out a few habits and behaviours that largely undermine mental health.

Udita Madan

Mental health comes before everything. One needs to be mentally fit in order to function well in other aspects.

Mental health is the key to our well-being. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. It is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life and contributing to our community.

Being mentally healthy means having the ability to function during everyday life and feeling confident of rising to a challenge when opportunity arises.

Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ life. It’s about living well and feeling capable despite challenges. It is more than just being about the presence or absence of mental illnesses. It is about finding a balance in your life.

With 10th October being celebrated as World Mental Health Day, we point out a few habits and behaviours that largely undermine mental health.

The small choices we make have an effect on the mood more than you may realize. So, recognize these faults and find out where you are going wrong.

1. You don't go out enough:

Studies suggest engaging in physical activity three times a week to decrease the risk of depression. Many researches have found a correlation between physical activity and depression. It was found that people who were depressed were less likely to be active, while those who were active were less likely to be depressed.

2. Being technologically dependent:

The era of post-modernism is here to stay. Yes, it's true that people in the present times have become technologically dependent and technology-driven. The internet and smartphones have become an integral part of modern life and are fast becoming a necessity. We are on it all the time and our brains don’t get enough time to shut out and rest.

3. Procrastination:

Has it become your habit to put things off for later? Does every chore and task seem to bore you to bits and you just don't feel like doing it? If yes, it is recommended that you don't convert this into a habit. This adds on, makes you anxious and puts a lot of pressure on your brain.

4. You are a workaholic:

If you feel like working too much, you need to relax. One of the major reasons for mental problems these days is the imbalance between work and life. When you are not able to balance the two, the chances of getting stressed-out and developing serious mental health problems increase significantly. Set aside time for family and hobbies too. 

5. Multitasking wonder:

Although multitasking abilities are rare and you might consider it a great exercise for the brain, it can leave you stressed out. It isn’t the best thing you can do for your mental health as the brain can find it difficult to process many things at a time. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

6. Walking with a slouch:

You may wonder about the connection between slouching and mental health, but there is. A slouched posture gives off a negative vibe and can in turn, make you blue. A study claims that slouching can make one experience bad moods.

7. Sharing thoughts:

Face-to-face talking can work wonders for your mental health. If you feel uncomfortable in sharing your thoughts with someone, try starting this habit by sitting with a close family member or friend. Social media is a great channel to stay in touch with friends, but virtual conversations don’t do any good to your brain.

8. Inadequate sleep:

It's not unknown that a good 7 – 8 hour sleep is a must. Sleep affects one’s emotional and mental capabilities and body functions depend upon one's sleep cycle. It is during sleep that our brain can rest. If you don’t take sufficient rest, the mental malfunction is bound to happen.

9. Binge drinking:

Drinking too much can have negative effects on the nervous system. Alcohol may seem like the answer to all your problems, but in reality, it slows you down and sometimes, drags your mood down as well. Binge drinking can cause less-refreshing sleep. Limit your intake to moderate levels.

Smartness is in staying mentally healthy!

Also Read- World Mental Health Day: 10 facts that you should know about mental illness!

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