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Often, people think of the mind and body as two separate things. When discussing mental health, however, they go hand in hand. Taking care of your body is one of the most significant ways you can improve your mental health and reduce your daily stress.
Here are the three of the most common things that people tend to compromise on that can make a huge difference in your physical and mental health.
1. Your quality of sleep
We all know that sleep is vital, but often, we skip getting enough sleep because we have to complete our daily tasks. This sleep deprivation can become dangerous over an extended period.
The amount of sleep you need per night depends on your age, but most adults tend to require 7–9 hours per night. The quality of your sleep is just as essential as the number of hours you’re getting.
An inadequate amount of rest can lead to several issues, including fatigue, irritability, depression, cognitive malfunction, and a weakened immune system. Sleep deprivation can also increase your risk for several severe conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
To make sure you’re getting enough rest each night, try to stick to a consistent bedtime schedule. If you have trouble falling asleep, try drinking a soothing tea before bed to help relax your body, or unwind with a hot shower. You can also try using a sleeping mask or blackout curtains to make sure unwanted light doesn’t disturb your slumber.
2. Your oral health
Many people experience low self-esteem due to the appearance of their teeth. Whether you want a whiter smile or straighter teeth, it is always best to visit a dental professional. They can help determine what care is right for you.
If you have a missing tooth or severe tooth decay, dental implants may be a good option to explore. The Complete Guide to Dental Implants contains all the information you need to know about starting the process. An implant can contribute to your overall health by minimising your chance of infection from a damaged tooth. It can also enhance your self-image when you can smile without worry.
If your smile is a source of stress or embarrassment, consult with your dentist about ways you can improve your look. Your dentist can also suggest ways to ensure you’re following an appropriate daily dental routine to keep your mouth healthy and your mind happy.
3. Your diet
It’s essential to remember that food is your body’s fuel. An easy way to positively influence your emotional and mental health is to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet.
While it’s sometimes easier to heat a frozen meal for dinner than take the time to cook, they generally lack the proper balance of nutrients. Processed foods will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Studies have shown that limiting processed foods and eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains will cause your body to increase serotonin levels. This boost will help decrease symptoms of depression and can also reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
If your schedule makes it challenging to cook a fresh meal every day, try setting aside some time on the weekend to prep meals for the rest of the week. This way, you can easily ensure you’re eating a balanced diet every day.
While everyone’s bodies and minds are different, some things can universally improve the quality of both. Keeping your body healthy and in top shape will help keep your mental health in check as well. Getting regular exercise can be another great way to not only improve your organs and muscle health but raise serotonin levels as well. When your body feels good, it can change your whole outlook on life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.