5 Healthy Habits That Support Mental Health

Engaging in healthy habits on a daily basis can increase your mood, immune strength, and energy levels in the short term and also protect your future mental health as an added bonus. Exercising, getting quality sleep, participating in social activity, staying hydrated, and eating a balanced diet can all add up to a stable mood and well-being in the short term and protect against other health problems and dementia in the long run.

1.  Exercise

Exercise can help strengthen the brain and body. Physical activity throughout the day moves fluid through the blood and lymphatic vessels to be detoxified. Heart and lung power may increase with regular exercise. Spending time in full-spectrum lighting or outdoors during waking hours can also benefit brain and body health. Time in nature can help reduce the effects of stress on the body and improve and balance mood.

2.  Sleep

Why is quality sleep important to health? More fluid and nutrient exchange and brain detoxification occur in the brain during sleep, so you regenerate and heal while you’re sleeping. Brain activity slows during sleep, and the brain cools in temperature. Slow brain activity can help induce better quality sleep. Setting the room temperature to a slightly cooler setting for sleep hours may help with falling asleep and staying asleep. Tools that facilitate complete darkness in the bedroom help with the body’s circadian cycles and melatonin production, which can assist with health and mood, as well. 

3.  Engage in Social activities

Positive social relationships provide mental and physical wellness benefits. The positive mood hormones associated with health, oxytocin and serotonin, are released when people socialize. Spending time with friends, enjoying the companionship of friends and family, or caring for animal companions can help increase levels of favorable mood hormones. Conversation, puzzles, or classes can also help to remain mentally alert over time.

4.  Stay Hydrated

The human body is composed of more water than anything else. Body fluids help carry oxygen and nutrients in the circulation and help to remove toxins to be excreted. Having adequate water or other non-diuretic fluids is essential to brain health. Being somewhat dehydrated can lead to irritability and distractibility. And, if severely dehydrated, it may cause brain fog, an inability to focus, and feelings of disorientation. A glass of water in the morning can help replace the fluid you lost overnight.

5.  Eat a Healthy Diet

The idea of consuming a well-balanced diet might seem old-fashioned. However, your body still relies on its ancient designs. Essential nutrients are needed for brain and body health and to produce the neurotransmitters required for mental health. Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are macronutrients needed throughout the day. At different times, your body may also require more nutrients, such as at times of sickness, during increased emotional or physical stress, and due to the aging process. Choosing a variety of plant-based foods can help increase trace nutrients in the diet. 

As you can see, healthy habits can increase good mood and may help protect memory function long into the future. If you have more questions about keeping your brain healthy, a therapist in Palatine, IL can help to answer them. 

Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into counseling and habits to support mental health.