In the same way that it is our task to protect our body and keep it healthy. It also falls to us to protect our mental health. There are many small daily things that, if we do them every day, help us to have a good psychological state.
There are many actions that, if done daily, keep our brain healthy, protecting our mind and our state of mind from emotional and cognitive problems, such as memory failures, attention problems, and mental disorders.
Next, we will discover 10 psychologically healthy daily habits, related not only to the cognitive field and the absence of mental disorders but also make us enjoy good social relationships.
10 psychologically healthy daily habits, and how to apply them
We all know that health is not a mere physical matter. Both organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and government health agencies emphasize that health is a state in which there is physical, mental, and social fulfillment. In the same way that we must protect our health, avoiding taking substances that are harmful to our body and adequately protect ourselves in situations that require it. we must also incorporate daily habits psychologically healthy.
That psychological health is not what we first see when we look in the mirror does not mean that it does not affect our way of perceiving ourselves and relating to others. A person who is emotionally overwhelmed, who is not able to regulate his emotions, and whose brain is not intellectually active is a person who is more vulnerable to various psychopathologies, both mental disorders such as depression and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. To avoid this, we can incorporate the following psychologically healthy habits into our daily lives.
Keep the brain active
The more time our brain spends inactive, the more it will cost us to start. To avoid this, it is essential that we incorporate activities that require a bit of mental effort. No matter how minimal, in our day-to-day life. Even if we are on vacation or enjoying retirement. It is very important to prevent the brain from stopping because, doing so, the moment we have to go back to work or want to enjoy something minimally intellectual, it will be a real odyssey.
You don’t need to complicate your life or break your head a lot to keep your brain active. It is enough to resort to lifelong entertainments such as chess, checkers, card games, or even petanque. Any game where there is a bit of strategy can work very well to get us thinking and keep our minds sharp. We can also resort to individual entertainments, such as sudoku, crossword puzzles, reading, or writing.
Set goals and organize
A psychologically healthy habit that we should all incorporate is setting short, medium, and long-term goals. In the case of workers and students, this is especially important because, by structuring our work and study routine, as long as we comply with it by achieving the small goals that make up the great objective that we have set ourselves, we will avoid situations such as, for example, having to be working hard at the last minute.
Although we can perform intensively at the last moment, it is best to plan the tasks, avoiding that we get overwhelmed before having to turn in a job or study for an exam because we have not known how to manage. The stress that is felt in these situations, even if it keeps us awake and focused on the goal we want to achieve, can damage our mental health and for this, as far as possible, we must organize our goals.
Planning goals and organizing routines is also a powerful psychological ally for people who are already retired. Because of what organized their day-to-day, their work, they no longer have it. They run the risk of the days flying by, without knowing what to do and entering a situation of apathy and depression. For this reason, when we retire, it is very important to set goals of any kind, be it learning a language, improving in a sport, or learning to paint well.
By completing the small steps that lead us to our goals in each of these hobbies. We can better organize time, feeling that we are productive and that we have not lost our usefulness or performance.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is a protective factor and promotion of psychological health. There are people who need more sleep than others, but in general, most of us need to sleep between 6 and 8 hours. Sleeping too little makes us feel mentally tired, putting us in a bad mood because we are not able to do our daily chores properly while sleeping too much makes it difficult for us to concentrate and we are “battered” all day. You have to know how to find the right balance to enjoy ideal psychological health.
The habits that promote good mental health are not only cognitive and physical but also social. Assertiveness is the ability to say what we think but in a socially appropriate way and without violating the rights or sensibilities of others, but enforcing our own. Being assertive is a habit that protects us from being in a bad mood and suffering from mental disorders. In addition to improving our social relationships and identifying which ones are not worth it.
Within this assertiveness is the ability to know how to say “no”, especially when people ask us for more things than we can and want to do, both in work and personal contexts. Promising more than one can end up overwhelming us on the one hand, because we feel that we sacrifice our desires for others, and it can also make us look bad because we can say “yes” to things that are outside our capacities and, therefore, do it wrong.
Express yourself creatively
Art has been the tool of emotional expression since time immemorial. Since prehistoric times, humans have expressed themselves with cave paintings on the walls of caves and, throughout history, great painters, sculptors, and, ultimately, all kinds of artists have shone by exposing their inner world with all kinds of artistic representations. We can do exactly the same.
Regardless of what technique we use and what our talent is, expressing ourselves creatively is a constructive and very original way to keep our psychological health in good condition. Whether with sculpture, painting, or even macramé we can keep busy while we let our imagination work, activating our brain and feeling how we create something that represents who we are, something totally personal and irreplicable.
Have a healthy diet
We cannot have good mental health if we eat poorly. The brain needs a varied and balanced diet to be able to function both cognitively and emotionally. For this reason, we cannot forget about nutrition. Foods from all food groups should be incorporated, such as vegetables, fruits, fish, meats, cereals, legumes, and dairy. It is also important to control portions and ensure that the diet incorporates 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
Among the nutrients that make our brain work better. We have omega 3 and 6, vitamins of group B (B6 and B12), folic acid, tryptophan, iron, calcium, and magnesium. All these nutrients are found in natural, unprocessed foods. And practically any lifestyle that incorporates the Mediterranean diet has the demand for these substances satisfied.
Tryptophan deserves special attention since it is the precursor of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that are directly related to mood and the sleep cycle. Among the foods that have tryptophan, we find lean meats, egg yolks, dairy products, fruits such as bananas and pineapple, whole grains, dark chocolate, and legumes.
Stay physically active
The “healthy mind in a healthy body” is a classic. Exercising not only puts us in physical shape but also mentally, helping us to have adequate cognitive abilities and a good state of mind. In other words, the practice of regular sports contributes to our having a good memory, attention, we are protected from depression and other mental disorders, as well as keeping us emotionally well and being less susceptible to mood swings.
The ideal is to practice a sport between 3 and 4 times a week. Although something as simple as walking for about 30 minutes a day is enough so that, in the long run, our psychological state is benefited. It should be said that the practice of more or less intense exercise contributes to the secretion of endorphins, which induce us to enter a state of well-being and pleasure, something that will certainly keep us in a good mood and make us see life in a new way positive.
Disconnect for a while
In a society in which we are asked to be connected at all times. It seems that disconnecting daily, even for just a little while, is impossible. However, this is not only something that is possible but is also a necessity.
In order to relax and prevent our brain from collapsing, it is very important to reserve a moment a day. No matter how brief, to let our mind rest, without stress.
We can do this in many ways, all that can come to mind. Whether lying in bed listening to music, watching our favorite television program, taking a bubble bath, or meditating. We can disconnect from the stress out there, whether caused by our family or by work. The mind needs a little rest otherwise it cannot work or perform adequately.
Connect with nature
Many people ignore the benefits that nature brings us. Despite the fact that we have been living in cities for centuries, the human being is still an animal connected to nature, especially the forests and the countryside, although this is also applicable to the beach and lakes. Whatever our favorite natural environment, any of them will help us to have good mental health.
If we are lucky enough to live near a mountain or in the countryside. We cannot miss the opportunity to go for a walk around there. Since nature gives us calm and protection against psychological problems. If, on the other hand, we are not so lucky. We can resort to the alternative of walking through a park or green area. Visiting a botanical garden or a natural museum.
Take care of relationships
Taking care of personal relationships on a daily basis is something that few know how to value, but that we should all take into account. We may take for granted that our friends, family, and partner will always be there, even if months go by without us talking to each other out of simple carelessness and neglect. Big mistake. Although this does not happen so much with the family, the truth is that with friends there is a real risk of it happening and a relationship that was previously as if we were brothers becomes that of two practically unknown people.
For this reason, we must dedicate a minimum of daily to rekindling our social relationships. Especially if we do not live close to our loved ones. It is not necessary to talk to everyone every day, but we do have to devote a minimum of regular attention to each of the people who are part of our personal contact list. For example, we can start Monday talking with a friend, Tuesday with our brother, Wednesday with our parents.
Although the idea is to meet in person and do something together, the distance can make this difficult for us. Fortunately, new technologies keep us connected and bring us closer to those who are very far from us, with which we can make video calls or simply chat to remind those people who are still our loved ones that we do not forget them and that we want to keep long live the flame of affection and friendship.
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