All the greatest men we draw inspiration from; Winston Churchill, J.F Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, etc.; all had (have) one thing in common, a healthy mind. Now that lockdown is done and everything seems new and so fast-paced, we are having all these thoughts and emotions slapping us right in the face. Most times, everything gets overwhelming and we are faced with loneliness, regrets, fear, and self-doubt, which bubbles up into feelings of emotional distress, feelings of anxiety, and depression. Often times, when such feelings spring up within us, we tend to isolate ourselves from the public because we feel no one understands us or even wants to talk to us. Everyone seems busy living their lives. As a result, we pay less attention to our psychological needs such as the need to feel a sense of belonging, the need to feel like we have purpose in life and people value us, and the need to make us of what is going on around us and the future ahead.
With all these negative feelings cropping up within us, our brain responds by secreting high amounts of cortisol (hormones responsible for how we experience and manage stress) which in turn makes us moody, very irritable, gain weight, have little or no sleep, lose appetite, among other side effects. In order to burst this bubble in which we are entrapped, we often resort to sleeping pills, antidepressants, among other medicines, and in worst case scenarios, drug abuse. Sadly, these are not only dangerous to our health, but they are short term solutions. Here are five lifestyle habits you can adopt to avoid getting to such a devastating state of mind.
- Talk to people. Now that the lockdown has been eased and we can visit friends and family, it is a perfect opportunity to bond, or even make new friends. Talking to people creates a sense of belonging and a feeling that someone loves, cares, and values us. This is not only beneficial in enhancing our confidence and esteem, but also builds valuable bonds and networks, the basis on which humanity thrives.
- Expose yourself to nature. Nature is one of the most beautiful assets of mankind, second to the feeling of loving and being loved. Taking a walk to the sea or the park allows you to step back, clear your mind, and press restart. The quality time one spends exposed to nature is magical to the brain because not only are you able to easily think through what seems challenging, but you also maintain a healthy state of mind.
- Eat healthy. Having a balanced diet, taking your multivitamins right, and hydrating enough keeps our bodies in a state of homeostasis. With the body in perfect balance, hormones will be balanced too. This will translate into better body and mind functioning.
- Exercise. Exercising not only keeps you physically fit, but also boosts your confidence and self-esteem. It helps you breathe better, maintain a proper posture, and keep your body perfectly balanced. Weight and resistance training help boost mental health by granting you the ability to handle challenging situations better.
- Read books. Reading at least one chapter a day keeps you along the continuum of incessant learning and bettering your life. It is one of the perfect ways to start your day or to take a break from work and all the social media frenzy. Reading will, improve the quality of conversations you have, command respect because learned people do so, and attract people towards you because people normally gravitate towards a fun and knowledgeable person.
Practicing these habits will boost your confidence, keep you healthy both physically and mentally, and most importantly, improve your quality of life.
“Thy who treat their mental health with utmost momentous and desideratum are destined to rule…therefore, a man who is destined to lead must preserve a healthy state of mind…”