Benefits of self-care for your mental health

The prevalence of mental health illnesses has been on the rise in the last decade.  The increase can be linked to the demanding and fast-paced nature of life for many people and a lack of initiative by individuals to take care of themselves. Self-care offers numerous benefits to your mental health besides preventing and managing mental health illness.

Mental health
Here is a look at six mental health benefits of self-care.

1.         Beneficial to addiction recovery

Self-care for people in recovery incorporates managing your environment to reduce stressors and triggers. These and other practices such as healthy eating, staying hydrated and exercising regularly aid the body in detoxifying and curbing cravings.

2.         Promotes proper functioning of the brain

A vital aspect of self-care is eating a variety of nutritionally-balanced foods. Proper nutrition is not only important for the body, but it is also crucial for optimal brain functioning. A nutrition counselor or dietitian can help you explore the power of food as it relates to your mental and physical health.

3.         Promotes a positive outlook on life

How you perceive things has a great impact on your mental health. A negative outlook on life will leave you constantly feeling stressed, helpless, sad and may elevate to mental disorder.

Self-care helps to boost your self-esteem and leads to a positive attitude toward life. A positive attitude makes you more resilient when faced with difficulties. You should also try to spend time with people who also share an optimistic view of life. A supportive group of friends can help to encourage your own perspective.

 

4.         Reduces stress

Stress can have a detrimental effect on both your mental and physical health. Deliberately setting aside some time each day to engage in de-stressing activities helps you to handle your everyday tasks effectively, sleep better, improves your mood and elevates your energy levels.

Spending time with your pet, soaking up in the tub, massage, getting a full-night’s sleep and meditating all can help to lower your stress and anxiety levels. Exercising induces the release of mood-boosting and feel-good hormones that help to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.

5.         Promotes mental clarity, productivity, and concentration.

Anxiety, stress and burnout are some common causes of mental fogginess. A foggy mind barely concentrates and performs below optimum, which induces more anxiety.

Journaling and planning can help you to gain a clear perspective of your life allowing you to focus on things that matter to you. Actively bringing your awareness to the present moment allows your brain to focus on the activity you are undertaking at any one given time. Developing a daily to-do list helps you prioritize activities and anticipate tasks that require extra energy so that you can plan for them beforehand.

6.         Enhances problem-solving ability

When you are overworked and overwhelmed, it becomes difficult for you to think objectively and creatively to solve challenges you may be facing either at work or in your personal life.  Practices such as meditation and taking time to relax give you some space to reflect on how to handle issues.

At times, the solution to the problem you are facing is saying no to unrealistic demands or things you do not want to do. Many people struggle with saying no, so they end taking on added responsibilities. Consistent self-care reminds you that it’s ok to be authentic, and you learn to say no whenever you need to.

Numerous external factors can put your mental health at risk. However, self-care puts you in the driver’s seat of your health. Be deliberate about integrating self-care practice into your life to safeguard your mental health.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

You can find more about our guest writer Brad Krause here: selfcaring.info/