Five lifestyle changes to enhance your mood and mental health
Improve your diet and start moving
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Improve your diet and start moving
Reduce your vices
People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.
Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood.
Prioritize rest and sleep
Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia.
They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep), limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.
Get a dose of nature
Adequate exposure to sunshine helps levels of the mood-maintaining chemical serotonin.
It also boosts vitamin D levels, which also has an effect on mental health, and helps at the appropriate time to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
Reach out when you need help
Positive lifestyle changes aren’t a replacement for medication or psychological therapy but, rather, as something people can undertake themselves on top of their treatment.
While many lifestyle changes can be positive, some changes (such as avoiding junk foods, alcohol, or giving up smoking) may be challenging if being used as a psychological crutch.
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They are generally well regulated by the body, but there are a few diet and lifestyle changes you can make to boost your levels naturally:
Complex carbohydrates are found in fiber and starch and are beneficial for brain health as they release glucose slowly into our system, helping stabilize our mood. Simple carbohydr...
Our cells generate energy through oxidation, but oxidation also reduces the dopamine and serotonin in the brain and creates oxidative stress.
Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables act as a defense against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. Antioxidants also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain.
Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the health of the brain and the communication of its feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body, so we must include foods high on it in our diet.
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Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.
Try and aim for around 7 hour...
Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.
Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.
One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.
Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.
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