Maintaining good mental health is just as important as physical health. Strong mental health can help us cope when we face challenges or difficult times and let us enjoy life and try new things. Critical to help maintain strong mental health are exercise, diet and controlling stress.
We all recognise the physical benefits of exercise, but did you know that exercise is critical to building good mental health as well? Research is showing that patients dealing with depression report simply feeling better and are less likely to overeat or abuse alcohol or drugs as a result of regular exercise. Anxiety, tension, anger and fatigue have all been shown to be positively affected by exercise.
Eating right, increasing the fresh fruit and vegetables, proteins, whole grains and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids is important. Just as reducing the saturated fats and sugars in our diets. Preventing vitamin deficiencies in our diets is very important.
Controlling stress is not only important for your cardiovascular health, but your mental health too. Stress is part of life, but the way we deal with it can either have a positive or negative impact on our health. Stress can improve our memory, increase energy levels and help productivity. Chronic stress has the opposite effect causing problems such as migraines, ulcers, tension, fatigue and increased risk of heart attacks. Understanding the cause of your stress is important in helping develop a plan to better control it. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, exercise, taking time for a favorite hobby or talking to a friend can be very helpful in managing stress.
For more information contact the Canadian Mental Health Association