Our collective mental health has taken a hit over the last few years. More people today suffer from some form of depression or anxiety. You don’t have to be one of these individuals. Here’s how to keep your mental health stable in 2022.
Social media is a blessing and a burden. On the one hand, you can follow the events of your friends and family. On the other hand, too much social media affects your mental health. One way it does this is through doomscrolling.
Sometimes referred to as doomsurfing, it’s the practice of surfing through social media and similar sites for the news, even if it’s tragic or scary. Doomscrolling causes people to fall into a rabbit hole of hopelessness, thus creating cracks in their mental health.
Avoid this at all possible. While you should keep up with current events, try not to dig too far into multiple stories on the same tragic incident. Further, don’t doomscroll through comments related to the news story. Sometimes, those are worse than the event itself.
Find Your Good Chi
Chi is your life force. It’s the bridge between your thoughts and emotions and your awareness. Those with good chi know the essence of their true self.
There are a few methods of how to harness your chi. Yoga is the most common of these. The posture-based relaxation technique is said to release chi. The volume depends on the exercises and the length of time you practice yoga.
Breathing routines are another method to release chi. Through deep inhalation and exhalation, you get rid of toxins and increase good energy levels in your body. The benefit of breathing exercises is you could do them anywhere to stabilize your mental health.
Meditation also stabilizes your mental health. It does this through the practice of mindfulness. Instead of predicting an unforeseen future, the act of meditation returns your focus to the present.
Like breathing exercises, you can meditate anywhere. You need a quiet space with minimal distractions. Although there are apps to help you become centered, the main focus of meditation is to listen and follow your deep breaths. As this happens, your body relaxes. Further, you shrink your world down into those minutes of meditation.
Nevertheless, it takes practice to gain this mindfulness. So, consider five to 10-minute meditations when you start. Expand the length as you get comfortable with the experience. As you do, you should notice decreased feelings of depression and anxiety.
Exercise helps stabilize your mental health. It may seem counterproductive since its physical stress. Yet, it’s a good form of stress that builds mental resilience.
A reason exercise works are it releases endorphins. These hormones within the brain and nervous system help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Also released is neuromodulator norepinephrine, which helps the brain efficiently deal with stress.
Like meditation, you don’t want to start an exercise routine by running a marathon. Instead, slowly integrate both aerobics and weight programs into your lifestyle. Also, stretch your muscles before and after your exercise to minimize injuries. That way, you don’t develop stress over healing plus the time it takes to recover.
Studies show that proper sleep is a component of positive mental health. Individuals should get between seven and eight hours nightly. Plus, they should avoid stimulants like caffeine or look at their smart devices before they turn in.
The reason comes down to rapid-eye movement (REM). Your brain is the most active during this period as it processes emotional information. It can’t consolidate positive emotions when your sleep periods are shorter. In turn, you wake up feeling more depressed or anxious.
On top of this, sleep is when your brain and body heal from the day’s traumatic experiences. If you experience panic or other mental issues, lack of sleep prevents the proper brain chemicals from being released to calm your mind. Situations can seem worse than they are when you can’t sleep.
Work on your sleep patterns to stabilize your mental health. Go to bed earlier and remove all distractions. Try meditating or listening to soothing sounds before you go to bed. Consider drinking a cup of decaffeinated peppermint tea, which has relaxing capabilities.
Take advantage of these suggestions to maintain positive mental health through 2022.