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Your lifestyle, your quirk
We all understand the importance of being physically fit. We run, drink water, lift weights, count calories, and generally keep a watchful eye over our bodies. But have you ever considered what goes on inside your body? Every action you take, every well-intentioned thought that you have about anything, is all directed by your brain. When you think of it that way, it's easy to see the importance of mental well-being. But often, people get caught up in the general chaos that is life and forget to take care of themselves mentally. It's a really bad habit, because the littlest things can sometimes bring you way down. Being tired is a classic example. It's just so hard to be friendly and alert when you're tired! Bad mental health habits can grind you down faster than anything else, so you should pay attention to yourself and take care of your mind as well as your body. Listed here are some ways you can help yourself become a calmer, happier person.
1. Get enough sleep - This may seem obvious, and you’re probably thinking, "When do I have time for more sleep?" But it's completely necessary to staying alert and happy during the day. Being tired slows your reflexes, affects your mood, and generally wears you out. It's hard to stay focused and in a good mood when you're exhausted. Aim for seven to eight hours a night, and see if it doesn't make a difference in how you feel! Keeping a routine is also very important, so try to wake up around the same time on weekends as you do during the week.
2. Challenge your brain! - Doing new things that require a certain amount of mental dexterity really improve your brain's overall functioning power. You can try learning to eat with chopsticks, brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or doing crossword puzzles; anything that requires a bit more mental work. Studies show that doing these kinds of things can help prevent Alzheimer's later in life.
3. Get outside! - There is actually Vitamin D in sunlight (You need D to help with processes like digesting calcium)! Ten to fifteen minutes a day outside can really improve your mood, and you can do it while reading, walking, or something sporty, like Frisbee or tennis. Just remember to wear your SPF! Skin cancer certainly doesn't help anyone's state of mind.
4. Find a hobby, or revamp one you already have - If you don't have many activities you enjoy, it can really take a toll on you. There's no better feeling than devoting yourself to something you love. Your hobby could be knitting, basketball, a book club, writing, singing, anything! Pick up a new hobby if you want, or revamp an old one and find new ways to fall in love with your passion. Start a club, read a book about the subject, join an online chat forum, or find new ways to make your hobby interesting. Anything to get you motivated and happy!
5. Develop healthy relationships - This is a tip I can attest to personally. I recently went through a really tough patch, and had to reconnect with my true friends, the people who really care about me. I would say that half of life's joy comes from good relationships, and you should really focus on them. “You have different friends for different reasons” is an old saying, and it's so true. I have some friends because they make me laugh, others because they inspire me. No matter what the core of your friendship is based on, supportive, healthy relationships make you happy. Knowing someone is there for you and loves you is a vital part of being human. So call an old friend, write someone a letter (not a Facebook message!), or go out to dinner with someone you care about. It'll probably put you in a good mood.
6. Find your best way of coping with stress - Life kicks everybody around at some point, and being able to cope with it is really important. Increased stress levels have all sorts of bad effects: it messes with your metabolism and causes acne, among other nasty things. So finding the best way you personally handle stress is really important. For me, it's playing music or exercising. After I do these things, I find that my problem isn't all that insurmountable after all. Often, these activities inspire me to be a bit more creative, and give me lots of motivation to think of a great way to handle whatever I'm dealing with at the moment. You can talk to someone you trust, read a book, take a bath, whatever calms you down and allows you to think properly, because stress is one of the worst mood-killers in the world.
Sure, you may look fantastic on the inside, but if you're not caring for your emotional well-being, you will definitely pay for it in the long run. So keep your head up and do your best to take care of yourself inside and out.