How Healthy Is Your Mind?
The mind is the gateway to peace. It is your mind that allows you to separate the truly devastating from the mildly irksome; the joy from the pain; the truth from the lies. But it has to be healthy and undamaged.
Keeping a healthy mind takes work. Just as many people are not willing to exercise and eat properly to maintain a lean body, many are not willing to do what it takes to maintain a strong mind and healthy brain.
People who work to continually improve their healthy mind are happier and more balanced people. For All Africa Foundation (FAAF), offers tips that you can do to keep your mind healthy and lengthen your lifespan.
1.Eat Healthy. Nutrition plays a key role in the health of the mind and thorough attention should be paid to it in order to promote mental functioning. Different foods and nutrients can affect neurotransmitters in a variety of ways.
Choose healthy proteins such as fish, complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, and good fats such as those that come from fish, almonds, and avocados. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates that will not give you the sustained mental and physical energy you need. Add some whole grain foods and leafy green vegetables to your diet and you will be well on your way to creating a much healthier mind.
2. Incorporte Physical Activity. Exercise is not only good for the body, but is also very beneficial for the health of the mind. Exercise does not have to consist of a workout at the gym. Alternatives may include: go for a walk, take a bike ride, work in the garden, dance to some music, do stretching and yoga, life weights. Remember to make time for yourself. Shoot for 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.
Word games, chess, and puzzles are all forms of mental exercise that can help you keep your brain functioning at peak performance. Just as you employ exercise for physical improvement, you can use it for mental performance as well.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep. It is important to get a good night’s sleep, preferably eight hours of un-interrupted sleep. Sleep is a universal prerequisite to health and happiness. If you are experiencing problems with sleeping, you should seek help.
4. Laugh. Laughter may indeed be the best medicine according to many researchers. Laughter can lead to a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to lowered stress levels, and improve overall health in general. If you find it hard to laugh when the situation arises, find a way to do so. This may be a sign of pent-up emotions, or a number of other things. Watching funny movies, standup comedy, or just telling jokes with friends can be of great benefit in keeping the mind healthy.
5. Learn to relax. Relaxation can be a great tool for physical, emotional, and mental health. Make yourself take a break. Sometimes it is hard for people to do that when they are constantly on the go, but your body needs time to relax. Yoga is a great form of relaxation as well as incorporating naps into your day.
6. Make Time for Fun. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be reading, watching a movie, connecting with others or taking a bath. Your body needs time to take a break from your responsibilites and recharge.
7. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol, cigarettes and drugs may provide easy escaped from mood swings and stressors, but the relief is temporary. Do not avoid the issues at hand, If you are having emotional problems and you need support, ask for it. Seek help.
8. Nurture good friends. Make a deal with yourself to stay in touch with friends and family. Email and texting is no substitute for a real live visit with a friend. Schedule short lunch dates, movies or shopping excursions. By making yourself schedule times to get out of the house, you will be rewarded with the company and conversation of others.
9. Avoid unnecessary Stress. It is easy to become overwhelmed at times due to various expectations of a household, family, friends and employer.
Making realistic lists of to do’s each week will allow you a feeling of accomplishment when you tackle those priorities and cross them off as completed.
Your accomplishments will serve as encouragement to carry you into your next list. Learn how to say no and realize your limits. Understand your stressors and make the appropriate changes to your lifestyle and your time.
10. Do Something for others. Doing things for others is a great tonic when you are feeling down. Helping a friend, family or a community organization can make you feel included and empowered.
Join FAAF and help create a society of healthy minds.