In today’s world, maintaining overall mental well being has become a necessity. To gain mental health benefits, it is essential to pay special attention to the growth of such practices that improve mental wellness. After all, your mental health is also directly related to your physical wellness and life expectancy.
However, there is no magic pill, wand, or special potion that can move anyone along the gamut of mental health. Personal intention and daily and consistent intervention are crucial to understanding the benefits. And on that note, let’s take a closer look at how improving mental health is a critical element in extending life expectancy.
How Mental Health Impacts Life Expectancy
As per the World Health Organization, people suffering from severe mental health issues have at least ten to twenty-five years of reduction in life expectancy. For instance, individuals with depression have a 1.8 times higher risk of premature mortality. Bipolar disorder reduces life expectancy even further, with premature mortality rates being thirty-five to fifty percent higher than that of the general population.
These mortality rates are hardly the direct cause of the symptoms of mental health disorders, but rather the impact the symptoms can have on overall health and life situations. Mental conditions increase the risk of several factors that decrease life expectancies, such as infectious diseases, poor self-care, suicide, poverty, and chronic health conditions.
Mental health conditions increase an individual’s chances of developing such risk factors, which decreases their life expectancy.
Ways to Improve Your Mental Well-Being
One thing is clear from the above discussion that you need to take care of your mental well-being if you want to live a long and happy life. So, given below are some of how you can improve your mental health.
- Get Your Body Moving With Daily Exercise
If more people knew the benefits of exercising in improving their mental health, they would get up and go for a walk daily. Daily exercise increases your body’s ability to reduce inflammation and slow down the aging process. It also helps in releasing endorphins – the happy hormones that uplift your mood.
You need not join a gym right away if you don’t want to. If nothing else, go for a walk for at least half an hour to one hour daily.
- Bring Home a New Furry Best Friend
Cats and dogs can help in reducing depression, anxiety, and stress while easing loneliness and encouraging playfulness. They even promote exercise and improve your cardiovascular health condition.
The simple act of playing with a pup using Newborn Dog Toys can provide you with immense joy and bring a smile to your face. Pets offer valuable companionship for older adults. Also, did you know that studies show dog owners are likely to live longer than non-owners?
- Start Keeping a Journal from Today
There are multiple ways to start your journaling practice. You only need to pick one and start journaling from today. Start keeping track of your feelings, thoughts, and actions, and do not forget to include motivations and positive ideas. Your journal can be a compelling thing when you are actively trying to bring a personal change.
Regardless of what your age is, journaling helps everyone. It shines a light on your daily actions and enables you to be honest with yourself about your problems.
- Try to Lower Your Stress Levels Actively
Stress can seriously mess up your mental health, and therefore, life expectancy. It triggers negative behaviors like smoking and comfort eating. So, you need to look for ways that help you relax and calm your mind.
You can try yoga and meditation for this purpose. There are plenty of YouTube videos to guide you in this regard. Also, try to unwind by listening to your favorite music or reading your favorite books. Plugin your earphones, play your favorite song and take a walk outside.
- Practice A Few Intentional Activities Regularly
Partaking in activities that come naturally to you are effective ways to improve your mental health and life expectancy. How you do the following activities is up to you, but make sure you do it in the best way possible:
- Express thankfulness
- Learn to let go and forgive
- Avoid overthinking
- Commit to your goals
- Create personal coping strategies
- Practice spirituality
- Be more optimistic
- Get Professional Help to Address Your Issues
If none of the tips mentioned above is beneficial, you should consider getting professional help to address your issues. If your feelings and thoughts interfere with your daily life, professional advice can be crucial to your well-being.
It is not easy to navigate depression, anxiety, trauma, and other strains on mental health. And trying to do it all alone makes it all the more difficult. Reaching out for professional help is not a sign of weakness, but rather it shows that you’ve identified your issues.
Taking care of your mental well-being is your full-time job because it’s something you owe to yourself. It will not only help you live longer but also live better and happier. And hopefully, the tips and ideas you gained from here will help you take care of your mind, and therefore your body. So, let’s start making the changes from today.
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