How to Stay Mentally Strong
By Indy Summers
Mental health has become a frequent topic in recent years, but sometimes it’s less of a clinical problem and more of an idea of keeping yourself mentally healthy and strong. At times, it’s hard to feel at peace or like you’re really in your best state of mind, but there are ways to keep yourself in the best state of mind, regardless of the things going on in your life. While not a comprehensive list, these suggestions can help you to feel the best you can mentally and emotionally.
For anyone familiar with exercise in all its various forms, it should come as no surprise that it contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and not just for physical health. Now, in bringing up exercise, you may immediately jump to going to the gym six times a week for two hours where you will lift and run until your body cries for relief. That’s one way to exercise, but it’s not the only way that will allow you to feel better emotionally and mentally.
Research shows that frequent exercise to be beneficial in treating depression and other forms of mental illness. The ideal in these cases is a minimum of three sessions a week with 45 minutes of activity. This level of exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals in the brain that contribute to good mental health. But the effects of exercise can be enjoyed by all, even those who don’t have the time or energy for three times a week. Less or more will still contribute to an improvement.
So give it a try, start exercising in some form and see if it doesn’t improve your mind.
You may have thought that when high school or college ended, you would be done with learning in general, and maybe you really are done. However, it may be time to reconsider. After all, learning doesn’t just mean school or university in the traditional sense, and there are other benefits besides the material or skills learned. Continued learning has been shown to lengthen life, improve mental capacity and function, as well as maintaining these levels for a longer period of time.
That may sound all well and good, but engaging in some form of continued education past traditional schooling may sound difficult. And that may be true for some types of learning, but it’s not all the same. There are many different ways to learn new material and stimulate your mind in more cost-effective ways, both time-wise and money-wise. Programs like online degrees and other forms of professional training are more accessible than ever before. It doesn’t even have to be an entire program; you could choose just one or two classes. Apps are also another way to learn new material in an entertaining, and often bite-sized, way. Or, you could pick up a book and teach yourself new material. Whatever you choose, making a habit of learning will prove to be a worthwhile investment for your mental strength.
Socialization can be a source of anxiety and stress for some, but it can also prove to be the opposite a significant amount of the time. We are, after all, a social species, so instead of seeing socialization as an obligation or stressor, as it can often be, take some time to be with people simply for the enjoyment of it. This may seem rather obvious, but the social aspects of life can become easily neglected and, in turn, influence mental and emotional health.
Aside from the enjoyment, love, and peace that comes from spending time with other human beings, socialization has also proved to help anxiety in the long run. It may seem odd, but the more time spent speaking and interacting with other people, the less of a stressor it can become. Of even greater note is the fact that socializing releases dopamine, which helps create feelings of happiness and peace. Additionally, it also suggests that strong relationships can help prevent a decline in mental functions, so, as obvious as it may seem, taking the time to spend quality moments with other people can be just what you need to maintain a strong mind and emotional stability.
Whatever your reasons and whatever your circumstances, there is a way for you to keep yourself strong in every sense of the word. These are only some of the ways that you can continue to strengthen your mind, but there are many more. Just know that maintaining your mental strength is an endeavor that does not have to be as difficult as it sometimes is.
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