There are 6 healthy choices you can make to change your life. They are the following:
- Working out:Releases hormones for cell growth and supplies more oxygen to the brain.
- Watch your food:Replace unhealthy snacks with a balanced diet of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and plenty of water.
- Stressbuster: Talk about your thoughts and emotions to help prevent or ease anxiety and depression.
- Working your brain: Memory and attention-stimulating activities can slow down cognitive decline with age.
- Social life:Socializing and personal relationships impact your overall quality of life.
- Laughter:Laughter improves mood and relieves stress in a short period, and benefits the immune system as a long-term result.
Living in our busy urban lives, we are exposed to health hazards daily. Pollution, impurities, and infections await us outdoors. When we are indoors, we invite risks by eating junk, sitting around on comfy furniture, and staring at phone screens past midnight.
While many of us know the consequences of this lifestyle, changing it looks like too much work. But if you take one step at a time, a healthier life is just one decision away. Let us look at some of the areas you can work on to transform your lifestyle for the better.
1. Working out:
Looking at these words will make you groan with despair, “Oh not this, not again.” But it is something that needs to be said out loud. Exercise is necessary for physical fitness. It is good for your muscles, internal organs, and mind. Exercise affects your brain, too. As you work your body, your heart rate rises, and more oxygen is pumped to the brain. The body releases hormones that stimulate the growth of brain cells. The runner’s high is nothing but stress hormones going down, acting on the brain as an antidepressant.
If you are repelled by the idea of workouts or runs that make you sweaty and breathless, there are other options out there. You could take a shot at yoga, cycling, walking, swimming, or the most fun exercise of all, dancing!
2. Watch your food:
Here’s another piece of advice that you are probably tired of hearing – eat healthily! The hard part is not eating healthy but rather giving up the unhealthy stuff. Only then can you rebuild your dietary habits by giving up on those sugary treats one by one (but keep a cheat day scheduled!).
You could plan your meals for the week or at least three days. Eating natural foods in different colors means that you are consuming a wide variety of nutrients. Make sure that your salad has fresh ingredients and avoid packaged stuff like fruit juice boxes. Squeeze some fresh orange juice instead.
Many of us obsess over calories, but that is not the whole point of being healthy. A balanced diet of fats, proteins, vitamins, and fiber is what you need. You could consult a dietician to understand your dietary needs better. Lastly, drink plenty of water. Seven glasses each day is enough for easy digestion.
Many of us spend a lot of time re-energizing the body, but physical health is closely tied to mental health. While you work on your glutes and calories, don’t forget your thoughts and emotions. Demands at work, problems in your relationship, and self-esteem issues often keep you from giving your best.
Depression and anxiety are among the most commonly diagnosed mental health problems, and these two often occur together. Depression follows symptoms such as loss of interest in daily activities, sleep and appetite issues, a feeling of worthlessness, and extreme sadness. Anxiety comes with symptoms like constant worrying for no particular reason, expecting the worst outcome in all situations, and physical symptoms of high stress.
While there is often a genetic factor at play here, taking care of your mental health needs can go a long way in preventing them or easing the experience. Maintain a journal for your emotions, talk to a counselor, share your concerns with a trusted friend, and engage in physical activities as exercise affects your brain positively.
4. Work your brain!
No one memorizes phone numbers or spends time doing arithmetic anymore. We leave most of the work to computers, phones, and calculators. But attention, memory, and planning are crucial for surviving in the information age.
Cognitive capacity is a critical component of health. Sudoku, Rubik’s cube, chess, and crosswords are included in some of the best tips to improve memory and boost sharpness. Watch for intellectual content that will make you think critically. Other ways to improve memory include mnemonics, visual imagery, and testing. Stimulating your memory and learning processes will slow down the cognitive decline that occurs with age.
5. Social life:
You might be surprised to know that social relationships can affect your mortality risk. But if you think about the role of relationships in your life and how much they influence your wellbeing for better or worse, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
All the relationships in your life, including parents, siblings, friends, partners, and authority figures deeply influence how you see yourself and the world. Relationships involving affection, respect, and understanding will be more nurturing for your health. Dating, going out with friends, meeting your parents, and meeting new people at work are instances of socializing that can support your healthy lifestyle and bring joy to a tough day.
When people say laughter is the best medicine, they are not joking. In the short term, it lifts your spirits and relieves stress. In the long term, it can have a positive impact on your immune system. Light humor can brighten any conversation. Sometimes, just laughing at yourself helps you loosen up and reminds you that it is okay not to take life seriously all the time.
While transforming your lifestyle seems like a daunting task, having a to-do list is a good start, isn’t it? A complete shift in routine can give you decision fatigue, and you may give up too quickly. Instead, you can start making changes in one area at a time; for example, changing eating habits while keeping the rest of the day the same. Gradually, you can introduce exercise, journaling, then make a sleep schedule, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Don’t ignore your mental health. If you’re suffering from anxiety or other physical health problems, know that recovery can take a while. Understanding the issue will help you address it. Look for stressbusters and have a better social life – these life hacks and tips to improve memory can help you get back on your feet quicker.
About the Author: Sophia Anthony is a freelance writer and blogger, covering health and fitness topics through visual representation. She is very passionate about general health and beauty. Apart from work, she likes dancing and listening to music. You can also contact her on Facebook, and Instagram.
July is BIPOC Mental Health Month
In 2008 the United States government designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month “to enhance public awareness of mental illness …. among minorities.”
Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author and mental health advocate who wrote works of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature about the harmful effects of racism and the mental health impacts on those affected.
Each July, www.rtor.org and its sponsor Laurel House, Inc. honor the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell. We believe in using language that puts people first and emphasizes their individuality and unique contributions rather than their health or demographic status. Just as we do not refer to people living with schizophrenia as “schizophrenics,” we avoid terms such as “minority” and “marginalized” when referring to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and BIPOC Mental Health Month.
Please join us in recognizing the unique struggles BIPOC face and bringing awareness to the need for adequate, accessible, culturally relevant mental health treatment, care, and services.
Our recent blog post, 8 Accessible Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), contains several links to online resources promoting the emotional wellbeing and access to mental health care for these communities.
www.rtor.org and Laurel House are committed to the advancement of racial equity and social justice and to making mental health services available to all.
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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