How can I promote my mental health?

In order to prevent mental illnesses in the long term and to protect our mental health, it is important to be mindful and to react to possible changes. Early detection of possible complaints enables a timely reaction and can thus be treated at an early stage. In order to prevent possible diseases, there are some measures that we can integrate into our everyday lives to increase our well-being. A healthy lifestyle is therefore the basis of our health - both physically and mentally.

1. Healthy eating

This is probably not a surprise! Eating healthy protects your health. Both the physical and the mental. Vitamins and nutrients strengthen our immune system and increase our well-being. In addition, many essential nutrients promote effective detoxification of the body. Studies have shown that a diet high in processed foods, high in sugar, and high in fat is associated with a higher risk of depression. The nutrients that the body needs for balance are often missing here. It has long been known that a healthy diet contributes positively to our physical well-being. What is good for the body also has positive effects on our psyche. Hence the next point:

2. Be active

A healthy diet accompanied by sufficient exercise in the fresh air contributes to a general state of health. In addition, regular physical activity releases endorphins that put you in a good mood. This allows us to shut down the rumblings in our heads and to reduce stress. Even moderate exertion can alleviate depressive moods. Therefore, exercise is a practical solution to protect our mental health.

Bonus: Exercising in nature is particularly helpful, as we can fill up on vitamin D through the sun and the fresh air blows through our lungs. Even a walk in the park can work wonders.

But not only sporting activity is beneficial for our well-being. Any activity that gives us variety is welcome. It's good for us to see and try new things. Thereby, the synapses in the brain are stimulated. So just try something new. It doesn't matter whether it's about finding new hobbies, new places or meeting new people.

3. Avoid stress

Stress makes you sick. Almost everyone has probably heard this sentence before. In our modern world we are constantly surrounded by stimuli that affect us. There are also demands at work, private worries, fears and conflicts. If we don't manage to balance this burden in everyday life, so that the stress is permanent, it makes us ill. Our body is then constantly on the alert, stress hormones accumulate, and the result is increased blood pressure, which also increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In addition to the physical consequences, there are also psychological symptoms that are often overlooked or ignored by those affected. A constantly high level of stress can lead to our nerves becoming thinner and thinner. We then react irritably or emotionally to situations in which we would normally have remained calm. But since you don't have this comparison in everyday life, we often don't even notice this irritability in ourselves. We only realize the effects of our stressful everyday life when we are noticeably exhausted, without motivation and drive.

In order to reduce stress, it is primarily useful to evaluate which triggers are hidden in one's own everyday life. For example, is it stressful for you to always be available? Then take the time to consciously switch off all communication devices. Communicate this clearly with your fellow human beings so that you don't have to have a bad feeling about being unavailable. This can have an additional positive effect, especially in the evening, when our bodies and psyches are recovering from the stresses of the day. If you have other stressors that you can't easily eliminate, such as family responsibilities, ask for help. It's not always easy to admit that you need help, but there's nothing negative about it at all. If you notice that your everyday life is constantly stressing you out, it is necessary for both you and those around you to find a better solution.

Even if it makes sense and is important to avoid stress as much as possible, we will never completely succeed. There will always be stressful phases in our lives. But then it is particularly important to create a balance in order to reduce stress hormones and bring our body and mind back into harmony.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Go for a walk in the fresh air
  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Sport activity
  • Yoga
  • Read a good book
  • Social contact
  • Meditate
  • Being artistically active (painting, making music, ...)

Of course, not every activity is equally suitable for everyone. What relaxes you might just stress you out more. Feel free to try out what feels good and right for you.

4. Strengthening one's own sense of belonging

We humans are social beings. Some may be more than others, but basically, we all need social contacts. Interaction with other people promotes our mental wellbeing through new suggestions and recognition. This is based on a basic evolutionary need. Those who belong to a community gain protection from the dangers of the outside world. In this safe framework the human being is able to realise himself. Therefore, it is important to actively maintain contacts and relationships. Even if we sometimes find it difficult to report back to friends or acquaintances, or we postpone the date for the third time, the social interaction will do us good, and we can also relieve stress and thus recharge our batteries. People who regularly interact with others have been shown to experience less depression.

Social commitment can also increase our wellbeing. In addition to social interaction and activity, we also have the feeling of doing something good and making a valuable contribution to the community.

Attention: all these points are about the prevention of mental illness. In the rarest of cases, mental illness can be cured solely by a healthy lifestyle. If a psychological illness is suspected, it is important to seek support. Various contact points can be found here.