Mental health is a crucial subject matter these days with all the lockdowns, social distancing, and general stress of the pandemic. People are starting to get more and more anxious and are wondering: “am I happy?” This question is sometimes hard to answer, even if you’re entirely rational. Between financial insecurity and reduced social life, society seems lethargic. Folks are exercising less, eating more, and staying indoors more than ever. Such a lifestyle isn’t beneficial, so the question resurfaces once again: “is a healthy individual happy in this day and age?” Well, it depends.
What qualifies a healthy individual? Is the definition referring to the average US citizen? In this case, studies from the American Psychological Association say that the vast majority of US adults aren’t happy. Notably, 71% of adults born between 1990 and 2010 (Gen Z) outright declare they felt unhappy or miserable. There’s a general trend; the pandemic made 8 in 10 adults feel stressed about the future. Although stress doesn’t necessarily mean unhappiness, it’s clear that there’s a troubling tendency.
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By looking at the numbers, it’s safe to say that being mentally healthy doesn’t guarantee happiness. What can we do to counter stress and depression? There are quite a few daily practices that can help people feel better – we’re going to list them in a bit. However, experts suggest that remaining hopeful is the first vital step. Americans appear to agree with the idea: 7 out of 10 US adults declare they try to keep a positive outlook. Keeping your spirits up is the best way of keeping sane, studies found. Without hope, there’s no will to fight. How can someone encourage themselves to keep on going if there’s no beacon of light to be seen?
It’s fundamental, above all, not to abandon hope. But what else can the average individual do to help their body and mind persevere? Fortunately, there are quite a few approaches to improve your lifestyle little by little:
Exercising and stretching regularly
Physical activity is an excellent method to improve your mood. It helps your fitness and releases beneficial hormones throughout your body. Start slowly but try to make it a habit. There are plenty of exercises you can do in your home. Don’t forget to warm-up before and stretch after.
Eating plant-based foods
Many studies are pointing towards plant-based foods as a solution to improve mood. Fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that will benefit both your mind and body.
Consider cutting down on fast food and processed sugar. Substitute cravings with more healthy alternatives. Home cooking gives you more control over what you eat and can be an excellent activity to get your mind off stress.
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People should drink between half and one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight. That means a 140-pound individual should drink at least 70 ounces of water per day.
Cutting down on vices
This one is relatively self-explanatory; however, it’s one of the most significant factors for mood and mental health. Sure, not all vices are the same. Drinking a cup of coffee is different than abusing illicit substances. Nonetheless, reducing or cutting off such substances can have a major positive impact on your brain.
Having a regular sleep schedule
To improve your overall wellbeing and mood, you should get eight hours of quality sleep each day. Additionally, it would be best to keep a regular sleep schedule to improve your circadian rhythm and biological clock. Plan to go to bed and rise at roughly the same hour each day.
Socializing through digital means
People need one another to feel happy. Unfortunately, the pandemic is reducing social interaction like never before. Nevertheless, it would help if you tried to use technology to talk to your friends and family as much as possible. Even videogames and best essay writing services can help kids and youngsters to keep up with their friends and relieve stress.
Gaining control of your thoughts
Having control over thoughts and emotions is key in surviving lockdowns and improving mood. It’s important to keep positive and understand your feelings. Keep a journal and try meditation to cope with negative sentiments. Use positive reinforcements to imagine a better future. Also, if you’re feeling severely depressed, don’t hesitate to ask for psychiatric help.
So, is a mentally healthy individual a happy person? Well, not always – it depends. In these troublesome times, we can all say we’re more stressed and worried than before. However, with the proper lifestyle and attitude, regular people can achieve happiness. Exercising, eating right, adequate hydration, and sleep are the first steps in the right direction. Cutting down on vices, socializing whenever possible, and training your self-control are also fundamental steps. It’s easier said than done, but we should all strive to improve.