Lifestyle Factors That Impact Your Mental Health (And What to Do About It)
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a person’s mental health. Though some are beyond a person’s control like genetics, others are the direct result of the way you chose to live. Your lifestyle from your personal relationships to your career can either add to or take away from your emotional health. While getting treatment with medications and therapy are the first step in overcoming mental illness, making adjustments to your lifestyle are also necessary.
You love them with all of your heart, but sometimes your family simply isn’t the best thing for your mental wellbeing. If you were raised in a negative environment where drugs and alcohol were abused, members of your family were physically or emotionally abused, or a history of violence and crime run through your bloodline, this all weighs on your psyche. You either spend the rest of your life trying to emulate them or you’re the one who is often called on to clean up the mess.
As much as you love your relatives, some of them may be no good in your life. Time apart and/or therapy can be beneficial in helping you and your family to realize the negative patterns and make better decisions going forward. However, if they’re not on board to make changes, it may be best to love them from afar.
Unlike your relatives which you cannot choose, your friends and significant others are relationships you’ve chosen to be in. However, are these relationships healthy ones? If you have a friend who is always getting themselves in trouble and looking to you for help, is that good for your mental wellbeing? If you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are constantly fighting and at odds with each other or have become codependent on one another, is that really a fair relationship?
Again, therapy can help you to sort through the relationships you want to keep intact, but only if the other involved party is willing to participate. If not, it is best to part ways.
At the top of the list of stressors in the workplace. Many employees find themselves becoming emotionally overwhelmed by the demands of their employers. They’re working in dead-end jobs, don’t make enough money, are bombarded with work, and receive no support from their employers. In even worse circumstances there is dealing with sexism, discrimination, and ridicule on a regular basis.
Yes, you have to make a living, but if your job has got you drinking alcohol mixed with antidepressants every night just to cope with the stress, it is time to get help and move on. As you look for a new job, start doing more research on the company environment to find a place that supports a positive workplace for their staff.
Diet and Activity Level
Your mental health is also gravely impacted by your ability to take care of yourself. When it comes to your diet, there are foods that fuel your body and those that drain it. Consuming more of the ladder will reduce your body and brain function. As for exercise, it is necessary not only to maintain proper weight but to help balance stress hormones and endorphins for a more positive mood.
If you like gorging on junk food and lounging around all day, you need to make changes. Simply eating more fruits and vegetables and taking a walk outside for 10 minutes a day can make a big difference if you remain consistent. There are plenty of health and fitness programs you can enroll in to give you a headstart on how to treat your body and mind better.
You may not be able to control your genes, the way you were raised, or the traumatic experiences that have happened throughout your life, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Whether you’re suffering from a mental illness or you simply don’t feel like yourself and are looking for a change, making adjustments to the factors listed above can make a huge difference in how you feel from the inside out.
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By Marion Reeves
Marion is a content writer and editor. Her posts are always informative and up-to-date due to her admirable professionalism and distinctive way with words. In her free time, Marion plays with her two beautiful kids and takes care of her garden.
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