In recent years, the concept of mental health has been highlighted significantly within society. Many studies have been conducted throughout this time which has indicated looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Whilst there have been many awareness campaigns around the topic, there still appears to be a lack of knowledge about how we can best deal with our mental health. The majority of the steps you can take can be relatively straightforward, but others can be something that is part of your daily routine which you’re unaware of, yet affect you mentally.
It’s important to identify these habits to ensure we can improve our mental health and reduce the possibility of depression. Here are some daily habits that can impact your mental health and increase stress levels, which you should look to reduce.
This might seem like a minor habit, but keeping on a night light or lights outside your house flashing through your curtains can interrupt your sleep and affect your brain. If light is visible whilst you sleep, it can stop the melatonin production in your brain which is the signal in your body that tells it it’s night time.
If you have some form of light interfering with your sleep, try cutting it out with blackout blinds/curtains and switch off any electrical devices that project light at night. Particularly, avoid using your phone just before bed.
How you dress
Believe it or not, the way we dress can be influenced by how we feel. If we’re feeling down, we’ll tend to revert to clothes that are baggy and loose fitting. If we’re feeling happy, we’ll wear clothes that we enjoy wearing and are extremely comfortable.
If you feel low, try to avoid wearing clothes that project a depressive mood. Look for the dress that you’ve been eager to wear or the jumper that reminds you of a happy time. In doing so, it’s likely to change your mood during the day.
Avoiding to eat fish from time to time
Fish isn’t the taste for everybody and where you can, you may try to avoid it. However, did you know that consuming low levels of fish are linked to increased feelings of depression? Studies have found that those who eat fish in their diet from time to time recorded better levels of mental health, compared to those who didn’t.
This is due to the unsaturated fatty acid qualities that fish have, which can increase mood levels. Fishy foods such as mackerel, salmon and tuna contain high levels of fatty acid. If these aren’t for you, however, an alternative is taking high strength fish oil or EPA fish oil supplements. This can help you to avoid the taste of the fish, but still get all its qualities.
Drinking too much coffee
Due to the sugar and caffeine content of coffee, your emotions and mood can be relatively unpredictable. The added boost of energy that you get from consuming coffee is from the trigger that it produces to stimulate the production of adrenaline.
Consuming coffee consistently can cause an extreme adrenaline overload in your body, developing chronic anxiety and lower modds in many individuals. If you can, avoid drinking caffeine regularly and particularly later in the day after 4-5pm.