In each year, approximately 1 in every 5 Australians will experience symptoms of a mental condition, amounting to 45% of the population in Australia. With this statistic on the rise, the importance of maintaining good mental health has become more relevant and necessary than ever before. Fortunately, increasing awareness of our mental state and implementing behaviours that help maintain our mental health can be effortless.
So, what can I do to help maintain good mental health?
- Take care of your body
Regular exercise is not only great physically, but it also improves our mental health. When we engage in physical activity our body releases chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin that help improve our mood. Regular exercise also reduces stress, improves our sleep and improves symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression.
Even going for a short 10-minute walk in the morning and afternoon a few times a week will help improve your overall mood.
- Strive to eat healthy
Substantial research has shown a relationship between diet and mental health. Eating a nourishing diet helps improve an individual’s sense of well-being and helps maintain healthy brain functioning. Maintaining a healthy diet has shown to improve overall mood and symptoms of mental conditions, such as depression.
Try incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet!
- Quiet your mind and relax!
Practicing relaxation relieves stress, improves overall mood and improves well-being. Try taking a few minutes out of your day to quiet your mind by practicing mindfulness or engaging in a relaxing and enjoyable activity, such as reading.
- Express yourself!
Regularly expressing your feelings to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member is healthy and maintains our mental health. Simply talking about things that we are worried about or fear helps reduce our negative responses to them.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). Mental Health, preliminary data., Cat. no. (3303.0). Canberra: ABS.