The Mental Health Benefits of Self-care by Brad Krause

Guest post by Brad Krause, writer/owner of selfcaring.info/

Mental health is characterized by psychological and emotional well-being and an absence of mental illness. The WHO deems a person mentally healthy if their mental function is optimal,and they can cope and adapt to adversity. A mentally healthy person enjoys life, is self-sufficient, and has the ability to actualize their intellectual and emotional potential.

Poor mental health can lead to impaired brain functioning, mood swings, distressed behavior,and poor social interactions. Below are four benefits of practicing self-care for your mental well- being.

Prevents addiction
Many people can use substances without getting addicted. For instance, it’s perfectly normal to have a glass of wine after a long day at work. But for some people, there is a thin line between enjoying a drink and having addiction. To be on the safe side, avoid self-medicating with addictive substances and look for alternative ways to relax. Exercising is an essential tool for recovering addicts. It gives you a feel-good effect that lowers your cravings.

Reduces stressMany of us have a lot of stress in our lives. When left unmanaged over time, you can find yourself suffering from chronic stress which is a precursor to a wide range of diseases including heart disease, hypertension, and mental health illnesses.

Regularly taking time for self-care practices that reduce stress will prevent you from being chronically stressed. Try to get enough sleep, take time to relax, and say “no” to requests that put pressure on you. A warm bubble bath or a massage may help with your stress. Even brief relaxation from a stressful situation will refill your energy reserves and give you space and time to come up with long-lasting solutions.

While activities such as watching your favorite comedy can help you relax, having a structured relaxation plan keeps you focused on your self-care even when faced with high stress levels.

Promotes mental health
Both genetics and environmental factors contribute to mental health disorders. The
environmental factors include stressors such as devastating life events, poor parenting, abusive relationships, and social pressures, among others. We may not be able to control all stressful occurrences in life, but consistently practicing self-care helps you to build resilience, which consequently lowers your risk for mental illnesses.

If you have a pre-existing mental health illness, self-care can aid in recovery. Some common signs and symptoms of mental disorders include low self-esteem, mental fogginess, poor sleeping patterns, lethargy, and a negative outlook at life.

Eating a nutritious diet supplies the brain with vital nutrients for optimal functioning. Taking time to engage in activities that interest you, reconnecting with your spirit through meditation, taking walks in nature, or watching the sunset can help you to feel purposeful and improve your perspective of life.

Boosts mental clarity and creativity
Creating time to clear your mind and spend time in silence every day helps to get rid of mental clutter and enables you to focus. Establish a ritual that gets you in the creative zone. It could be taking a shower, breathing deeply, meditating, or simply drinking a cup of coffee before embarking on a task.

Aside from the mental benefits of self-care, you deserve to enjoy life and to feel good about yourself. Deliberately and consistently taking time to nurture yourself is one step toward improving the quality of your life.

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