Our daily lives are full of situations and demands that tax our minds and bodies, making improving mental health essential. According to a Gallup poll, 94% of American workers are stressed because of work. Research has found that stress and mental health-related conditions can produce a wide range of adverse effects on the brain ranging from contributing to mental illness to shrinking the volume of the brain. In the era of the ever-present screen, being mindful and proactive with our mental health has never been more critical.
As business leaders and entrepreneurs in an always-on industry, GROWL understands the importance of positive mental health. Use GROWL’s top 4 ½ ways to improve your mental health and minimize stress.
1 Get out and get active
Many jobs require spending a significant amount of our days sitting in front of a computer screen. Staying active can be challenging, but the benefits of an active lifestyle are immense. According to the US Library of Medicine, aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and even dancing, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Getting regular physical activity can also help control stress, improve sleep, boost mood, and keep your weight in check.
2 Improve mental health with improved sleep
With technology imposing an always-on society and 24-hour “work cycle,” sleep is vital for our mental health. Many entrepreneurs, business leaders, and executives follow the misguided philosophy to “sleep when you’re dead.” However, a lack of sleep negatively impacts your psychological state and mental health. Effects can include decreased productivity and awareness to an increased likelihood of depression and anxiety. Ultimately, getting more sleep acts as a reset for your mind and helps boost productivity and positivity.
3 Unplug for better health
While technology adds a lot of ease, convenience, and happiness to our lives, it also prompts an “always available” status. Researchers from Kansas State University have found that unplugging after work can make a big difference in your quality of life, health, and happiness. Try setting personal boundaries to find me time or simply time to relax without technology. Taking the time to unplug and disconnect from continuous streams of technology helps you recharge and refresh.
4 Eat healthier for better mental health
Diet has a huge impact on both physical and mental health. Beyond needing healthy food to help our bodies function, humans need nutrients for our brains to perform at their best. What we consume throughout the day has a direct impact on mood, energy, and cognition. Ultimately, when you eat healthily, you feel better.
4 ½ Focus on gratitude
BONUS: GROWL’s best tip for improving mental health is to focus on positivity and to be grateful! Medically, gratitude is linked to releasing serotonin and producing an increase in dopamine, which makes people feel better. So, remember to say thank you and recognize things you are grateful for. Try committing a few minutes a day to positivity journaling, or start with a GROWL favorite, The Minute Journal.
Though daily stresses can negatively impact our mental health, by taking time to practice healthy mental and physical habits, we can become better individuals, entrepreneurs, and employees.