Tips For Dealing With Mental Health Problems

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1. Know what your triggers are – certain people, comments or situations – and try to avoid those as much as possible. Be especially alert to anything or anyone that causes your mood to plummet.

2. Focus on the things you enjoy doing in life rather than on things that create pressure and stress. Make sure you schedule time for these in your day – even if it’s only a 10-minute workout or reading a few pages of your magazine or book.

3. Make a playlist of favourite songs that lift your mood or help to calm your mind.

4. Establish a support network – good friends and family members who will be there for you, no matter what. Don’t be afraid to reach out and contact these people if you feel you are spiralling down.

5. Choose to spend time with positive, accepting, nurturing people – and stay away from people who don’t understand, or are critical of, mental health concerns.

6. Try and get some exercise as it releases “feel good” hormones and can change the way you feel. Also, pay attention to the kinds of foods you eat.

7. Establish and respect your own personal boundaries. We all have limits – and that includes you, as well. Don’t be afraid to withdraw or to say “no”. It’s good to know yourself, and to know when “it’s enough”.

8. Be gentle, kind and understanding with yourself. Don’t be harsh, unrealistic or hypercritical. You are fighting a hard battle – so be there for yourself!

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Main Brain Damaging Habits To Avoid

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1. No breakfast. People who don’t eat breakfast have lower blood sugar levels. This can lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain and underperformance in terms of thinking, processing, retrieval and memory skills.

2. Overreacting. This can flood the brain with chemical which interferes with clear thinking, logical analysis and memory.

3. Smoking. This can cause a shrinkage in the brain, and possibly lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

4. High sugar consumption. Consuming too much sugar interferes with the absorption of proteins and nutrients which are essential for healthy brain development.

5. Air pollution. The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain. Again, this can reduce and interfere with the brain’s healthy functioning.

6. Sleep deprivation. Sleep allows our brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. Long-term sleep deprivation accelerates the death of brain cells. It interferes with putting down new memory traces, effective problem solving and memory retention.

7. Exercising your brain in times of illness. Working or studying during times of sickness can lead to ineffective thinking, poor processing, and poor memory and retention.

8. Lack of stimulation. Thinking is the best way to train our brain. Lack of stimulation can prevent new neural pathways from forming. It can also prevent us from reaching our potential in terms of creative thinking and analytical thinking.

Source: The World Health Organisation (Abridged)

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