Mental Health Hygiene- Keeping your Mind Clean

- By Ishrath Shaik

According to the WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. We are taught from a very young age to eat our vegetables and exercise to stay physically healthy, but how can we stay mentally healthy? Just as we have to take a bath and brush our teeth to maintain physical hygiene, we also have to implement habits to stay mentally "clean".

Prevention is the best medicine, this goes for saying for mental health too. If we don't maintain our mental health, then we can become depressed, anxious, stressed, and unmotivated. These are serious problems and can impact our day to day happiness and life. Here are some practices you can implement to be happier and healthier:

1. Mindfulness: Make time to just sit and observe your environment for sometime, this can be also done by making meditation a daily habit. The benefits of mediation are endless. They mainly help reduce mind wandering and rumination, which makes you happier. Here is a great introduction video to learn how to meditate.

2. Expressing Your Feelings (ventilating): When something feels wrong, tell a family member or friend you can trust to listen to you. If you don't have someone, write it down. This will allow you to see your problem from a different perspective.

3. Keep a Gratitude Journal: As cliche as it sounds, counting your blessings and writing down 5 things that you are grateful for, then really thinking about how they have improved your life can remove the effect of the Hedonic Adaptation.

4. Exercise: Exercising isn't just good for your physical health, but also mental. Exercising for 30 minutes three times a week can increase endorphins, this is a hormone that makes you feel happier.

As the world heads for a mental health and loneliness crisis, it's important we educate ourselves about these practices to prevent ourselves from falling into these traps. However, if you've been struggling with your mental health, the best way to help yourself is to get professional help, from either a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. Stay healthy, stay happy, and stay safe!


The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

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About the Author

Ishrath is a medical student. She believes in life long learning and constantly strives to try to make small changes in this big, big world. Her life mantra is "compassion at all times, especially in times of trouble, with yourself and the the people around, ultimately leads to be being content".