It is the time of the year when a hope for a better tomorrow sprouts in the hearts of individuals across the globe. New Years Eve is just around the corner and everyone is busy making potent plans for their determined resolutions this year. However, on this occasion most people fail to plan regarding a much-neglected part of their bodies – one’s mental health.
The annual cost of mental illnesses in Australia has been estimated at around $20 billion, and according to the ABS national survey of Mental Health and Well-being, mental illness has the third highest burden of disease in Australia. With such dire cries of help reflecting from such huge expenses it is time to focus on your mental health. What better opportunity to tie the knot of care and protection with your body, with the promising New Year welcoming you with open arms.
Your brain is like a muscle that should be kept active in order to keep it in shape. A healthy brain exercise is to gain new knowledge in the form of reading. Challenge your mind by giving it something to do constantly like learn a new language, playing strategic games like chess or solve difficult crosswords. Do early morning walk-in-parks or jogging as physical activity delivers oxygen to your brain, which improves your reasoning skills and memory.
According to UTAS exercise science lecturer Dr. Cecilia Shing, “Regular exercise has been shown to be effective in both the prevention and treatment of numerous mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. A single exercise session can boost confidence, reduce stress and improve your mood so we would love people to come along for our free exercise sessions to help raise awareness of the important role of exercise in enhancing mental health during mental health week”.
Exercise is not enough, at times one needs to pull one’s break on life. Relaxing your brain in order to achieve optimum mental health conditions will give you feeling of contentment and peace. Even if life has been rough, give yourself some time off and relax your mind by participating in activities that your cherish and improve your mental health.
Simon Comtesse from Mentally Healthy WA at Curtin University stated, “The good news is that we can do a lot over the weekend to make ourselves happier just by doing ordinary things. And there’s an ongoing bonus: many of the things that make us truly happy also make us more mentally healthy and better able to cope with life’s stresses.”
A careful inspection of your other health problems this year is also essential. Conditions such as heart illnesses and diabetes can hamper your mental performance. It is advisable to make monthly health checkups to a doctor to ensure that you are in perfect health. A new research conducted by the University of Melbourne proves that women who eat a healthy diet may reduce their risk of developing anxiety and depression.
Adding the cherry on top of all these tips for New Year happiness, maintain a positive and optimistic attitude towards life. According to experts from the Mental Health Support Group Reach Out, “Even if you’re out of practice, or tend to be a bit of a pessimist, everyone can learn to think more optimistically and reap the benefits”.
What are your tips for great mental health in 2012? Please share in the comments below.