5 Ultimate (Science-Backed) Hacks for Optimum Mental Health
Mental health issues are worsening as individuals lead increasingly solitary lives and consume a plethora of junk physically, mentally and emotionally, this guide outlines 5 practices to heal your mind, body and soul.
Each of the below hacks are backed by recent and verifiable scientific research.
Also, a free e-book also awaits at the end of the piece.
1. Get into Nature
This sounds so simple but is so effective because we are a species that has evolved in the wild.
When we remove ourselves from that setting for too long we get claustrophobic, aggressive and frightened – no different from a caged animal.
The issue with humans is our ability/tendency to repress negative emotion, and therefore our craving for our natural habitat manifests in all manner of mental and emotional turmoil.
New research from the University of Exeter shows that spending only two hours a week in nature is enough to hit the crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing.
The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.
It also found the 120-minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.
2. Escape Social Media (at least for a while)
Researchers said that social media was a seedbed in fostering envy and resentment in people when seeing superficial images of the supposed lives of others.
Another key facet Richard of Recovering Man has spoken about is the driving need many individuals and media companies exhibit today to keep you angry, therefore watching and addicted to media.
He argues the solution is to forgive such people in order to free yourself (video below):
The study in Indonesia called to recognise social media usage and addiction as a public health crisis.
3. Vet Your Friends
This may sound harsh but you must be ruthless if people around you are sucking your energy and creating a negative, cynical environment for you.
The famous adage states we are the result of the 5 people we spend the most time with, and while I’m not completely sure that is true, it does stand to reason that we need to foster friendships with others in which we mutually help, inspire and relax one another.
A new American study states that having a good social circle is one of the most effective ways to measure overall health and wellness.
The study added that it’s not just important to have a good social group, but also one with a good structure, in which individuals feel heard and can express themselves.
4. Stop Consuming so Much Plastic!
Yes, you read that right.
Plastic is on everything these days, especially food and drinks (packaging, water bottles, etc) and its effects are especially harmful to men.
In fact, many studies are showing that plastic releases chemicals that up estrogen, the female sex hormone that neutralises testosterone growth.
This leads to mood swings, a lack of physical vitality and depression in men.
A new American study shows that the average person consumes a whopping 70,000 particles of micro-plastics every year.
Simple steps you can take to begin rectifying this are by avoiding food wrapped in plastic and to stop consuming bottled water.
Further still, one can improve further by filtering any water they consume via a high-quality water filter.
5. Sort Out Your Sleep
A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns could lead to improved performance, better eating habits and a decrease in depression and stress, according to a new study from the University of Birmingham.
Twenty-two healthy individuals participated in the study and for a period of three weeks participants in the experimental group were asked to:
- Wake up 2-3 hours before regular wake up time and maximize outdoor light during the mornings.
- Go to bed 2-3 hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening.
- Keep sleep/wake times fixed on both work days and free days.
- Have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7pm.
The results highlighted an increase in cognitive (reaction time) and physical (grip strength) performance during the morning, as well as a shift in peak performance times from evening to afternoon.
It also increased the number of days in which breakfast was consumed and led to better mental well-being, with participants reporting a decrease in feelings of stress and depression.
Enjoyed the article? Well why not pick up your free version of my e-Book Recovery Hacks below: