You start out strict diets for a leaner body, hit the gym heavily to gain muscles, and visit a doctor for regular checkups to ensure your physical health is taken care of. But how many times do you stop and think the same about your mental health?

Regardless of the mass awareness, mental health still is a taboo subject in many cultures around the world. Mental health issues are assumed to things you’re supposed to just “snap out of.” And giving it any more attention than that is trying in vain.

However, that is not what’s true at all. Your mental health denotes your ability to function in relationships, career, social life, etc. It also impacts your motivation, emotional strength, and the ability to shed away mild mental health issues. And that does make it worthy of improvement.

Here are four ways you can improve your mental health for a better lifestyle.

Exercise And Working Out

Although exercise and working are much more common among people for physical improvement, it has some undeniably positive effects on your mental health. Working out regularly helps build a routine, and this teaches discipline in your thoughts as well.

But coming over to the more scientific side of the benefits, it has strong anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects as well. When you are working out, your body is rushed with happy hormones, which gives you the “good” feeling.

Also, it uses up all the stress hormones in your body constructively. Other than that, improved metabolism and immunity from exercise help prevent various illnesses. And this prevention gives you a little less to worry about.

Low cholesterol and a healthy cardiovascular system ensure the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your brain. And in turn, this improves your cognitive ability. Meaning you can concentrate better, get out of stressful situations, and not end up winding into spiraling anxious thoughts.

The best workout is the one you stick to, so it isn’t important what style you follow. However, yoga, aerobics, running, rowing, and dancing are excellent choices for mental health benefits.

Taking A Break

Taking a break from work is another very effective way to keep your mental health in check. A break from work is not specified in nature. It can be anything from taking a week-long vacation to a five minutes time-out to refill your cup of coffee.

But without these breaks, you’re overworking your brain and stressing yourself out. A practice that I find to be best and most helpful is the balance of 15 and 45. You work for 45 minutes straight, concentrating, and then take a break of 15 minutes to freshen yourself up. This helps you divert your attention, freshen up, and catch back the flow of work more productively.

The misconception we have about taking breaks from work is that we’ll miss out on work, and it will pile up. What really happens is that without breaks, you lose concentration and productivity. And end up doing even lesser work.

So, if work has been getting a little overwhelming lately, plan out a vacation and take time out to introspect. You’ll be much fresher and livelier coming back to work!

Changing Your Diet

It is not unknown to us how easy it is to overeat. When you’re binge-watching a series on T.V, a bowl of popcorn or a bag of chips hit bottom before you even get to cherish the flavor. But it is these unhealthy eating habits that affect your mental health.

To make sure your mind and body receive the nutritional content it needs, you need to have a balanced diet. Taking an entire food group out of your diet like in Keto or fat-free diet is never a long-term solution.

You need to try out different combinations of foods and see what works best for you. Getting as many greens, fruits, lean meat, and macronutrients on your diet is an excellent choice to make.

However, your diet includes supplements and herbs, as well. Chamomile tea, yellow Thai kratom powder, and cinnamon are known to have anti-anxiety effects. You can buy kratom seeds online and brew it up with a cup of tea in the evening to enjoy the soothing effects.

Improve Your Sleep

Your sleep is also one of the most critical aspects of your mental health. Just like your body, if you do not get enough rest every night, you don’t give your brain to fully recover either.

Health experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep every night. And the best recommended time to sleep is also dark hours. Our bodies are sensitive to daylight, and any rest you get during the day may lack the quality.

Having an adequate sleep every night will significantly improve your mood the following day. Everyday stressors like honking horns in traffic and extra assignments at work will do little to bother you.

So, to take care of your mental health, you must improve how you rest. Taking out afternoon naps and bringing your bedtime a little earlier will have significant changes in your sleep quality and mood.

Originally published on Live Positively.