A lot of us aren’t feeling so good lately. America is an anxious nation, studies show, and many of us find ourselves feeling low, irritable, fearful, or otherwise miserable day after day. But we’re busy people, and this world has plenty of things to worry about. Are these feelings just things that we have to deal with?
As you might have guessed, the answer is no. If you make smart changes in your lifestyle, you can feel better. Here’s how to start.
Eat fewer processed foods
“You are what you eat,” as the old saying goes — and that’s true for your mental health, not just your physical health. When you consume nothing but junk, your mental health will be junk, too. Experts say that junk food fans are more likely to suffer from depression. And it’s not hard to see how the short- and long-term health effects of junk food — from that bloated feeling and tight clothes to obesity and increased risk of disease — can really mess up your mood and cause your anxieties, insecurities, and fears to skyrocket.
So stop eating so much junk. Try to snack on vegetables instead. Start with small and realistic goals, and don’t starve yourself (just eat more vegetables and other whole foods — they’ll take up some room in your stomach and help you fight cravings for junk). Bit by bit, you’ll get healthier — and happier, too.
Go for a jog
Exercise is good for your health, and a healthy body is closely connected to a healthy mind. But the reasons to break a sweat aren’t only long-term things. You’ll also get the short-term mood boost that you’ll get from the endorphins that are released when you exercise.
Moving around will make you feel better right away, and doing so consistently will help you create a healthier body and mind.
Take up a healthy hobby
Once you’ve gone for a jog, you’ll probably feel a bit better. But can you do that again tomorrow? What about the day after that?
For some of us, running daily is fun and not a hard commitment to stick to. For others, it’s misery. That’s why it’s so important to find an activity that you love — ideally, one that can become a hobby and a habit rather than something that you have to remember to commit to. When you find a sport or healthy activity that you love, say experts who offer custom surfing lessons, sticking to exercise goals won’t be nearly as hard.
Reset your sleep schedule
Few things make as big of an impact on our mood and the overall state of our mental health as does our sleep schedule. The amount and the quality of sleep that we get will help determine not only how tired we are the next day, but how irritable or anxious, too. To properly care for your mental health and reduce your anxiety levels, you should try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
To do this, you’ll need a good sleep environment (one that’s dark, cool, quiet, and comfortable). You’ll also want to be going to sleep and waking up at around the same time each day. To reset your sleep schedule, stop sleeping in and taking naps. Adjust your bedtime, but recognize that it will take a while for you to feel tired at the right time. If you stick to your guns, you’ll fix your sleep and improve your mental health.
Nutrition is important to your mental health, but it’s not just food that you should be thinking about: Supplements, too, have a vital role to play in reducing your anxiety levels. And one of the most popular anti-anxiety supplements on the market right now is CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid — one of the active chemicals in the cannabis plant (marijuana). But this substance won’t get you high. Instead, experts say, it may reduce your anxiety levels and help you relax.
CBD is widely legal and widely available, so it’s easy to get and even easier to take. Just choose how you want to ingest CBD (options include edibles, vape oils, tinctures, and more) and then grab a brand-name product from a company such as cbd select.