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How Sleep Affects Mental Health

Insomnia is a very common problem that many suffer from. Approximately 33% of people in the world suffer from insomnia. According to the CDC one third of adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Because of this understanding the impact that sleep has on your mental health is very important.

Sleeps relationship with mental health:

It is widely known that sleep has a large impact on how you feel and your mental health. In the short term sleep deprivation can leave you feeling run down and irritable. But sleep deprivation can also have serious long term effects. Lack of sleep has been linked to many serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression. It has been found that lack of sleep can lead to the worsening of mental health issues for many individuals. This change in sleep can develop mental health issues as well as create new ones.

Stress:

Lack of sleep can perpetuate a state of stress in your body. Due to lack of sleep the effects of anger and irritability can make it difficult to deal with the everyday tasks of life. This can lead to even more stress and less sleep making the situation worse. You may find yourself frazzled and frustrated by things you would normally find easy.

Depression:

Insomnia and other sleep issues are a common side effect of depression. However it has been found that your lack of sleep could be causing your depression. New studies have shown that those who suffer from insomnia are 2 times more likely to deal with depression. However, adding more sleep to your life can help to alleviate many of these symptoms and decrease the risk of developing depression.

Anxiety:

Anxiety is something we all deal with in some manner as it is our body’s natural response to perceived danger. However it has been found that lack of sleep or poor sleep can put your body into a state of anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety are also more likely to deal with issues sleeping which creates a perpetual cycle.

Remember to always talk to your doctor if you are having trouble with sleep. Sleep is one of the most important functions of your body and there are plenty of resources to deal with sleep issues.

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-sleep-affects-mental-health-4783067

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How What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health

Everything you do is fueled by food. Breathing, sleeping, thinking, walking, and working are all things your body can’t do without proper food. So it’s no surprise that food would also play a role in your mental health.  What you eat greatly affects your mood and mental health.

Your brain functions best with the best food. Eating the best food that is high in nutrients and vitamins will allow your brain to stay healthy. Eating low quality foods can actually damage the brain. It has been found that diets high in sugar are especially damaging to the brain. This can worsen or create symptoms of depression.

How foods affect how you feel:

Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood. Serotonin is developed in the gastrointestinal tract so it makes sense that what you eat would have a great effect on your mood. What’s more is that your body creates “good bacteria” when given the right foods which have a direct effect on the serotonin neurons. These bacteria play an essential role in the digestive system by preventing inflammation and fighting bad bacteria. It’s important to eat well to promote the growth of this “good bacteria”. It has been shown that following a traditional diet of lean proteins, greens, and carbs lowers your risk of depression greatly. The typical western diet does not promote clean eating and instead emphasizes eating processed foods.

What does this mean for you?:

To start transforming your eating habits start paying attention to how you feel after eating the foods you do. Do you immediately feel bloated and uncomfortable? If so these foods are clearly not good for your digestive tract and are doing damage to your “good bacteria”. If you feel full but nourished and healthy the foods you eat are doing good things in your body. If you constantly feel bad try eating clean for 1-3 weeks and see how it changes your mood and overall feeling of health. Many report feeling much better after a few weeks of eating clean. If you wish to eat clean there are plenty of options and recipes out there.

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Benefits of Meditation

More now than ever the world is a stressful place to live. Up and downs are normal due to stress, anxiety, and depression. Finding ways to combat these feelings is very important. Meditation is a great tool for reducing stress and improving your sense of well being.

Practicing meditation on a regular basis has been shown to have positive effects on your mental health. It’s important to practice regularly to receive the greatest benefits.

How to meditate:

Meditation can be difficult but with practice and persistence it becomes easier. To meditate start by finding a place where you will not be disturbed. Pick a predetermined amount of time 5-10 minutes is a good start. Get into a comfortable seated or lying down position. Begin by focusing on your breath. Focus on the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils and leaving out of your mouth. Counting during your breaths can help to keep you even more focused. If your mind begins to wander bring your focus back to your breath. Try to avoid thought and keep your mind quiet. This will become easier over time. As you practice more you can begin to meditate for longer.

Many people love to start their day with meditation. It’s a great way to clear the mind and have a positive outlook for the day. It doesn’t matter when you meditate. If you are not a morning person any time of the day works.

Benefits of meditation:

Some of the benefits of mediation include Stress reduction, Increased ability to concentrate, Increased self-esteem, Greater self-acceptance, Increased happiness and peace of mind, Reduced levels of depression and anxiety, Lower blood pressure, Increased self-awareness, Stronger immune system, Improved cardiovascular health, and Better sleep.

Meditation is a great tool to deal with the fast paced stress inducing world we live in. If you keep your mind open and accept it into your life as a daily practice you can watch your outlook become more and more positive.

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/benefits-of-meditation-for-stress-relief-0220185

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How Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health

In the world we live in people are spending more time on social media than ever before. As of 2020 half of the world’s population are active social media users. Because of this medical professionals are looking into the negative effects that social media can have on your mental health.

Why is it hard to resist using social media?:

It’s human nature to seek approval and social interaction from others. It has been this way since the beginning of time. In the past people lived in more tight knit communities and had more shared time together. However now people live at much larger distances and spend less time face to face. Because of this we find most of our interaction coming from social media and the internet. This need is ingrained in our DNA so it keeps us sucked into our phone screens.

Social media and negative health effects:

Because connection is easier than ever people have become addicted to social media and their devices. With notifications constantly going off on your phone you may have found it hard to concentrate on other tasks. This is why it can be beneficial to put your phone in another room while you are working. The need to look at every notification on your phone can be seen as an addiction.

Another mental illness that can be caused from social media is depression. It has been found that the flood of dopamine that we receive from looking at social media can cause a shift in our reward system from other things in life. You may not feel as much joy experiencing things because of the amount of time you spend on social media. Depression has also been linked to comparing your life to someone else’s which social media tends to link itself too.

Social media isn’t all bad. It has created a world where we can connect in new and exciting ways which brings us closer as humans. However, you have to be careful and aware of the role it plays in your life. Limit yourself to an hour of social media a day and make sure to take time to do things for your own health.

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Mental Health and The Pet Effect

Living in the modern demanding world can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. It’s become the norm to experience things such as depression and anxiety and that can take a toll on your life. Pets have been scientifically proven to help reduce the effects of anxiety and depression and improve their owners lives.

People’s lives have been changed forever from technologies like social media and smartphones. These technologies have allowed us to connect in ways that were never possible in the past, but it has also increased the speed and amount of news and information we consume. This overwhelming amount of information can have a negative effect on one’s mental health, but there’s an answer sitting at home for you. Your furry friend.

This is called the Pet Effect, the bond you have between your pet and you which is mutually beneficial to the health of both of you. Any pet owner knows the benefits of the companionship of a furry friend in their lives. Because of this 98% of pet owners consider their pet a member of the family.

It has been found that spending time with a companion animal can have a greatly positive effect on your mental health. It has been found that just interacting with your animal will decrease the amount of anxiety and stress immediately and increase oxytocin in your brain. Oxytocin is linked to feelings of calmness and love. These animals have also been found to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation in individuals increasing their quality of life.

Feeling lonely, don’t pick up your phone, take your furry friend to the park!

https://mhanational.org/blog/better-mental-health-experience-pet-effect