Anxiety and mental health are two of the most crucial issues to consider in modern society, especially in light of the increasing prevalence of both disorders. Anxiety and mental health issues can have a huge impact on one’s quality of life and can interfere with everyday activities.
Fortunately, mental health and anxiety can be managed through various holistic strategies, such as proper nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. One of the most effective ways to take care of your mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety is to eat a healthy diet. Eating the right types of foods can help you feel calmer and maintain a healthy mental state.
Below is a list of some of the best foods to include in your diet if you want to reduce anxiety and promote mental wellness.
- Omega-3 rich Fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and promote general mental wellness. Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve cognitive abilities, reduce inflammation, and help regulate serotonin levels.
- Walnuts and Flaxseed: Walnuts and flaxseed are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and they are also rich in other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B, magnesium, and phosphorus. They can help improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and promote good mental health.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which is important for proper functioning of the nervous system, and can help reduce anxiety and stress. Studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate can reduce symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and iron. They also contain a good amount of antioxidants, which can help reduce stress and promote overall health.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation, stress, and anxiety. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which can help boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Fermented Foods: Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help balance your gut bacteria and improve your digestion. Probiotics can also help improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote mental wellness.
- Avocados: Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and fiber, which can help reduce stress and improve mental health. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as essential fatty acids and proteins. They can help improve cognitive function and reduce stress.
- Oats and Quinoa: Oats and quinoa are great sources of complex carbohydrates, which can help boost your energy levels and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. They are also a good source of magnesium.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats, which can help reduce stress and improve mental health. It also contains lauric acid, which can help reduce inflammation and promote good mental health.
By including these healthy, nutrient-dense foods in your diet, you can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote mental wellness. It’s important to also make sure that you are getting adequate exercise, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels. If you’re struggling with anxiety or mental health issues, it’s important to speak to a medical professional and get the necessary help.
Tips to get better mental health
Mental health is a vital aspect of our health and wellbeing. Looking after your mental health is important to help manage stress, reduce the likelihood of depression and anxiety, and improve your overall well-being.
- Know Your Limits
One of the most important things to do when trying to improve your mental health is to know your limits. Everyone has different stress triggers and tolerance levels, so it is important to recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and need to take a break. It is okay to say no to extra tasks or obligations if it would be too much for you to handle.
- Practice Self-care
Self-care is an important way to look after your mental health. Take time for yourself to do activities that bring you joy and relaxation such as reading a book, going for a walk, or taking a bath. Self-care also includes proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercise.
- Seek Professional Help
If your mental health problems become more severe or you feel like they are impacting your daily life, it is important to seek professional help. Mental health professionals such as counsellors, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals can provide you with the necessary help and support to manage your mental health issues.
- Connect With Others
Humans are social creatures and connection with others is essential to our mental health. Spend time with friends and family and make time for activities that make you happy. This could be joining a club or a sports team, learning a new skill, or simply having coffee or lunch with someone.
- Make Time for Relaxation
Spending time alone in quiet relaxation is an important way to look after your mental health. This could be reading a book, meditating, or listening to music. Make sure to take regular breaks throughout your day to close your eyes and breathe deeply.
- Monitor Your Thoughts
Observe your thoughts and be mindful of any negative self-talk that may come up. Replace unhelpful thought patterns with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself like you would a friend and allow yourself space to feel your feelings.
- Get Outdoors
Make time to get outside and appreciate the beauty of nature. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of being in nature on mental health. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block, being outside can reduce stress and improve your wellbeing.
- Speak Up
It is important to find healthy ways to express and speak up about your feelings. There are many options available such as keeping a journal, talking to friends and family, or joining supportive online communities. By speaking up, you are more likely to receive the help and support you need.
- Change Your Environment
Sometimes it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. This can be as simple as trying a new restaurant, taking a different route to work, or exploring a new park. These small changes can boost creativity, help you gain new perspectives, and keep life feeling fresh and exciting.
- Foster Gratitude
Spend time focusing on the positive aspects of your life and cultivating a feeling of gratitude. This could be as simple as taking a moment each day to list a few things you’re thankful for or sharing thank you cards with people close to you. Expressing gratitude can help reduce stress and give you a more positive outlook on life.
By following these tips, you should be able to better manage your mental health and maintain a healthy balance. Everyone’s experience with mental health is different, so if at any time you need additional help, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Your mental health is worth taking care of.