Despite 70 per cent of the UK saying they believe mental and physical wellbeing are as important as one another, people in the UK are not trying to improve mental health as much as they are their physical fitness and so struggling to reduce anxiety.
It has been revealed that people choose to spend more than twice as much time and money on activities for their physical health compared to those that improve mental health.
The study by Forest Holidays also discovered that more than a quarter of Brits said they wouldn’t know how to improve their mental wellbeing and or reduce anxiety.
If you’re reading this and you’re in that 27 per cent, or you simply know you need to give your mind a little more love, here are three ways to help with depression and reduce anxiety:
Get out of the gym and get into nature
Exercise, for many, has a massive impact on their psychological well-being. It may be cold now, but that shouldn’t stop you getting out and about.
In 2013 the charity Mind released a study from the University of Essex stating that being around nature improves mental health, helps people with mental health problems return to work, reduces social isolation, boosts self-esteem, improves energy and, hand-in-hand with being out-and-about is an improvement to physical health.
This is called ‘ecotherapy’. It may seem easier said than done, but it can have a powerful effect. Just remember the focus is on your mind, not your body. All it needs to be is a walk, not a strenuous run.
Sleep = sad
Emotional well-being is hugely effected by sleep, but the effect is more than a little day-to-day grumpiness.
Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine revealed that people who have little or poor sleep are much more likely to suffer from depression and other psychiatric disorders.
If you’re sleep patterns might be putting you at risk why not download an app? My personal favourite is Mind. The meditation guides are perfect and can be specific to various situations and it even has bedtime stories for adults! Listening to somebody speak helps me to stop overthinking at night and fall asleep easier.
The easiest way to make sure you’re getting enough sleep is of course to go to bed earlier, so start setting your bedtime and limit TV/phone time just before.
Keep a journal
Research published in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment found that writing about stressful or emotional events for 15-20 minutes every day helped people to deal with future stress better.
In my experience people with depression or anxiety can struggle to voice their problems, or, when they do, feel like they haven’t received the reaction or understanding they had hoped for. This could help overcome that added issue.
Even if there is nothing in particular that has occurred, write down how you feel and explore your emotions. Avoid getting bogged down with a fancy (but somewhat complicated) bullet journal, keep it simple and stress-free.