• Laura Rahel Crosby

Two Simple but Fundamental Habits that Help Anxiety and Depression

Mental health is such a broad topic, we can often deep dive into research when trying to find a solution to a particular problem. Research turns up numerous potential treatment approaches, from therapy and counseling interventions to self-help tips. However, sometimes the simplest approach to a mental health problem is the most important and effective one. Research can act as a way of procrastinating instead of taking the simple but difficult actions that are the basic fundamentals of our wellbeing.

Today we are going to talk about two of the most important lifestyle habits that can help ease anxiety and depression symptoms. These lifestyle habits are building blocks for positive wellbeing and mental health. Don't mistake "simple" as being easy though. Most people have heard these tips but fail to implement change because we underestimate the major impact these changes can make. Lifestyle habits can be inconvenient and difficult to change. However, the two basic habits we talk about below are so significant, counselors are taught that often times, implementing these lifestyle habits can make all the difference in how a person feels. Counseling, doctors, and other resources are important tools for helping us on our mental health journey. We also have the power within ourselves to make lifestyle changes that result in major improvements in our mental health. Here are the two lifestyle factors you should evaluate if you're struggling with anxiety or depression:

Two Simple but Fundamental Habits that Help Anxiety and Depression

1. Sleep

How are your sleep habits? Do you usually fall asleep and wake around the same time every day? Do you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night? Do you get a good rest with minimal interruptions when you sleep? Answer each of those questions and see what might be lacking. If you answered no to any of those questions, your sleep could be having a major impact on your mental health. Anxiety and depression can cause sleep disruptions, but they also flourish with poor sleeping habits. It is a self-destructive cycle where you don't sleep well because of worried or upsetting thoughts and then your mental health gets even worse without proper sleep. This means if you struggle with anxiety or depression, adjusting your sleep habits so you can answer yes to the above questions is vitally important to helping you feel better. Again, proper sleep habits are commonly talked about thing, but that doesn't mean it's easy to implement. It requires change, action, and determination to a establish healthier sleeping pattern. There

2. Moving Your Body

Do you regularly move your body? Do you move your body on a daily basis for at least 30 minutes a day? Healthy movement comes in many different forms; it can look like walking, stretching, yoga, playing a game of tag outside, swimming, skateboarding, and more. Moving our bodies for at least 30 minutes every day is so beneficial for our mental, emotional, and physical health. It helps us process our thoughts and feelings, it helps us release energy in a healthy way, it keeps our mind and body active and energized. The key is finding movement that feels good to you and is realistic for your life. For a busy parent, maybe it’s 30 minutes running around with the kids outside. For a college student, maybe it’s walking the family dog every day. For a child, it may be playing a game of tag with neighborhood friends or roller skating in their driveway. Incorporating healthy, regular movement of our body into our lives is key to helping us regulate our emotions, and it helps our mind fight depression and anxiety by using up pent up energy, keeping our mind focused on the present moment, and more. It’s an essential part of physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’ve been struggling with sad, anxious, depressed, or worried feelings and thoughts, make a new goal to find a form of movement you enjoy and start practicing it for 30 minutes each day. It’s a natural and easy way to help our bodies and minds feel better on a regular basis.

How did you answer the above questions on your sleeping and movement habits? Is your current lifestyle helping you achieve a healthy mindset and overall wellbeing? Mental health is interwoven with our physical bodies. Tending to these two physical lifestyle habits will help you feel more positive, more energized, and more alive.

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