Top tips for maintaining good mental health
International experts provide a list of actions people can take to maintain good mental health.
Leading experts have compiled a list of ways to stay mentally healthy.
Avoiding illegal drugs and debt as well as “putting pleasure first” were some of the steps people can take to stay mentally fit, according to research compiled by the Mental Health Foundation.
Spending time in parks and gardens can help, as can âstaying curious about new experiences,â he said.
People can also help maintain their mental health by staying physically fit and eating healthy, research shows.
The authors said the findings point to “life fundamentals that protect our mental health” and attacked the concept of “miracle cures” believed to improve well-being that “take advantage of people’s vulnerability.”
Researchers at the Mental Health Foundation wanted to find the best âpreventative self-management actionsâ – or healthy behaviors – that people can adopt to help maintain good mental health.
They asked a team of 23 international experts to come up with a list of behaviors that can help people maintain good mental health.
The actions were then presented to a group of nearly 1,500 people who have lived with a mental health problem who voted on the âmost appropriateâ actions people can take.
The list of behaviors, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, included:
– Avoid illegal drugs
– Avoid unmanageable debts
– Improve the quantity and quality of sleep
– Learn to understand, regulate and manage your mood
– Focus on pleasure or have something to look forward to
– Spend time in green spaces
– Ask for help
– Stay curious and open to (new) experiences
– Have a healthy diet
– Help others, contribute to something bigger
– Practice physical activity
– Practice gratitude and cultivate hope
– Strengthen social ties
– Get support for good parenting practices
The authors said the list “should be used in public messages and campaigns to protect and promote good mental health.”
Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Director of the Mental Health Foundation for England and Wales, said: âWe know that the means to put this advice into practice is not readily available to everyone.
âFor example, poverty, low education and isolation can mean that for some people it is not possible to avoid unmanageable debt.
âNow that we have this clear evidence, governments should take action that enables people to take better care of their own mental health.
âOur research shows that it’s the fundamentals of life that protect our mental health: our finances, our relationships and our experiences.
âTime and time again, we’ve seen a powerful wellness industry take advantage of people’s vulnerability to offer ‘miracle cures’ in return for improved wellness. Our evidence challenges the idea that this is what most people want.
âThe majority of people in our study, looking back on their experiences of poor mental health, told us that getting some support to avoid illicit drugs and unmanageable debt, sleep better, and regulate their emotions, is what they do. that would have made the biggest difference to them.