How A Healthy Lifestyle Helped With My Mental Health

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Daniel Blake-Akpom

Since the age of about 13, I have always struggled with depression and anxiety. For as long as I could remember at the time, meditation and taking magnesium supplements seemed to be the only things that would help reduce my levels of anxiety and depression.
Fast forward to the age of about 16; I became very interested and passionate about taking supplements and adopting a healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t until the age of about 19 that I started to realise that my symptoms of anxiety and depression significantly reduced over the years, thanks to my commitment to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Connection/Link Between Psychological Well-being and Physiological Well-being

At the age of about 19 I started to realise that there was a very strong powerful link/connection between physiological well-being, i.e., exercise, sleep, diet, etc. and psychological well-being (levels of happiness, joy etc…)

20 was the age when I started to realise that if I wanted to significantly reduce my risks/chances of experiencing both anxiety and depression, I had to do everything it took to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This meant improving my diet, exercising, getting good sleep, meditation etc… I knew at the time that if a healthy lifestyle could have such a positive impact on a person’s overall mood, it only makes sense that adopting an unhealthy lifestyle has the complete opposite effect, worsening a person’s mood and increasing the likelihood of them suffering from both anxiety and depression.

The Dangers Of Unhealthy Ways Coping Mechanisms To Address Mental Health Problems

Throughout my years of experiencing and dealing with both depression and anxiety, I have personally been fortunate enough to never turn towards alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, smoking, and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Alcohol, sex, drug abuse, etc., are usually harmful, destructive behaviours people often exhibit as a way of filling a void in their life. For instance, most alcoholics, gamblers, drug addicts tend to turn towards these bad habits as coping mechanisms to get over mental health challenges they may be facing such as depression, anxiety, or any stress or hardship they may be going through.

The dangers of adopting unhealthy habits, i.e., alcohol, gambling, etc., is that they provide short-term immediate gratification and happiness when in truth, these harmful habits do nothing but eat away at a person’s overall health. You see, these harmful coping mechanisms tend to address and treat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems rather than addressing the root cause/problem that is in the way.

Below are a list of health and wellness strategies that have personally worked well for me over the years, when fighting against both anxiety and depression

  • Taking Magnesium Supplements
  • Going For Walks In Nature
  • Taking adaptogenic herbs (Ashwagandaha)
  • Writing in a Journal
  • Self Therapy
  • Consuming L-Tyro sine Supplements
  • Meditation
  • Deep Breathing

How Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle Has Personally Helped Me With My Mental Health Over The Years.

Adopting healthy habits over the years, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, optimising sleep, etc… has not only reduced incidences of both anxiety and depression, but has improved my overall mood and levels of happiness. Looking back I truly believe that if I wasn’t invested into my health over the years, I strongly feel that my mental health i.e. feelings of anxiety and depression would have been much worse.

I truly believe that had I over the years adopted an unhealthy lifestyle, it would have acted as a catalyst and trigger for both my anxiety and depression. I am very confident that an unhealthy lifestyle would have made my symptoms of depression and anxiety a lot worse in comparison to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

For anyone struggling with mental health, I strongly believe that adopting a healthy lifestyle is the key to mitigating depression/anxiety while promoting happiness, joy and an overall positive mood. There is a very strong correlation/connection between a person’s mood and physiology.

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