Mental Health: All About Healthy and Happy Men

It is stated that being in good mental health allows us to fully appreciate and enjoy other people, daily life, and our surroundings. Making more time for the things we enjoy can also contribute to our happiness and mental health.

According to the Head to Health website, those who participate in hobbies are less likely to experience stress, depressive symptoms, and low mood. You may feel happier and more at ease after engaging in activities that get you moving around. Your interpersonal relationships and communication skills can be improved through group activities like team sports.

Your interests could be artistic, athletic, scholarly, or wholly unique. You can even decide on a passion that you can do both by yourself and with other people.

Making time for the activities you truly enjoy improves your mental health because pleasant occurrences lead to positive emotions that cancel out bad thoughts.

Positivity is your weapon

Being in a “state of flow” is defined as being so deeply engrossed in a joyful activity that you lose track of time. According to Health Direct, this typically occurs when the difficulty level is approximately right for your skill level. Flow can occur when working, engaging in hobbies, the arts, or sports.

One of the founders of positive psychology claimed that happiness has three cultivable dimensions: the good life, the fulfilling life, and the enjoyable life.

Living a “Pleasant Life” entails learning to savor and value basic pleasures like companionship, the natural world, and our bodily requirements, according to Martin Seligman, author of the international best-seller Genuine Happiness.

Seligman says that in addition to learning how to think positively about the past and developing optimism and hope for a better future, it is crucial to fully appreciate the delights of life in the now and to have a proper self-care routine.

If you’re unsure of what you like doing, you might want to start by making a list.

However, before we talk about making lists and how that can help you. we also made a list of things you can do to become happy and healthy.

Let’s dive in.

Be healthy

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

Simply “be healthy.” Looking at how you treat your physical body is a good place to start if you want to be healthy. It is not only a smart course of action for keeping improved physical health, but it also has a hugely positive impact on your outlook.

Here are four effective strategies to accomplish that.

Get a good night’s sleep

This one should go without saying, but it can be challenging for people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for more than a few hours.

Developing a meditation or relaxation practice that you can use in bed, or before you turn in, as well as putting your worries or unfinished business aside are some techniques for developing better sleep habits.

Other techniques include avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants at night (at least in large amounts and close to bedtime.

Turning off digital devices and screens an hour before you turn in, and banning them from the bedroom. Of course, the likelihood that you will have a restful night’s sleep increases the more physically active you are during the day.

Depending on your individual needs, you should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day to support your body’s recovery and repair as well as your brain growth, cardiac health, and metabolism.

Sleep is beneficial for mood and memory. Chronic health issues like obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poor mental health are exacerbated by persistently poor sleep habits.

You can check the Sleep Health Foundation or the Sleep Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (SDTC) to learn how much sleep you need to get and how to establish healthy sleeping habits.

Eat Healthily

Men consume less fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, nuts, and seeds in their diets. Nonetheless, they do often consume higher levels of processed meat, sodium, and lipids. 30 male deaths per day have been attributed to poor nutrition.

Eating better is a straightforward way to improve your mental (and physical) health.

Consume foods that are fresh off the ground, haven’t been packaged, and favorably those that don’t have a heart(pun fully intended).

Visit the Kenyan Guide to Healthy Eating for more information at Food-based dietary guidelines- Kenya

Reduce your Alcohol/Other Drugs intake

According to the National Library of Medicine, men, in particular, use drugs and alcohol to cope with anxiety and depression, Which only increases the symptoms and further deterioration of their mental health.

According to Australian guidelines, you should have at least two alcohol-free days per week, no more than four standard drinks per day, and no more than ten standard drinks per week.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)in Australia recently launched an online tool to assist men in cutting back on their alcohol consumption. 

It’s called TOM because, according to research conducted by FARE in the ACT, one-third of men (TOM) wanted to cut back or stop drinking entirely.

Alcohol has a significant impact on mental health because it slows your body and changes the chemical makeup of your brain.

This has the potential to affect feelings, energy levels, sleeping habits, ability to focus, and memory. For people who are already struggling, there is a link between risky behavior, increased aggression, self-harm, and suicide. Then there’s the general physical impact: hypertension, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, and weight gain.

Drugs can also depress you in a variety of serious ways, depending on what you’re taking and how much of it you’re taking

Get Regular Health Check-ups

It is critical to see your doctor for both physical and mental issues. Don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns with your doctor and request a referral.

It is preferable to find a GP with whom you are comfortable speaking openly and honestly. Seek advice from friends, colleagues, or other health professionals. If you want a doctor who understands your culture, sexuality, language, and so on.

It is important to be physically active

Exercise takes many forms as do the people who prioritize exercise on a regular basis. Daily exercise has incredible benefits for both the body and the mind. It activates chemicals that boost your mood and improve your focus and memory. It lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Below are ideas on levels of physical activity you can engage in for better mental health:

Make an effort to engage in physical activity daily (cycling, a walk, a swim, gardening, jogging, etc). If you are currently inactive, begin slowly and gradually increase your physical activity.

The popular 30-minute-a-day goal can be broken down into 15-minute increments.

2 12 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity or 14 to 2 and 1/2 hours of vigorous activity per week.

Muscle-strengthening exercises should be performed at least twice a week.

Social exercise also checks several boxes.

A round of golf, a group workout at the gym, a pilates class, club cycling, trekking, or whatever activity which involves more than one person makes individuals more socially connected, which is one of the most important foundations for living a healthier and happier life.

In recent years, the power of team sports has been harnessed to help men improve their health and well-being. For example, MAN vs FAT Soccer, a University of Western Australia initiative, is a soccer league for men who want to lose weight. Players are rewarded not only for goals scored but also for losing weight.

Stay Connected

One of the most important determinants of mental health is social connection.

While you don’t have to have 1000 friends on social media, in-person contact with friends, relatives, coworkers, or other associates can help alleviate loneliness, anxiety, and depression and improve your mental health.

People who are more socially connected are less likely to develop depression, and if they do, they are less likely to have persistent and recurring episodes.

It is common for men to experience loneliness and lose touch with friends as they age, particularly between the ages of 35 and 54.

Developing social connections with people can be difficult especially if you aren’t sure how to start. However,  Small actions, can go a long way toward establishing a foundation of support and friendship that will improve your quality of life.

Here are some suggestions for increasing your social connections:

  • Maintain existing relationships. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken with in a while
  • Communicate with others, and start conversations with people you see on daily basis. Make an effort to be friendly
  • Participate in sports, walking, or hobby group (see get active).
  • Volunteer to assist.
  • Participate in a community event.
  • Maintain your online presence. The internet can help you stay in touch with family and friends no matter where they are.

Help Other people

Helping others boosts social well-being and can take many forms. Giving up your seat on public transportation, making a donation to someone on the street, and other small acts of kindness as simple as volunteering or helping a friend.

you may not know it, but volunteering has several advantages,  including:

  • Creating more solid social networks and friendships
  • Increasing your mental and physical activity
  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Sleep enhancement
  • acquiring new abilities
  • Increasing your chances of landing a job
  • If you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start, look through the Volunteer Website.

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.

Chinese Proverb

Be strong, strength matters

While weight training is recommended for optimal health if done safely, lifting dumbbells is not what we were thinking of when we outlined the 5th Character of Mentally Healthy Men as  Be strong.

This characteristic is about recognizing your strengths and putting them to good use.

Finding out what you’re really good at and putting those skills to use, according to Health Direct, can boost your happiness. Using your strengths to assist others or contribute to the community creates a sense of meaning and purpose, which is beneficial to our mental health.

  • You have good mental health if:
  • You are self-assured in new situations.
  • When you are optimistic, 
  • you do not always blame yourself.
  • you set objectives
  • You have high self-esteem because you feel good about yourself.

List your strengths

Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths (as well as First, Break All The Rules), advises readers to pay attention to times when they feel energized, inquisitive, and productive. “These are hints as to what your strengths are.”

Which compliments do you tend to dismiss? Keep an ear out for positive comments about you or something you’ve been involved in. Don’t avoid or dismiss positive compliments. Pay attention to what is being said and take these compliments into consideration.

Fortunately, skills can be acquired. The sky is the limit if you want to learn or improve on something.

According to Business Insider, listing ALL of your skills on cards and looking for patterns, or categorizing them as “skills I love doing,” “skills I get paid the most for,” “skills I want to improve,” or “skills I haven’t used in a long time,” is a good idea.

The next step is to keep these cards visible, in a few places, including your pocket, and to review them on a regular basis.

If you end up with a note card of “I have no skills”, call a friend. Grab a cup of coffee and ask them directly, “What do you think my skills are?”

Seeing what skills you have on index cards often raises your awareness of what’s missing and gives you a head start on identifying new skills you might need to get a new job or to get out of a career rut.

Resilience is your weapon

Being resilient, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help protect you from a variety of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Resilience can also assist you in navigating and coping with life challenges that increase your risk of developing mental health conditions.

When you have resilience, you get the inner strength that helps you bounce back from challenges such as loss of employment, ailments, a tragedy, or the loss of a loved one.

On the other hand, If you lack resilience, you may dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed, or resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse.

Resilience won’t necessarily make your challenges go away — but it can allow you to develop the capacity to see well beyond them, find happiness in everything, and better deal with stress.

Get a support system

Having access to help-giving support services when needed can help you maintain your mental health.

Helplines, support groups, a doctor, or a mental health professional are examples of such resources.

Mainstream pathology is limited and dated, consider seeking assistance from online support groups. The world is changing dramatically as a result of technology and the abundance of connections we now have. 

Here are a few reasons why a support system is important.

  • They help to reduce anxiety and worry while also reducing pain
  • Your allies In times of need
  • Reaching out is both courageous and beneficial

The takeaway

All of the habits listed above are important for a healthy mental life. Not one or two but all of them work together to bring out the best in a person.

I am curious, what other habits do you think are important in helping men all over the world become healthy and happy? get into the comment section and let’s have this conversation.

Acha Maoni

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