By Dr. Norizzati Azudin
Mental health is crucial at each stage of life. This includes emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing. The one aspect contributes to this is the stress we face in our daily lives. How do we stay mentally healthy and stress-free?
- Travel. Once in a while leave your usual routine and surroundings as escapism. It can as near as road trip to Taif. You don’t need to fly all the way to New York.
- Food. Believe it or not, food that you consume everyday contribute to your stress. Reduce excessive salt, sugar, and oil in your daily intake. Fresh food is the best.
- Water. We were always told to drink a lot of water but how does that affect your stress? Studies shows that dehydration increases the stress hormone.
- Coffee. I am addicted to coffee. We all are. Caffeine does contribute to stress. Does not mean that you should not drink it at all, just reduce the number of cups. Two per day, perhaps?
- Time. Do you experience a higher level of stress if you did not manage your time well? Time management is one trick to reduce stress. Plan every day ahead, especially what are you going to do tomorrow.
- Exercise. You can only tell your mind to be ‘calm’ when your body’s stress hormones are stable. This can only be done through moderate physical activities. Three times a week is good enough. This is our ‘fight or flight’ hormones that will protect harm to our body, including from stress.
- Laugh. When was the last time you laugh with your friends? Do you realize, you never stressed when you laughed? Call someone, watch a movie, or listen to stage comedians for this.
- Yoga. It is the most powerful relaxation techniques. Your body will directly be in a state of calmness and peace. Self-relaxation at its best.
- Talk. Mental health campaign is not going anywhere without this assistance. Talk to someone; family members, good friends, or psychiatrists if necessary. Keeping your worries and stress will not help if the rest above have failed.
- Sleep. Eight hours a day is the best, seven is minimum. No matter how busy you are, try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time as well. Our body especially the brains need sufficient relaxation. This is the last step to try before praying to God every day for the best.