The mind is an incredible thing. Within yours is everything that defines you: Your personality, your tastes, your hobbies, your knowledge, your memories, and so much more. That’s why caring for your mind is one of the most important responsibilities that you have. The actions that you take—or fail to take—can make all the difference in things like mental health, happiness, mental acuity, and late-in-life considerations.
Mental Illness and Mental Healthcare
Not everyone realizes it, but mental health is every bit as critical to overall health as is physical health. Just like your physical health, your mental health requires regular care, is affected by healthy and unhealthy habits, and can be afflicted by dangerous and even deadly diseases.
You should consider trips to mental health professionals to be every bit as indispensable as trips to the doctors and other professionals who you trust for your physical care. Just as regular check-ups and emergency care for illnesses and injuries are critical for your physical health, so is it critical to work with mental health experts regularly and to be proactive in caring for mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Caring for your mental health may involve talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Your mental health outcomes will also depend on your own commitment to doing the right things. For instance, talk therapy will give you the tools that you need to address negative thinking and stress in your daily life—but it will still be up to you to use those tools when the moment is right.
Maintaining Healthy Habits
The little things that you do every day can combine to exert major force on your mental health. Take supplements and nutrition, for instance. A healthy diet has been proven to contribute to better mental health. Similarly, a poor diet full of processed junk foods can harm your mental health. Supplements can make a difference too. CBD, for example, is a popular choice for people who suffer from anxiety. Experts believe that CBD may counter some of the symptoms of anxiety. And while CBD is derived from cannabis, it won’t get you high. That’s why you might want to buy CBD edibles and make taking CBD a regular and healthy habit.
Exercise is important, too. Regular exercise is good for your mind, not just your body. Exercise releases endorphins, which elevate a person’s mood. Plus, regular exercise will help keep you physically strong and at a healthy weight, both of which are good for your mental health and energy levels.
Sharpening Your Mind
Your brain is not a muscle, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise it. Indeed, experts believe that certain cerebral activities can keep your mind sharper and even, in some cases, delay the onset of late-in-life mental health issues like dementia.
Those cheesy smartphone apps that promise to “train your brain” won’t cut it, though—their claims are unproven and extremely dubious. So what does work? Researchers believe that learning a foreign language does, for starters. The process of learning multiple languages can build a stronger mind, according to researchers who have found that polyglots tend to keep dementia at bay for years longer than do those who know only one language.
Your Mind Late in Life
Caring for your mind will give you the best possible chance of the longest possible life of mental clarity and health. It’s important to note, though, that not all diseases of the mind and brain are preventable. Alzheimer’s is a grim reminder of how fragile our own minds can be. The good news, though, is that some great organizations are working to fund research on Alzheimer’s, giving the medical field hope of finding ways to limit its impact or perhaps even prevent it.
Remember that every moment with a sharp mind is a gift. Make the most of the mind that you have. Keep it sharp, and care for your mental health.