We all want to live a better life. We want to be happier and healthier. But the problem is that most of us are looking for a magic pill to make that happen.

And, sadly, that pill doesn’t exist.

If you're looking for increased motivation, stamina, and an overall better mood, your best bet is to focus on your lifestyle because there's a good chance you're doing things to sabotage your mental and physical wellbeing every day.

In this post, we’re going to cover a few lifestyle changes you can make to build better mental and physical health.

Hydrate better

Everyone knows that drinking water is important for your overall health, but did you know that it’s crucial to your mental health too? When you’re dehydrated, the brain has to struggle to perform at its best. And this causes brain fog and an overall lack of clarity, which can lead to poor decision-making and poor emotional and mental health.

So if you find yourself struggling to stay focused and happy, ask yourself if you’re drinking enough water. As a general rule of thumb, you can aim to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily to build better mental and physical health.

If the goal seems insurmountable, think of it as a challenge. Fill a gallon jug of water and reward yourself for finishing it. Or enlist the help of a friend to take the challenge with you. There's always comfort in numbers.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol may be worse for your mental health than you know, especially if you’re binge drinking often. Binge drinking alcohol is a fast way to kill brain cells and reduce your overall mental function.

Overconsumption of alcohol is also likely to lead to depression. If you’re drinking too much alcohol, it’s time to slow down or quit. And if you’re concerned that you might have trouble quitting, seek professional help. Detoxing from alcohol may require medical intervention because there can be severe physical side effects.

If you can, try to address the issue before it leads to alcoholism. Daily drinking can easily lead to alcoholism, so try to drink in moderation.

Find healthy outlets for stress

Stress can be dangerous for your mental and physical health, especially when it’s chronic. And, unfortunately, removing stress entirely isn’t an option in today’s modern world. Instead, the best we can do is to find healthy outlets for stress.

Massage therapy can help improve depression and anxiety symptoms, so it can be a good outlet for stress. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are also great outlets for stress. 

Without healthy outlets for stress, you may end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and/or developing stress-induced chronic disease.

Eat better

Whole foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes provide nutrients that help support brain function, including magnesium, zinc, folate, and essential fatty acids.

Adding foods rich in polyphenols like berries, dark chocolate, red wine and tea can also help boost brain function.

When you replace processed foods with whole foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, you can instantly upgrade your nutritional intake and improve your brain power over time.

Practice good sleep hygiene

Anyone who has ever pulled an all-nighter knows that you're not going to be at your best after a night without sleep. That's why good sleep hygiene is so important. Positive sleep hygiene techniques are meant to improve sleep quality and help abolish insomnia. In order to get a better night's rest, lay off the caffeine (especially after 3 pm), set a regular bedtime, and wake up at the same time each morning. If you still struggle to get some sleep, you may want to try a natural sleep remedy or talk to your doctor about potential solutions. Good sleep is so essential for your mental and emotional health.

If you're struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, try any or all of the lifestyle changes outlined here as a natural way to build better mental health. And if you're struggling with serious depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor about potential solutions.

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