Factors like Stress, Anxiety, Physical passivity e.t.c are everyday phenomenon that can get in the way of  your health. They are like health antagonists. The body must as always be prepared to handle them. Because if not, they are really capable of antagonizing your health. They can start by impairing your normal body functioning. With time, they might also have ran up your risks of having the big, killer diseases. Take Stress for instance.

Stress, for one, can be caused by the thought of having bills to pay, or working a truly physically demanding job. When your body is under stress, it is flooded with Cortisol, called “the Stress Hormone.” This is why Stress does what it does to your body. [1]

In the short-term, Stress can result into Anxiety, cause your judgement to cloud, thereby having effects on your mental health generally. Overtime, it is capable of a lot more worse such as increasing your risks of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disorders e.t.c [2]

Stress, and other health antagonists like it, will unavoidably be part of everyday life. Having a set of regular, stand-by practices will help you deal with them and stymie their potentially debilitating effects. Though some of the practices are ordinarily common– such as having enough Sleep– why you should adopt them is worth putting forward again.

Read on for the 5 Habits that will serve  your Mental and Physical Health In good stead. 


Have A Regular Bed Time:

Sleep deprivation is now common. It is sometimes due to being a student, or having a late night job. Whatever the cause, not having enough, regular sleep has consequences for your health.

To start with, sleep deprivation can spike up your Emotional reactions, resulting into Anxiety and Depression even. [3] Over time, it can raise your blood pressure, putting you at risks of having Heart Diseases. Increased risks of Obesity, Type II Diabetes e.t.c… are also linked with Chronic sleep deprivation. [4]

Our biology conditioned us to fall asleep at night. This is enabled by an internal biological clock, or the Circadian Clock, which tracks the activities of the body during the day and night, and triggers sleep when there is low light, namely at Night. [5] This Circadian Clock can easily be disrupted by erratic sleep habits, and when that happens, the aforementioned consequences ensue.

Having a regular, patterned sleep habit– waking and going to bed at a set time– will supply your with many benefits. Which include mood regulation, clear judgment, stress reduction, improved blood pressure e.t.c [6]… Daily, 7 – 9 hours of sleep is enough for body to get the benefits.  [7] Instead of missing out on sleep at night, you could space out your tasks during the day.


Be Physically Active For At Least 150 Minutes Every Week:

The nature of job contributes to the sedentary lifestyle that is now common with people. Imagine sitting at a spot for most hours of the day… Or, being Physically passive can be out of sheer habits. In any case, physical passivity antagonizes your health. For one thing, it increases your chance of being Overweight or Obese, which can lead to increased of having Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes Type II e.t.c. [8]

Being physically active will stand your body in good stead. Apart from keeping your body weight maintained– through burning off calories– it offers more benefits. Physical activity can strengthen your bone, regulate your blood pressure, help you to manage stress and sleep better. [9] Two studies, in particular, provide more reasons why you should be physically active.

The first one, published recently, found that moderate body weight– a result of frequent exercise– had helped people (especially men) lived up to the ripe age of 90. [10] The other study associated physical activity with improved cognitive functions, (reducing your risk of having diseases like Alzheimer later on) [11]

It doesn’t have to do with lifting heavy weight. Walking, swimming and running all count as physical activity. The recommendation is to have at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly. [12]


Meditate for 10 minutes Daily:

Meditation is the practice of focusing on your breathing and of being aware of your thoughts. Now supported by science, the act of meditation is a regular practice of the ancient Buddhist religion. For starters, it can help you improve your mental health.

It has been shown to help in stress reduction, to take care of anxiety, to help in managing depression. Meditating is also allied with improved self image and emotional control. [13]

In a particular 8 week study, more than 3000 reported gain in stress reduction, using Mindfulness Meditation, (a particular Meditation technique). [14] Meditation is also found elsewhere to help in lowering blood pressure, thereby playing a role in bringing down your risks of heart disease. [15]

There are different ways you can practice Meditation. You can start with putting aside 10 minutes daily, being in a quiet place, sitting erect, and focusing on your breath as it rises and falls. You could as well follow this link to know more about the different styles of meditation, and to access a free downloadable meditation guide.


Eat Vegetables and Fruits Regularly:

Cardiovascular disorders, Diabetes, Cancers( of every kind)– all are some of the serious diseases today. Up to 17.9 million  deaths occur yearly due to Cardiovascular disease, with many more suffering from Diabetes and various Cancers. [16]

What you take has a bearing on your health. Taking unhealthy diet is usually linked with high risks of having Cardiovascular Diseases. For one, diets high in bad fat –which spike your body’s Cholesterol levels– can put you up for a heart disease later on. [17]

You should consider having Vegetables and Fruits. Starting with the impact on body weight, taking Vegetables and fruits can help you fatten less,because they are low-calorie–  compared to other food kind (This will be advantageous if you are on a weight loss journey). They aid your digestion, too. You can also benefit a boost of antioxidants, which help your body to fight against cancer.

Fruits and Vegetables exist in many kinds, all having the unique nutrients they give your body. Having a wide range selection can let you enjoy all the benefits. According to The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian dietary guidelines, you should have 5 kinds of Vegetables and two kinds of fruits daily.


Journal For 15 minutes Daily:

According to a WHO report from 2018, one out of four people was found to be suffering from one mental illness or the other. From Worry to Depression to Anxiety (of different shades), mental illness are a thing to contend with now. [19]

Journaling can also improve your mental health.
While it does not promise solution for every mental illness imaginable, it indeed can help you to manage significantly some of the usual triggers that affect your mental health –such as stress, brooding, ruminations.

Journaling is the process of writing down one’s thoughts– and much of its benefits hinge on this process. A research from 2006, for instance, showed that people who were battling Major Depressive Disorder found relief in the three days of daily practice of 20 minutes expressive writing. [20] Generally, journaling helps in managing stress, anxiety e.t.c. This is by virtue of what it does: it lets  you identify your discursive thoughts, shift your viewpoint, making you see things in a new light.

A good way to start  journaling is devote at least 15 minutes daily, sitting in a quiet place, writing all that comes to your mind– without the worry of spellings or Grammar generally. The goal is to write down your thoughts rawly as they occur to you.

Published earlier on June 25, 2019 at www.dejikayode.com