Simple measures in a not-so-simple digital era
Current mental health statistics claim one in four adults suffer from mental health disorders, as do one in ten children. Such worrying stats have been linked to social media and technology, as well as other influences, prompting us to question our behavior as subjects of modern living; are we taking the right steps, if any, to help prevent the newfound stresses of the digital age?
The frantic pace of the cyber world has become so demanding, that it has started to take its toll; “update your device, apps!”, “sign up for limited offers”, and reply to never-ending email and instant-messaging chains. Users as a result are feeling the pressure to disconnect whilst substituting self-care measures in the process.
Making waves – there’s something in the water
Locate a blue space
Embarking on a weekend away can be one of the most effective solutions to a foggy head. Finding a cozy dwelling in a desolate, scenic space is most ideal, but not feasible or attainable for some. Swap infinite green terrain and low Wi-Fi signal for a local lake in a nearby park. Recent statistics have proven that by standing in range of a ‘blue space’, can produce a feel-good effect that is equal to fleeting off into the wilderness: Michael Depledge, chair of Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School said: “spending time near flowing water, can slow down heart rate and reduce stress hormones.”
Slosh back H2O
Many of us experience dehydration unknowingly. Did you know that from simply breathing we are using up H2O? With this considered, other bodily functions such as sweating and urinating, highlight the large amounts of fluid we’re losing in relation to the small amount we’re consuming. By flouting the general rule of “eight glasses of water a day” we’re actively damaging our health, energy levels and general mood. Thus, to attain optimum functionality from our brain and body – made up predominantly of water – we must glug down the good stuff in order to maximize concentration levels, avoid headaches and radiate positivity – it’s that easy.
Sweat it out
Exercise is often drummed into our daily lifestyles via unrealistic societal ideals and anti-junk-food spiel. But ‘working out’ as little as once a week goes way beyond trivial factors such as attaining abs of steal in time for summer. Undoubtedly, physical improvements are desirable, but not as rewarding as a fully functional nervous system. Research from the Department of Health claims that 60 minutes of exercise per week can prevent 12% of cases of depression.
Additionally, if you up your sessions to three times a week, revolutionary results have proven that you can reduce your risk of depression by 30%. Psychiatrist Madhukar Trivedi states that three 45-60 minute workouts per week can treat chronic depression – results are noticeable after as little as four weeks. Engaging in physical activity – which can be anything from pavement pounding to a brisk evening walk – releases serotonin, a natural feel-good neurotransmitter, that contributes to a life-changing happier state of mind.
Water and exercise; a blissful duo
Water is all-consuming and a proven solution to bettering personal wellbeing. From drinking, sweating and existing near water, you can elevate your lifestyle. So, what happens when you merge water and exercise together? As expected, the results are effective. A recent case study documented on BBC, portrayed a struggling Doctor, dependent on anti-depressants from age 17, come off medication by result of cold-water swimming.
Evidence suggests that jumping into cold water evokes a survival “stress response” reaction that copes with potential threats. This, combined with physical exercise helps to lift depression and anxiety. Similarly, surfing works wonders too. A 2014 study showed an improved mood and “release from suffering” in veterans who had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. By combining nature’s meditative waves and athletic activity, occupants struggling with mental health have effectively reduced undesirable symptoms, highlighting the benefits of challenging your heart rate, embracing aqua and the outdoors.
Do you underestimate the importance of water? Are you drinking enough? Comment below with your thoughts.