The pandemic has had a profound effect on all of us, but there is a silver lining for mental health in the form of greater awareness and increased resilience, according to the AXA Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing 2022.
The Harvard Medical School Health Blog also published an article positing how positive emotions can help us live longer and healthier. While there are countless factors that influence our mood such as our diet, physical activity, amount of sleep, and social activities, there are also some simple things you can do to help you give your mood a boost that contributes to your overall wellness on the road to a long and happy life.
As a company that protects people’s health and wellness, AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, shares these four things you can do to help uplift your mood and live a healthier life.
Look out the window and get some natural light. Being in an environment with access to windows and natural light can improve your mood and help your body deal with stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even prevent infections, according to the American Psychological Association. Simply keeping your window areas clear and opening your curtains can allow maximum natural light to enter your home and give you a much-needed boost.
Unplug, at least for a while. According to a study, people who use social media for more than three hours daily are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, and fear of missing out or FOMO. Try to make a conscious effort to limit your usage and log off from social media even just for an hour to focus on relaxing non-digital activities like meditation, journaling, or even decluttering. Something as simple as refraining from bringing your phone with you to bed can also help spare you from the unnecessary stressors associated with social media, allowing you to sleep better.
Get on your feet and exercise outdoors. Regular physical activity improves mental health and helps prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several cancers. This can be as simple as taking a 15-minute walk outdoors or even riding your bike to get around instead of driving to nearby locations. Moreover, spending time and feeling connected to nature is also linked to cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health, and emotional wellbeing, according to the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School. If you live in the city and are unable to head to a nearby province to commune with nature, there are still lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors, such as taking a walk at a strip mall, or doing activities like cycling, jogging, and doing yoga in an outside.
Build meaningful connections. Filipinos are known to have strong family ties, giving them a support system made up of generations of family members. This is just one example of how we make positive personal connections in life. Personal connection creates emotional stimulation, which is an automatic mood booster, according to a study by Harvard University School of Public Health Study. The AXA Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing also identified connectedness as one of the 10 key skills that help one become ‘fit to flourish,’ reaching the peak of mental health.
On the other hand, people with fewer active social contacts are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, delayed cancer recovery, slower wound healing, and mental health concerns. While activities such as volunteering and meeting up with loved ones can help you build meaningful connections, talking to mental health professionals can also help improve not only your mental health but also your overall health. By talking about your feelings and being honest and open, you can get the support that best suits your needs.
When we feel safe and protected, we find it easier to relax or focus on the things we need and want to do, resulting in better overall wellness. That’s why for many people, having health insurance coverage equates to peace of mind because of the feeling of security and protection that it gives.
For health care protection needs, Health Care Access from AXA Philippines is a comprehensive and affordable health care solution for hospitalization and medical needs. It comes with 24/7 teleconsultation, a Longevity Fund that you can use for medical emergencies when you reach age 76 and up, and life and accident coverage up to P500,000. Moreover, AXA also offers Health Max, a lifetime health coverage which has a critical illness coverage against 56 major and 18 minor conditions until age 100, plus an Advance Health Fund for medical emergencies, and life insurance.
Knowing you have a reliable partner like AXA Philippines to support your wellbeing through life can empower you to keep doing what matters most to you. To know more about AXA Health Care Access and Health Max, visit https://www.axa.com.ph/health-protection/health-care-access and https://www.axa.com.ph/health-protection/health-max.