Keep a Diary of Your Feelings
Many people who struggle with negative emotions or thoughts find it helpful to express them in written form in a diary. In fact, the University of Rochester has put together its own guide to help people start doing this in an article called “Journaling for Mental Health”.
It is really very easy to get started. First, you should make sure that you put aside a few minutes every day to write in your diary, as this will help it become part of your routine. You should be sure to write in a form that suits you, whether this means buying a physical diary and keeping it with a pen by your bed, starting a diary document on your computer, or even on your smartphone.
Remember that no one is judging what you write; it is an entirely private diary. Therefore, it doesn’t need to follow any particular kind of structure. It is your own personal domain where you can discuss your feelings in any way that you wish. Don’t worry about making it into a work of literature or ensuring that your spelling and grammar are perfect, simply write what comes naturally. Of course, if you want to you can share your diary with family and friends, but there is no reason why you should.
It has been found that keeping a regular diary can help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Today, many people find the act of writing on paper uncomfortable, but there are plenty of modern solutions, including diary apps for your smartphone. Do some research to find the method that you are most comfortable with. Also, take the time to look back at your previous entries, as you may be surprised by how interesting they are.
Take Exercise Breaks
It is very easy to fall into the trap of sitting at the computer all day playing casino games, especially considering the covid pandemic. However, a lack of physical activity is highly likely to affect your mental health. Many studies have found that aerobic exercise, such as jogging, swimming and walking, is a great aid to mental health. One particular study, called “Exercise for Mental Health” published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that exercise reduces anxiety and depression, improves mood, and leads to better cognitive function, which can only help at the blackjack tables.
Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny. There is no need to sign up for a gym and you only need to do about 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week to begin seeing the effects. This means that you could go for a short walk each day or one longer walk over the weekend. You should make sure that you push yourself so that it feels like exercise and of course, you can do more if you so wish.
Eat a Healthy Diet
People often talk about the relationship between a healthy body and a healthy mind, and one of the best things you can do for your body is to eat a healthy diet. Many studies have found that food plays a very important role in maintaining mental health.
One of the many important chemicals in our body is serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep and appetite, moods, and inhibit pain. Approximately 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with roughly a hundred million neurons. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the digestive system doesn’t just help to digest food, but also regulate our emotions. Furthermore, the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the function of the neurons is very much influenced by the “good” bacteria that is found in the intestines.
Scientists readily acknowledge that food plays a part in a person’s mood, but it is a relatively new field of study. However, the general advice at the moment is to try to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seafood, and olive oil. It will also include a moderate amount of poultry, eggs, cheese, and yoghurt, but not much red meat. You should avoid highly processed foods, such as sodas, processed meat and refined grains. If you are not convinced by it, why not try it for a few weeks to see if you can detect any changes.
Ensure You Sleep Enough
If you are having an enjoyable session playing casino games, then it can be very tempting to stay up a bit later in order to keep playing. However, you should make sure that you are not doing this at the expense of sleep. Sleep isn’t only important for maintaining physical health (it reduces the risk of inflammation, heart disease, stroke, and so on); it is also vital to your mental health. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep aids brain function and will also improve your mood. This means that your focus and memory will be improved, which is vital for many games, and you will be better equipped to deal with negative feelings. Therefore, if you tend to play your favourite casino games late at night, make sure that you are still leaving yourself plenty of time to sleep.
Many people are resistant to trying meditation as there are certain stigmas attached to it. However, it has been shown that meditation and training attention can improve mental health. There are a number of benefits to meditating including:
- Reduced stress
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved emotional health
- Better self-awareness
- Longer attention span
- May reduce age-related memory loss
- Can generate kindness
- May help fight addictions
- Improves sleep
- Helps control pain
- Decreased blood pressure
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to meditate. There are numerous resources online as well as smartphone apps that will guide you through different styles of meditation, and you are sure to find one that you are comfortable with.
Join a Mental Health Community
It is important that those who struggle with mental health know that they are not alone, in fact it is very common. A quick search online will uncover many online communities, such as HealthyGamer, as well as offline groups that provide support. If you feel as if you are going through a difficult time, then it is very much worthwhile joining one of these groups.
Have Regular Breaks
This is perhaps the simplest tip but also one of the most important. Make sure that you take regular breaks from your gaming sessions. It will help you keep control of your emotions and reset your mind, especially if you have had a run of bad luck. You can then return to the games with an improved state of mind, which should lead to an improvement in your performance and an all-round more enjoyable experience.
Hopefully, with the help of the above tips, playing online casino games will always remain fun and your mental health will never suffer.