- Improved sleep
- Increased interest in sex
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Reduced tiredness
- Weight control
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
Do you have the following symptoms without any clear cause?
If you suspect you might be suffering from emotional distress, please do not hesitate to seek professional help as soon as possible. Apart from visiting a doctor, some changes in daily life habits may help to improve emotion management and to maintain mental health, including:
A Balanced Diet
A study analyzed the incident rate of clinical emotional distress in different regions. The results showed that adherence to a Mediterranean dietary plan helped to reduce the risk of mood problems.4 The typical Mediterranean dietary plan consists of lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and olive oils, a moderate intake of milk or dairy products, and a low intake of meat. This provides a large amount of fiber, unsaturated fatty acid, different antioxidants, and micronutrients to supplement the nutritional requirements of the body and diminish the risk of various diseases.5,6
In addition to promoting overall health, boosting self-confidence and improving cognitive functions, regular exercise also enhances neural activity in several regions of the brain which control motivation and mood. This physiological effect is believed to be mediated by the amygdala (region of the brain that generates fear in response to stress) and the hippocampus (region of the brain that controls memory formation, mood and motivation), thereby reducing anxiety and emotional distress.
A 30-minute exercise at least three times a week can bring various health benefits,7 such as:
Mindfulness practice is similar to meditation which helps patients to break the cycle of obsessing on negativity.9,10 It emphasizes being present in the moment and the acceptance of emotions, thoughts, and body sensations. This practice is not religious and does not rely on professional techniques or medical equipment, making it a suitable option for self-practice at home. A local study of patients with mild emotional distress revealed that regular mindfulness practice appeared to alleviate symptoms of mood problems and reduce the risk of mood worsening.10
Simple breathing exercises can ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Breathing techniques are suitable for everyone and can be carried out on a daily basis.
- Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees. Or you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair.
- Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
- Breathe out through your nose.
- Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
- As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that's on your chest.
- Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.
- 1. The Effects of Stress on Your Body. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 2. Schimelpfening N. Verywellmind. http://www.verywellmind.com/. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 3. What Makes You Unable to Concentrate? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 4. Sánchez-Villegas A, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66(10):1090–1098.
- 5. What is the Mediterranean diet? Medical News Today.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/149090#nutrients. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 6. Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner's Guide. Healthline.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 7. Sharma A, et al. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106.
- 8. What is Mindfulness? MindHK. https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/mindfulness/about-mindfulness/. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 9. Occupation Stress. Occupational Safety and Health in the Civil Service.
https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/oshcs/topics/files/stress.pdf. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
- 10. Wong SYS, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2018;16(2):111–119.
- 11. Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-relief-breathing-techniques#1. Accessed 9 JUN 2023.
PP-PRQ-HKG-0388 JUN 2023