We always hear people talking about physical health; eat well, exercise regularly and get enough sleep, but why don’t we put as much importance on our mental health? Mental stress is associated with heightened levels of inflammatory chemicals in the blood that lead to disease. It is important to fix the mind in order to improve physical health.
In order to improve our mental health we first must address what it actually is, most of us suffer some sort of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or stress. To be clear, being emotionally and mentally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. The difference is that people with a healthy mindset have the ability to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience, people with this ability have a positive outlook and know how to look beyond negativity.
Being free of these problems and having peace of mind is achievable with some dedication, here are some of the ways you can achieve this:
Yoga is known to lower stress and improve your mood. Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques to focus the mind on your breathing that silences the constant ‘mind chatter’, it relieves stress and allows you to feel relaxed. Practicing yoga can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life. In addition, research has shown that yoga helps you draw your focus away from the stresses of life and makes you focus on your movements and breathing.
2. Treat yourself with respect
Treating yourself with respect can be achieved by attempting to understand yourself, this will allow you to grow and understand how unique you really are. Discover your principles, personality, and talents. Don’t wait for people’s approval and develop your own standards.
3. Take breaks and don’t overload your mind
When you feel overwhelmed with too much information, take some time to clear your mind. Even a short break can relieve stress and give you a fresh perspective. If you can’t get away at all, simply turn aside from your work and do some mindful breathing. Overloading your mind with unnecessary worries is just as bad as an overworked body; neither will produce the desired end result. Try practicing letting go of the need to control and direct the outcome.
4. Keep in touch with your loved ones and care for others
Show your loved ones how much they mean to you, the results may surprise you. Whether you have problems with any of your family members or life has pulled you apart, keeping in touch with them every now and then will definitely make you feel better. “I love you” has become a common phrase, but keep on saying it anyway.
5. Laughter relieves stress
For some, laughing and smiling can boost their mood almost instantly. Even if you have to force yourself out of a bad mood by faking laughter it can help. In other words, just the act of smiling or laughing can lift your spirits.
6. Listen to inspiring music
The power of music is well documented. Not only is positive music enjoyable, but music with a fast tempo can really get us going when our energy is low. Music also engages one of our five senses. For a fun mental exercise, listen to your favourite music and then consciously take note of the various smells around you. Training your brain to be fully aware of two mental stimuli at the same time is a good way to exercise the brain.
7. Stay hydrated
In a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that even mild dehydration is a reliable predictor of impaired cognitive status. Remember to get plenty of fluids throughout the day. If you consume a lot of caffeine, make sure to drink extra fluids to counteract caffeine’s diuretic effect. Staying hydrated is another great way to keep your energy level up and you mental focus sharp.
8. Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same. It’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word, use lots.
9. Alternate nostril breathing
Press your right thumb to your right nostril to close it and then inhale through your left nostril. Using your ring finger on the same hand, close the left nostril, lift your thumb, and exhale through the right. Reverse the pattern and repeat several times to feel the calming and balancing effects. Something so simple can increase your productivity significantly, especially when you are working on something monotonous.
10. Be around positive people
Research and numerous studies have shown that people who are positive and associate themselves with positive people benefit from these interactions in so many ways. By being around positive people, you will be healthier, more successful financially and you will be involved in better relationships. Being around positive people lowers your stress level and it enables you to relax more.