Simple Practices You Can Use Everyday to Improve Your Mental Health
Stress, anxiety, depression, suicide and all mental health disorders are on the rise. Despite what western medicine tells us, the health of the brain is connected to the health of the whole body.
Feeling stressed and anxious at times is normal, but those feelings should be the exception…not the norm. If you feel like it's more of the norm for you, read on to discover simple things you can do make it the exception.
This may sound woo-woo to you; it definitely sounded woo woo to me at one point! And although I don't practice mindfulness meditation as often as I would like to/need to, I do see the benefit when I use it!
A lot of our stress and anxiety comes from thinking about the past and/or future. We miss out on right now because we're too caught up worrying or the should've/could've/would've thoughts about the past.
How do you become more mindful? Meditate. Meditation can't happen without being mindful. Meditation isn't effective if we're sitting in a nice quiet place trying to focus and relax, but then we let our mind wander.
Now don't get me wrong, when you first start to practice meditation – your mind WILL wander. It's a practice in itself to meditate. But that same practice is what trains our brain to be present! Just imagine for a second how much less stressful your life would be if you were just present in the ‘right now' moment.
Mindfulness helps you let go of what's happened and helps you not worry about what hasn't happened yet.
Now take a deep breath and refer to my original post about Mindfulness here. There are several resources to transition into being mindful (aka present) very easily! It seriously doesn't get easier than 3-10 minute guided meditations.
I get pretty in depth on this topic in my post about the Food & Mood Connection. Our gut is our second brain. So, if we're abusing our gut by using antibiotics when they're really not needed, or eating chemically processed franken-food, or we're overweight, or we're not giving our body the nourishment it needs….how can our brain function the way it should?
Our ‘happy' hormones start to develop in our gut.Eat clean to give your brain the basics it needs to function! Need help eating clean?
Think it's too expensive?
Head here to join my 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge (complete with recipes, suggested meal plan, shopping list, access to private FB group and more).
You read right!! Spoil yourself! Take a day off work, get a massage/mani/pedi, take time to read a book, complete something fun that's been on your ‘to-do list', check something off your bucket list.
A lot of us (myself included) feel guilty when we take time for yourself, but it's so necessary! Remember that if you're not taking care of yourself, it's really hard to take care of others.
Oh no!! The dreaded exercise! We should all be exercising at least 3-5 times a week (but really hopefully AT LEAST 5 times). You don't have to go extreme with it. Start with some yoga/pilates in your living room.
Check out my pinterest board for lots of inspiration for easy/quick exercises. I'm going to be super honest with you….I exercise on average 5 times a week now. I never ever used to exercise, and I still really don't care for it.
BUT I know that in order to be healthy (even mentally) I need to exercise. So I do. The results of my exercising are that I do feel proud of myself and happier (because exercise releases happy hormones) and I notice positive changes in my body.
Get Off the Phone/Tablet/Computer/TV
Don't stop reading this post here! I know this may be hard for you but we get too much instant gratification with all our technology and gadgets and social media. We send a text or post something and we get anxious waiting for a response. “Why isn't anyone replying? Did I offend someone? Are they mad at me?”
These may be just some thoughts going through your head. I feel like part of the reason why even kids are getting anxiety and depression now is technology and social media.I'm 37 and I don't remember mental health being such an issue when I was a kid. But when I was a kid, we only had landlines and I didn't even know what the Internet was. I couldn't have contact with anyone unless I was with them or at home with my phone that didn't have a screen.
Even when I was home, I was outside…interacting with people face to face. I still get caught up in social media and looking at my phone, but from time-to-time I remind myself to put it away.
I've started to set a time limit for myself. It goes something like this…I'll text someone, post something, or just browse and then I'll tell myself to put the phone away for at least an hour (make the time something that fits you). I usually end up leaving it alone for longer because I'm able to do some of the things mentioned above.
This list isn't in any particular order. My suggestion is to make one change at a time! If you try to do everything I mentioned here, you'll get overwhelmed and probably quit.
That's what I did when I first started making healthy changes. I would read something and think “I need to make that change asap!”. Then I would read something else and think the same thing. I'd follow my changes for about a week, get overwhelmed and go back to my unhealthy (but familiar) ways.
As always, if you need more guidance – I'm here for you! Just head here and schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation!
PS Read more about me here!
About the Author:
Bri is a RN turned Holistic Health Coach who guides moms that are starting to make healthy life choices for themselves and their family.
Bri turned her health (and her family's health) around and knows that it can be challenging and overwhelming. She cuts thru the overwhelm with her one on one coaching so you can reach your health goals as easily and quickly as possible.