I spend a lot of time researching in January every year.
This year i decided to look into what is available for people to look after their own mental health. Many spend too much of their time trying to alter their physical self that their mental state is often undermined.
Majority of the time this is driven by how you feel, whether this means you wanting to look better, fitter or wanting to clean up your intake of food. To me its all got the same starting point.......how you feel. So once again i go back to looking after your mental health.
Strive for a healthy attitude not a healthy lifestyle!! Living a healthy lifestyle will become impossible if your not in the right state of mind.
I want to keep this sort & simple;
just a few little things to try for yourself.
Firstly there are a lot of apps out there to help with mediation and relaxation, and personally have worked wonders! (i recommend HeadSpace and Oak) I have found that when it came to using them ,i was rushing around and then continued to rush around after trying the meditation, this to me entirely defeats the purpose.
So instead i tried to incorporate these relaxation techniques into my daily life;
1. Get out of the house and go for a walk, it doesn't have to be long its more about what you do on the walk has more purpose. Leave your phone at the house or if you need to take it switch it onto silent.
Take in your surroundings, the change of seasons are beautiful - take a minute to really look.
Breath deeply, in through the nose, breath in for 3 sec and then hold for 4 sec and out for 5 sec, honestly this will instantly ground you. (like magic!!!)
2.Try if you can to clear your mind, if something pops into your head on what you need to do just leave it pop out again just as quick and decide to just enjoy what you are doing at that present moment ,walking. When you are walking, walking must be the most important thing in your life in that present moment and time (another one would be drinking a cup of tea, drinking tea can in its own right be a form of meditation and relaxation, the tip is to breath)
Try as much as you can to just enjoy what you are doing, this is just for you , your time just to be in the present. Everything else you can just put aside just for this 10/20 mins.
3. After your walk
You will feel a lot more refreshed and ready to deal with your daily routines.
Just remember , to go through your day using the breathing techniques that you used on your walk and you will take everything in your stride. Don't worry about lists and what next week holds, when you worry it wont change anything but will change your frame of mind, try and avoid this happening.
I learn more by hearing a story that explains things,
eg. When you come in from work and your dogs greet you at the gate, they are so happy to see you and for that few mins when you are paying them attention, you are not thinking about any thing just enjoying the moment, and it makes you feel happy, because for that few minutes you are not thinking of any thing else. Good energy is contagious! Almost like a virus, ironically bad energy is the same. Remember to surround yourself with with happy vibes, your body will feed off this energy.
3. If you have picked up a new activity ,eg. classes at the gym etc
This is great to leave your thought behind,
If you concentrate on something that will have added benefit to your well being this is also a way of getting a clear mind and living in the moment.
This will all seem so obvious to a lot of people, but just try the breathing and switching the phone onto silent.
Personally i have got into the habit now to switch my phone off at 6pm , or onto silent.
4. Look after your gut, this has been known to be connected to the brain. Good gut = Good mental health.
Just to break up into points,
Inner peace remove outer distractions, unless you are doing an activity, then outer distractions give good inner peace.
Clear your mind and let things go (will take practice but does work)
Clear your thoughts = free your mind.
Create awareness to your surrounding, especially on a walk. Live in the now.
Don't feed negative thoughts, let them go.
Most importantly, give your self a break, life at times can be hard.