Your mental health and wellbeing is a result of several social, emotional, spiritual and physical factors, and the status of your mental wellness affects the way you perceive and enjoy life. When you’re feeling your best, you’re more likely to experience joy, fulfillment and excitement about your future.
Though there are several moving parts involved in achieving a good bill of mental health, caring for your emotional wellness doesn’t always require expensive retreats or a bookcase packed with self-help books. There are several things you can do, right where you are, to improve and maintain mental wellbeing.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than wait to take action until you feel tense, stressed or like a fog is starting to creep in, it’s important to take steps to keep yourself balanced and fulfilled–even when it seems like you’re in a good place.
Add regular, soothing and mentally rejuvenating practices to your daily routine, such as engaging in a favorite hobby, mixing up calming combinations of Young Living essential oils for your diffuser while you soak in a warm bath every night or showing up for a weekly, spiritually-boosting class or therapy session without fail.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
The relationship between your mental and physical health is substantial. Just as stress, depression and anxiety can result in physical symptoms, so, too, can illness and inflammation when it comes to your mental wellbeing. Prioritise exercise, eat nourishing foods, drink plenty of water, practice stress-relieving techniques and be sure to get enough sleep each night. The better your body is able to function, the better your brain functions, too.
If your to-do list always seems congested with innumerable, pressing tasks, or you seem to always have a lot on your plate, it probably isn’t doing your mental health any favors. A long list of responsibilities, especially ones that you know you won’t get to right away, can weigh heavily on your mind.
Do what you can with the time you have, but make sure you’re stepping away from your responsibilities once in a while. Rest is not only an important way to give your system a break, but it helps to clear your mind and calm your body, which gives you a leg up when it’s time to return to the daily grind.
Research has shown that one of the secrets to a happy life is contentment and appreciation of what you have. Gratitude isn’t simply saying thanks for possessions and circumstances that make up the good parts of your life. It’s a practice and a skill to be developed that can actually alter the neural pathways in your brain and make happiness and acceptance a more automatic function when it comes to your thoughts.
This skill is best developed through a gratitude journal, but even just reframing tough situations and thinking happier thoughts can have a significant impact. Try to think of new things each day to be grateful for. Even small things matter, such as getting out of bed without hitting snooze, wearing a favourite pair of shoes to work or hearing a favorite song on your commute home.
While it probably isn’t possible to completely eliminate the things that give you grief, it is possible to better manage your reactions to them. In stressful situations, take a moment to assess what’s happening in your body, and take steps to soothe your system while you determine a plan of attack. Make sure you’re aware of your boundaries and communicate them clearly, and try not to take on more than you can handle at any one time.
Find Something to Look Forward To
Hopelessness and melancholy feelings are major energy drainers. Give yourself a light at the end of the tunnel, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe it’s meeting up with a friend on the weekend, or picking up a favorite chocolate bar at the store to enjoy after work. The more you have to look forward to, the easier it will be to feel optimistic about what lies ahead for you, even in the smallest ways.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.