What is a healthy mind in a world full of what seems like constant chaos? It's easy to feel like we're living in a world that's falling apart.
From the economy to terrorism and climate change, it sometimes feels like not even our best efforts can fix everything. But what if I told you there was something you could do for your mental health?
A way that would help you feel less anxious or stressed out all the time? That might sound far-fetched, but it is possible! It just takes some work on yourself, and here are 8 ways to start doing this.
1. Change your perspective
I'll give you another example of how I dealt with the belief that caused me to procrastinate. Some of us still procrastinate when we work on challenging projects.
Years ago, I had been putting off working on one of my projects for a while because I was scared it would take a lot of effort.
I realized that this was an irrational belief and replaced it with a rational one: "Even though this project is likely to take a lot of effort, it's also going to be fun and rewarding".
I then identified the situations and rewards that were causing me to procrastinate. I realized that what motivated me to procrastinate wasn't "fun and rewarding" but rather the fear of how hard it would be.
I also noticed that what was causing my occasional boredom at work was doing what I wanted, which made me feel a bit guilty, so I needed some time off before getting back into working on this project.
I compiled a list of what I wanted to do instead of what I was doing, what sources were causing me to procrastinate, and their motivations for procrastination.
After that, it was pretty easy to change my perspective from procrastinating on starting the project to start working on what I had wanted to do instead.
Here are some things you can do to change your perspective:
- Recognize what is causing your stress and understand what it is like to be in that state.
- Accept what you have been feeling. Don't punish yourself for what's going on.
- Find a way to let go of what's bothering you, even if it's something that seems impossible.
- Find what brings you joy and seek out those things.
- Try some of these deep breathing exercises to clear your mind.
The more you are willing to realize what's going on with yourself, the easier it will be to improve your mental health.
2. Eat healthy food and get enough sleep.
If you're feeling anxious, stressed and unhappy, it might be time to take a step back and work on what's going on.
The saying "you are what you eat" is as true for your mind as for your body. It's important to practice good self-care, which includes eating healthy food and getting enough sleep.
When you're physically unhealthy, it can affect your mental health. But what about when the opposite is true? Feeling stressed or anxious all the time will keep you from making decisions and solving problems.
These negative emotions can also contribute to physical illnesses, such as a weakened immune system.
Getting enough sleep and practising what psychologists call "positive thinking" is important for your mental health.
Dr Barbara Becker Holstein, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of "The Stress Solution: A Step-by-Step Program to Preventing Stress and Anxiety", told the Huffington Post that practising positive thinking is what keeps you from feeling anxious or stressed out all the time.
Also, take care of what you eat. The chemicals in what you eat have been shown to affect your mood. Even if you think what you're eating is healthy, it's essential to keep an eye out for what could negatively affect your mental state.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is an excellent way to improve and maintain your mental health. Exercise has been linked to improved mood, better sleep, reduced anxiety and depression and increased productivity.
Start by following a workout routine that suits what you want to get out of it (weight loss? muscle building? improved flexibility?) and what you're capable of physically.
It would help if you also kept in mind what time of day you're most likely to have the opportunity to exercise.
Maybe your work or school schedule doesn't allow for a full hour at a time, so what are some smaller exercises that can be done during the work or school commute?
How long should your workouts be? It's up to you how often and how long you want to exercise, but you should be getting your minimum requirement of 150 minutes of exercise per week.
If you're not used to exercising, then start slow by doing what you can for a few minutes at a time and gradually work up to longer workouts.
Pick an activity that suits what you want out of it (maybe weight lifting? swimming? dancing?) and what you're capable of physically.
You should also keep in mind what time of day you're most likely to have the opportunity to exercise.
Also, make sure your workout is targeted towards what you want to get out of exercising. Maybe your goal is weight loss? Or perhaps you want to be more flexible and improve your cardiovascular health?
4. Spend time with friends and family
You can try spending time with friends and family. When people ask what I do to help myself feel better, this is what I tell them.
One of the most rewarding things you can do for your mental health is to take care of it.
This includes being gentle with yourself and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself first to be there for others when they need you.
Spending time with friends and family is how many people find a great deal of happiness and reward.
I find that time spent with friends and family helps me to relieve stress, too.
Long-term relationships can be healthy for your mental health, in addition to being important sources of other benefits like social connections or access to a support network.
Spending time with friends and family allows you to share what's going on in your life and what's on your mind.
This can help you feel heard and understood, which makes us all so crucial to each other in the first place.
When you're feeling stressed out, just talking about what's going on with a supportive person who cares about what happens to you can have measurable benefits for your mental health.
Studies indicate that one of the best things you can do to improve your mental health is to talk about what's going on in your life.
When I'm feeling stressed out, what I need is just some time to kind of unwind and relax. Spending time with friends or family helps me stay grounded.
People who are depressed sometimes feel like they're alone, and it can sometimes be hard to find someone you feel comfortable talking to.
I've been there, and what made a difference in my life was finding the courage to confess what I'm going through and allowing myself access to what I needed most: support from others who care about what happens to me.
Although what worked for me may not work for you, what matters most is what will work for you.
If what I've described doesn't sound like what would help you the most, don't be afraid to experiment with different activities and approaches to what feels best for YOU to find what works best.
5. Take a break from it all.
When you need a break from what's going on, here's what you can do:
- As discussed above, Spend time with friends or family members that live out of town. You'll be able to go on day trips and experience what life is like in a different city without worrying about the stresses of what you left behind.
- Hire a home cleaner so you can get more free time (sounds counterintuitive, but it helps).
- Find an affordable weekend away with your partner and enjoy life at the moment.
- Take some time to yourself by getting some groceries delivered, sticking your wireless and/or Internet devices in aeroplane mode, and banning anyone else from bothering you for a few hours. And don't forget to order a pizza!
- Eat your favourite food or get a cooking lesson. What's the worst that could happen? If you have food allergies, substitute something else on your list.
- Take some time away from what's bothering you by sitting outside and staring at the sky. As a bonus, meditation helps you have a healthy mind.
- Have what you like to eat in your fridge without worries about what anyone else thinks.
6. Remember that everything will eventually pass.
I always try to remind myself that what I'm feeling is temporary. It may be so uncomfortable for me to feel like this, but eventually, it will pass.
Reminding myself of this has been the key to managing my stress(es); even if the problem is seemingly never going away, it will one day come to an end, and then you'll have more time on your hands to deal with anything else that comes up after that.
Also, to keep me from stressing out too much about what's happening in the present moment, I remind myself that what happened before is what got us here and what happens next will be what takes us somewhere else.
That may seem like a bit of a silly saying, but it isn't. It's what has always set me straight when I'm feeling stressed out.
Now, what will you do to make yourself happy?
I know what it's like to have what seems like everything going wrong in one day and what you could be doing instead of stressing about what's going on is think about what makes you happy, what things are making your day not seem so bad.
You could be looking at what makes you happy as a way to try and find what it is, what has changed in your life that made you so unhappy or anxious.
What do you need to change once you have that figured out, or what will you start doing to bring yourself more happiness?
7. Practice Gratitude
Practising gratitude is a good way to maintain a healthy mind. Gratitude is what helps you process what's happening in your life and what's not working out.
It can help you see the silver lining in what might look like a bad situation on the surface.
Consider what you could be grateful for, and write down what came to mind.
This can also be useful when figuring out what's going on with your mental health and what changes you may make in response.
Steps to practising Gratitude
1. Keep a gratitude journal.
Write what you're grateful for in your journal every day. It's important to keep what you're grateful for in perspective.
Make sure that what you're writing down isn't just what you have, what others don't have, or what's going well.
You can also take a few minutes each day to think about what you're grateful for and write it down on a piece of paper - what are the things that are making your life what it is?
2. Notice what's good.
Many of us habitually pay attention to what we might not like about our lives and forget about those pieces that make us happy.
When we focus on our frustrations, we end up missing out on so much potential joy.
Try to notice what brings you joy every day, and let yourself feel good for a few minutes about what's working out.
3. Don't take what you have for granted.
If we're grateful when something goes well, we should also be grateful when something doesn't go so well - all of this is what makes life what it is.
We wouldn't appreciate what we had if we didn't know what it was like not to have what we wanted.
4. Give thanks.
Have a daily moment where you exercise Gratitude by giving thanks for what's going on in your life or what you've been able to accomplish.
This can be helpful and shift your perspective on what's possible.
5. Give to others what you're grateful for.
Think about what makes your life what it is and what parts of your day give you joy, and think about what might make someone else's day better.
Pay attention to the people that help you out - just knowing that they've got your back can be a great feeling.
6. Find what makes you happy and what doesn't.
This is a practice in figuring what brings you joy, what stresses you out, what's possible in your life, what might not be possible right now but might be in the future, what sets you up for success or failure - all of it helps us know what we want, what we don't like, what's important to us.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in your own body and mind, observing what is happening around you with a sense of non-judgmental open-mindedness.
When you practice Mindfulness, you allow yourself to notice what's going on in your daily life without reacting to it.
You have the choice whether or not to get involved in what's going on or to watch.
This practice can give you a great deal of insight into the thoughts and physical sensations causing you anxiety or stress.
Mindfulness takes time, so pick a time during the day when you can practice.
If you're sitting at a desk, try to take a walk around the block or do some stretching exercises while being in tune with what's happening in your body.
It may help set the alarm on your phone so that you don't forget what you're doing.
We hope you've found what you were looking for in this blog post about what is a healthy mind.
It may sound like common sense, but it's important to remember that what we put into our bodies and minds can have lasting effects on how they function.
We recommend the following when seeking to maintain your mental health: - Change your perspective; Eat healthy food and get enough sleep; Exercise regularly; Spend time with friends and family; take a break from it all.
If these strategies feel overwhelming or don't seem applicable to your life, please reach out to a professional and make an appointment to talk.
They can help you figure out what's causing your anxiety or stress and what steps you can take to feel better.
If you're looking for some help in what you should be doing to help manage anxiety, then check out CalmClinic.com, where there are all kinds of resources in what you can do at home to manage your mental health.
So what do you think about what is a healthy mind? Do you agree with what we had to say about it in this article? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments section below!