Updated: Jun 6, 2019
1) Create your mindfulness - When you are feeling stressed-out, heavily burdened, or even unstable, take the time to STOP and reflect on what’s really going on. Create your own state of being by just stopping what you are doing and asking yourself this question: "What is bothering me right now and why?” Follow up with the next question: “What can I do about it to change my perspective?” No matter the answer, just the time you take to stop and ask yourself that simple question, you are coming into “being” and not allowing the “doing” to take over your mind. Breathe, absorb your surroundings, breathe again…continue.
2) Meditate – Try with a quick five-minute meditation. This can be a prayer, simply listening to each breath, humming, or just being silent with your hands resting on your knees. Mindfulness helps take the stress away if you can relax enough to let it all go. It’s fine that the mind wants to wander and start thinking of everything and anything. This is absolutely normal! Just tell yourself that you need these five minutes; and when that time is up, you can get back to thinking all you want. Explore the Headspace or the Calm app for a simple start to guided meditation.
3) Positively affirm - Positive affirmations can heal the soul. Thinking is one thing, but saying the words out loud makes it real. Words have power and you can affect your life in a positive way just by the words you speak. Take the time to listen to yourself. Do you tend to speak negatively, complain often, or frequently express self-defeat? Do you get what you often say? Try affirming things you want to believe, even if they are not true to you in the moment. Statements perhaps like, “I am courageous,” or, “I am good enough,” keep affirming these to be true and real. After a while, they will be!
4) Deep breathe - Breathing deeply has so many health benefits. It slows the heart rate, clears the lungs, improves energy levels, and reduces anxiety, to name a few. These are not new discoveries! The energy produced from deep breathing can activate and soothe your mood. Hey, that’s worth a try, right? Start by taking five minutes and lie on your back. With arms at your sides, just breathe. Play around with your breath. Notice how you feel after your five minutes are up. If you want some assistance, check out Breathing exercises in the app store. This app will assist you through deep breathing practices and help with symptoms of panic and anxiety and just an overall feeling of calm.
5) Sleep – Healing comes to you while you sleep. It restores the body and gives the mind time to rest. It is essential for a long, healthy life and it makes all of us feel like happier people in the morning! Do you have problems falling asleep? Staying asleep? Getting good quality sleep? According to a recent Gallup Poll, 40% of Americans get just six hours of sleep each night. No wonder we have to deal with Ms. Cranky Pants in the office every morning! Visit www.sleepfoundation.org to find your optimal sleep number and ideas to help you get a better quality of sleep with long-lasting health benefits.
6) Be Grateful - Do you or have you written consistently in a gratitude journal? If you have, did you notice any difference in your well-being and attitude? If you haven’t tried writing in one yet, why not? Being grateful builds awareness and reminds us all that we are blessed, no matter what it looks like to the outside world. Thankfulness sparks feelings of positivity and well-being. If you are trying to create this in your life, you can start this simple practice to instantly make you feel better. Practice saying THANK YOU to others, even if it’s for a small thing. Invest in a journal. It can contain blank pages or you can purchase one that helps steer you in the right direction. My Healthy Life Journal is available on Amazon and Kindle which will guide you to answers to questions such as “I woke up grateful for” and “I went to bed grateful for”. Building awareness and intention can make a world of difference in your mental health.
7) Drink water: Water, as we all know, is a vital part of life. Our bodies are made of 90% water. Our muscles are made up of 70-75% water. It makes sense that water can energize our muscles when we have enough of it; likewise, we can understand why if our brain (muscle) is thirsty, it can affect our mental health in a big way. Water, my friends, is a miracle cure. I know when I get grumpy, I remind myself to drink a glass of water. It almost always helps. Dehydration equals stress. Stress for long periods of time can put the body in a state of depression. This is no fun, folks! Do yourself a favor and go drink some water if you need a pick-me-up. You have my word, it will help.
Keep it simple, explore what’s possible, & enjoy the journey.