If you know you need to start taking better care of yourself, you’re not alone. How we regard our mental and physical health effects all aspects of our life, from our mood to how well we are doing at work. Over the years, we have fallen into an array of bad habits that we just can’t seem to kick for one reason or another. It can feel quite discouraging but take heart: it is possible to turn things around. You just need to get into a better space mentally, a space where you will feel motivated to make good decisions.
The key is to start slowly, and not expect to become a new person overnight. In theory, that is totally possible, but reality is much different. Remember you are looking to make permanent adjustments to your lifestyle, so don’t rush to transform magically at lightning speed.
Here are a few tips to help you set a strong foundation towards for keeping your mind and body in top shape.
Do you want to be in top shape?
While our mood will naturally fluctuate throughout the day depending on various factors, there are steps we can take to keep things on as even a keel as possible. One of the most powerful ways to carry out this goal is starting off your day in a good mental space. How we begin our waking hours can really set the tone for the rest of our day.
Most of us are not doing too well in this department. We set the alarm until the last possible minute; before we even hit the floor, we are checking some sort of device for email or the ‘feedback’ on our latest Facebook update. We feel rushed and anxious, and this energy carries itself into everything we do from that moment on.
Make an effort to start your day from a calmer, more peaceful place. Start off the day right off the bat with something that makes you feel good, whether it be a few minutes of deep breathing, writing or speaking aloud a list of things for which you are grateful, or just sitting quietly on your back deck, enjoying nature.
If you have ever gotten a massage, had a nice steam after a good workout, or anything else that gave your body that all-over relaxed feeling, you know what a difference it can make in our state of mind. When our body feels good, our mind feels good too. Besides the obvious task of exercising, take some time each day to give your body some TLC. Maybe you could take a nice, hot bath. Do some full-body stretching to loosen things up and get the blood flowing.
Self-massage is another option, and a highly prized treatment in the traditional Indian medicine system of Ayurveda. Pick up oils for massage specifically and learn some techniques. Your body does so much for you—reward it with good care.
While meditation certainly has a strong spiritual part to it, the practice itself is highly practical, and a great tool for anyone looking to improve their mental health, and develop a more positive perspective on life, no matter what your religious beliefs may be.
Meditation is an amazing tool for stress relief, and its benefits will spill over into all areas of your life. You can tap into the wisdom of silence, and get great insights into your life—the answers you seek are already within you.
By learning to see your thoughts without judgment, you become less attached to what is running through your mind; you don’t get as caught up emotionally, and you realize your thoughts and emotions aren’t actually you, but just things you are experiencing, things that will pass eventually. You learn to respond and not react automatically to everything that is going on around you—this will serve us very well in life—think how many times we just automatically reacted to something ,and ended up saying or doing something we wish we hadn’t a mere few minutes later.
So, there you have it. If you can follow these three tips, you are well on your way to becoming a happier and healthier person.
It’s National Sickle Cell month and I’m back ...