When you hear the word “wellness,” what do you think of?
Probably, healthy foods and exercise, right?
Those are both great things and are certainly a part of your overall wellness.
What you may not think about is mental health and wellness.
The truth is, staying mentally healthy is even more important and requires just as much effort as physical wellness.
Let’s look at these five ways you can work toward a state of mental well-being.
You can make better decisions when you’re consciously aware of what you’re doing.
Going through life on mental autopilot hinders your ability to make positive changes in your thoughts and behavior.
You’ll also notice that the more you’re present in the moment, you’re not as easily controlled by negative emotions.
Being mindful is actually something you need to practice on a daily basis until it becomes more natural.
What you’re taking in has an effect on your state of mind.
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? That happens because what you consume stays in your mental space and can have an emotional effect for a long time.
For example, if you are surrounded by negative people who constantly complain, you’ll notice a shift in your own attitude – and not a good one.
Try this exercise:
For one week, go through your daily routine and weed out anything that generates a negative emotion.
Turn off the news, avoid violent or scary movies and TV, and avoid engaging in negative conversations.
Talk a walk outside. Listen to uplifting music. Spend time with friends that make you laugh.
It won’t take long for you to notice a change in your mental wellness.
It’s impossible to be happy when you hate yourself.
Be kind to yourself and learn to forgive yourself for the flaws that everybody has.
Learning to do this builds your self-confidence, which has a positive impact on all the other areas of your life.
Showing compassion to other people releases a chemical in your brain that lowers stress and makes you feel good.
That’s not all. Those same “feel-good” chemicals also help to lower your blood pressure, relieve depression and lessen physical pain.
It’s impossible to separate the body and the mind.
You won’t be able to experience true mental wellness without taking care of your physical body.
Eat a diet that’s low in fat and sugar and high in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and find an exercise that you enjoy.
Studies have shown that as little as 10 minutes of cardiovascular activity a day is enough to lift your mood and help you sleep better.
It won’t come without effort, but putting these tips into practice will help you get to a mentally healthy place.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about maintaining your mental wellness.
You may even be surprised by what services your health insurance might cover.