The brain is like a muscle – if you don’t give it a regular workout, it loses tone. We all try to fuel our body and nourish it with amazing foods however, we need to look at our mental health too.
Here are some tips to help you improve your mental fitness and mental health.
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favourite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument, get outside into nature, travel the world or become fluent in another language.
Value your own time too. If you can’t do a project for someone learn to say No.
Mindful eating is maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body. It involves observing how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. Mindful eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept rather than judge the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations you observe. It can extend to the process of buying, preparing, and serving your food as well as consuming it.
For many of us, our busy daily lives often make mealtimes rushed affairs. We find ourselves eating in the car commuting to work, at the desk in front of a computer screen, or parked on the couch watching TV. We eat mindlessly, shoveling food down regardless of whether we’re still hungry or not. In fact, we often eat for reasons other than hunger—to satisfy emotional needs, to relieve stress, or cope with unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom. Mindful eating is the opposite of this kind of unhealthy “mindless” eating.
Mindful eating isn’t about being perfect, always eating the right things, or never allowing yourself to eat on-the-go again. And it’s not about establishing strict rules for how many calories you can eat or which foods you have to include or avoid in your diet. Rather, it’s about focusing all your senses and being present as you shop for, cook, serve, and eat your food.
Take the time when you’re about the sit down and eat a meal. Never eat when you are stressed or angry and be grateful that you are gifted fresh and healthy food each day. Eating slower improves your digestion and allows you to feel when you are actually full!
Take Care of Your Body
- Avoid Cigarettes
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep
- Practice mindful breathing exercises
- Exercise – Physical exercise delivers oxygen to the brain. This can help to improve your memory, reasoning abilities and reaction times.
- Boost your levels of Vitamin B. Eat plenty of wholegrain cereals, leafy greens and dairy foods. Vitamin B is essential to brain health.
- Read often and read widely. Keeping an active interest in the world around you will help to exercise your brain and improve mental fitness.
- Challenge your intellect and memory. Stretch yourself mentally by learning a new language, doing the cryptic crossword or playing chess. This is important for brain health and your social life.
Surround Yourself with Good People & Spend Time with Family
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
Take Time to Relax
Excess stress hormones like cortisol can be harmful to the brain. Schedule regular periods of relaxation into your week.
Take Up a New Hobby
Learning something new gives the ‘grey matter’ a workout and builds neural pathways in the brain. It’s also a great way to meet new people and builds your social life.
Actively Manage Your Health
Conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can affect mental performance if not diagnosed and treated. Have regular check-ups with your doctor and health professionals to prevent future problems.
Cleanse negative energies
Clearing your living space and mind has a huge benefit to how you live your life and channel negative energies. Here are some ways to clear negative energies.
- Clear out your clutter. Keeping a clean, clutter-free home means negative energy won’t have a place to congregate and hide behind.
- Harness the power of imagination. Imagine a glowing, golden light inside your heart space. As you breathe in deeply, expand that light until it’s outside of your body. Now spread that light into your living space, with the intention that all of the energetic congestion clears out.
- Fill your space with the smell of plants. Sage, lavender, and frankincense essential oils can also be great at dissolving negativity. You can either place them in your diffuser or fill a clean spray bottle with equal parts witch hazel and distilled water, add 20-30 drops of essential oil of choice, shake, and mist your living space. Or opt for fresh scents instead and place fragrant plants like peace lilies, aloe Vera, or English ivy in vases around your home.
- Burn Incense. Palo Santo is a type of fragrant wood that’s native to South America and can be burned as incense. It is thought to be a vigorous energy cleanser; just light one end of a stick and spread the smoke as you would with smudging.
Give the whole place a fresh, lemony scent. There’s a reason so many cleaning products are lemon-scented. The smell of lemon is naturally invigorating and uplifting. Here are some unexpected ways to use it at home:
- Simmer lemon peels in water and let the steam scent your space.
- Leave small dishes filled with fresh lemon slices around your home. This is also great for fruit flies too
- Put lemon essential oils in your diffuser.
Learn How to Deal with Stress
Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Try One-Minute Stress Strategies, do Tai Chi, Mediation, or Yoga, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humour in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Explore Your Spiritual Core
Here are some tips to Explore your Spiritual core.
- Get back to nature. Just take a walk and let your mind go
- Explore your dreams. Don’t just leave them at dreams. Try and make your visions a reality
- Seek inspiration or help. You don’t have to make this a solo journey. Find those your connect with a built a strong guidance community.
- Be open to the writing on the wall. Listen to your intuition and follow your heart. Sometimes the universe has strange ways of guiding us!
- Feed the body. Give your physical body what it wants and release those endorphins.
- Meditate and practice yoga
- Learn about different philosophies
- Be silent.
Engage in Stimulating Conversations
Talk to friends and family about a wide range of topics. This gives your brain an opportunity to explore, examine and enquire.
Quiet Your Mind
Try meditating, practice mindfulness by living in the present, and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.
Set Realistic Goals
Decide what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.
Take Up a Manual Activity or Craft
Hobbies such as woodwork and sewing or activities like skipping require you to move both sides of the body at the same time, in precise movements. This can help to improve your spatial awareness and increase your reaction time.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Climate change can be overwhelming. The science is complex, and when it comes to future impacts, there are still a lot of unknowns. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, there are choices you can make in your day-to-day life to lessen your personal impact on the environment.
It feels good to treat Mother Nature the way she should be treated. Give back to the planet. It’s given a heck of a lot to you.
Avoid Alcohol and Other Drugs
Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.
Exercise Your Brain with Others
Watch, question and answer game shows and enjoy the competitive spirit. Involve the family in regular games to test their general knowledge.
Get Help When You Need It
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
Here is a handy link on where to go – https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-where-to-get-help