5 Ways to Enhance Your Mental Well-being
Who doesn't want to feel good mentally? A healthy mind is vital for leading a fulfilling life. Mental well-being involves taking care of our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour. Mental well-being is not a destination; it's a journey. And like any journey, it requires effort and planning. It allows us to cope with the stress of everyday life, build healthy relationships, and work towards achieving our goals. It means learning how to handle stress whilst keeping a positive outlook on life with a calm mind. In short, it's all about finding a balance in your life that keeps you mentally happy and healthy.
Get moving and get grooving 🏃♀️
We all know that regular exercise is great for our physical health. But did you know that it's also amazing for our mental well-being? Studies have shown that exercise helps reduce stress levels, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. Choose a form of exercise that you love. Personally, I love Pilates, Strength Training & Running, but the choices are endless! Don't feel like you have to commit to a rigorous workout every day - even just 15 minutes of movement can make a difference. So put on your favourite playlist, bust out some moves, and enjoy all the mental health benefits that exercise has to offer!
It's time to eat the rainbow 🌈
We all know that what we eat affects our physical health. But have you ever thought about how it affects your mental well-being? Choosing the right nutritious foods can not only enhance your physical health, but also your mood. Some foods that are known to boost mental health include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), nuts and seeds, leafy greens, and berries. These foods contain important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, and antioxidants that may improve brain function and mood regulation. On the other hand, there are also foods that may have a negative impact on mental health. Processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine and alcohol intake have been linked to increased risk of depression and anxiety. So it's important to limit or avoid these if you want to maintain good mental health. But don't worry, you don't have to go on an extreme diet to improve your mental well-being. It's all about balance and moderation. Just try to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into your diet while limiting overly processed and sugary foods. Small changes can make a big difference in how you feel mentally and physically.
Mind Over Matter: The art of meditation 🧘
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and it's no surprise. The benefits of mindful meditation are vast and varied. One of the most significant benefits of mindful meditation is it's ability to reduce stress. Daily life can be overwhelming, and it's essential to find ways to manage stress. Meditation can help you achieve a state of calm and relaxation in just a few minutes per day. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as improve overall mood and emotional well-being. If you're new to meditation, find a quiet space where you won't be disturbed and sit in a comfortable position. Follow a guided meditation and focus on your breathing, try find your inner sense of calm that we all have, or focus on a mantra. Personally, I love the meditation guides on Deliciously Ella's app or from the 'Calm' app - both are great.
Establish a daily routine that brings you joy ☀️
Having set routines and rituals can provide a sense of stability and predictability to our body, which can positively impact our mental well-being. These routines can include essential actions such as sleeping for 8 hours a night, nourishing our body with healthy food, and engaging in physical exercise that we enjoy. By taking pride in these habits, we can gain a sense of control over our mental state in a world that is often unpredictable. So, embrace your routine as a tool for safeguarding your mental health. For me, my morning routine involves waking up at around 6am without looking at my phone, and head either to a gym/pilates class or for a walk/run to watch the sunrise. When I get home, I shower, journal & meditate, then have breakfast and my morning coffee in my favourite mug. I then head to work. This brings me so much joy and always sets me up for a positive day ahead.
The Power of Positive Thinking 💭
We all have those days where we feel down and negative thoughts constantly cloud our minds. It's important to recognise these thoughts and take action to change them. I am naturally quite an anxious person, so the way I redirect my negative thoughts is the second they pop in my mind, I simply say "no thank you" or countdown "5-4-3-2-1" in my mind and then quickly and efficiently move that thought away (I imagine me throwing it out of a bucket) and then shift my mindset to think about something positive.
Other techniques are practicing gratitude or using positive affirmations. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to appreciate the good things in your life. Starting a gratitude journal can also help to shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life. Positive affirmations are statements that reinforce positive qualities about yourself or your life. They can help to counteract negative thoughts and improve self-esteem. Saying affirmations such as "I am capable of achieving my goals" or "I am worthy of love and respect" or "I am a strong and independent woman" can have a powerful impact on your mindset. So take a moment each day to stop and smell the roses, appreciate the good things in your life, and remind yourself of your worth and capabilities.
To sum it up
With these 5 simple yet effective ways, you can enhance your mental well-being. From getting your body moving to practicing mindfulness, and from eating a healthy and nutritious diet to establishing a daily routine that you love, these activities can have a huge impact on your mental health. So go ahead and give these techniques a try and see how they work for you. Your mind (and body) will thank you for it!