Our beings are considered to be two separate entities, the mind and body. When it comes to our physical being we generally have daily habits such as washing, eating and exercises etc to take care of our bodies. But what do we do for our mind/mental health to ensure this is just as well looked after as our physical being?
We wouldn’t be able to function without one or the other, so it is just as important to make sure we are doing things daily to look after our mental health just as we do with the physical.
Here are 6 simple and some very enjoyable habits you can implement daily to look after your mind and improve your overall mental health.
Now although this first one may be seen to be a physical act but, the impact of drinking water for our mental health is also very profound. Water is essential for delivering water nutrients to the brain and for removing toxins. When the brain is fully hydrated, the exchange of nutrients and toxins will be more efficient, thus ensuring better concentration and mental alertness.
The recommended amount of water ranges from 2 – 3 litres a day. I personally drink 1 to 1.5 litres a day because I am small and find that suits me just fine. I also throw in half an orange, lemon and lime which infuses in the fridge overnight for extra nutrients and detox. First thing in the morning I have half a litre of this wonderful refreshing drink that I consume before I allow myself anything else. I drink the first half a litre whilst I am getting ready in the mornings and refill afterwards using the same fruit ready for lunchtime and then dinner. There are so many benefits to drinking water and it should be considered as important as eating every day. Not only is it essential for the body to function at its best including the brain, it increases your mental alertness and makes you feel good about yourself because you are looking after yourself, this in turn creates positive thoughts too. Click HERE to read some fascinating facts and many more of the benefits of drinking water.
Write ‘To Do’ Lists
A ‘To Do List’ is a great way to organise your everyday life and even better your mind. If you have a busy day job or lots of personal goals, then writing a to do list every morning or every night just allows the nagging and anxiety of what you need to get done melt away. I write my lists in the evening for the next day because this means my mind will switch off and let me sleep. All of those thoughts are on paper in my office waiting for tomorrow and there is nothing else I can do but let go and sleep. It’s almost like the list is holding on to it all for you until the morning and it creates a nice structure for the day. Writing to do lists will de-clutter your mind and ease any worry that you might forget something important the next day.
Challenge Your Limiting Self-Beliefs
Nobody will hold you back in life more than yourself. Most of us have limiting self-beliefs that lie dormant under all of our everyday worries and anxiety. Very often, limiting self-beliefs are created in early childhood and during early childhood the core of our learning and our belief systems are being formed. Limiting self-beliefs are influenced by our peers, personal experiences, and are the result of repeated thoughts and fear. They are often a result of childhood abuse/trauma, bullying or a one-off traumatic experience we might have encountered such as accidents or natural disasters. An example of a limiting self-belief would be the following:
‘I am not good enough’
‘If I try I will fail’
‘I do not deserve good things’
‘Something bad is going to happen, it always does’
These beliefs ultimately drive your thoughts and in turn your behaviour. You may not believe in yourself or love yourself as you should because of these beliefs and they are detrimental to your overall mental health and ability to live your best life. As a Coach I work with my client’s belief systems and it is an instrumental part of my work when helping others turn their lives around and manage worry/anxiety. Try this simple exercise HERE taken from my self-help book ‘Be a Warrior Not a Worrier’ to discover if you have a limiting self-belief that could do with some encouragement for change. Working on you limiting self-beliefs everyday by using exercises like this will challenge those beliefs and eventually create positive self-beliefs. Imagine who you could be and what your life would look like if you created a whole new positive belief system for yourself!
Meditation and Hypnosis
Meditation and Hypnosis is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It is a great way to challenge limiting self-beliefs and can be used to change these beliefs and cement positive affirmations, create positive thoughts/intentions and improve overall mood and wellbeing. Both deeply relax the body and re-wire the subconscious part of our brain. Studies and research have proven that meditation in particular works wonders with most mental health disorders such as Anxiety, Depression and PTSD etc. It has the power to change the brain and put you in control of your mental health. I stand very strong in believing that most of us should meditate rather than medicate and this article written by self.com explains why meditation is so amazing for your mental health. Click HERE to read the SELF article.
The best series of guided meditations/hypnosis I have ever used have been produced by Mindifi. I purchased the Law of Attraction series and have used it daily ever since. The quality and variety of these meditations/hypnosis are exceptional. I have an allocated room in my house for relaxation which I call the spa room and most evenings I light a candle, slip into the comfy day bed and listen to my guided mediation/hypnosis. It literally feels like I have had a mind and body massage afterwards and I feel deeply relaxed and satisfied having re-wired my brain towards positivity. You can view the Mindifi Series HERE and purchase an app that suits you. It is so easy, enjoyable, and the results are phenomenal.
Prepare For A Good Nights Sleep
Winding down for bed is important for a good night’s sleep. Dimming the lights an hour before, not engaging with screens such as TV or phones will aid the winding down process. Feeling relaxed before bed rather than stimulated will certainly help you get a good night sleep. A warm drink such as hot lemon water (healthy option that aids digestion while you sleep) or a milky drink (not so healthy option) that I love every now and again is a chai latte, yummers! Both drinks are very soothing and comforting. If you find yourself restless when trying to wind down before bed, try doing some gentle yoga or good posture stretches, reading or meditating. Lighting candles and using oils such as lavender oil on your pillow before bed is also a great way to relax and wind down. Getting into a good habit of winding down before bed allows you some much needed me time at the end of the day and is a profound way to impact your overall mental health. Lets face it, it’s very hard to cope with anything if you are not getting a good night’s sleep!
In my previous blog, I discussed the practise of gratitude in depth and how it is one of the most powerful things you can do to become a positive thinker. Click HERE if you want to learn more. If you can get into the habit of acknowledging 3 things during your day you were grateful for and why before you go to sleep you will end your day on a positive note. It’s just like praying but without the religious intent.
Nothing interrupts anxiety quite like gratitude practise and a grateful mind is always a happy one!