When you think of health and fitness, you probably focus on your physical form straight away. We’re inundated with the importance of keeping our bodies healthy, but what about our minds?
Maintaining a healthy body is vital but a healthy mind is just as important. In fact, the two are often inextricably linked, so a healthy mind will help you to achieve the healthy body you’re after. Of course, paying attention to your mental fitness isn’t just about promoting your physical health. A healthy mind brings its own life-enhancing rewards, such as serenity, positivity, and acceptance.
Improve your outlook
The modern world is full of stresses, anxieties, and worries, and it can be hard to step away from them. It’s no surprise that many people have a negative or defeatist attitude when they’re surrounded by stressful stimuli, but it is possible to change the way you view things.
Modifying your outlook may feel a little strange at first and it can take some practice, but it’s certainly achievable. From daily mantras to new life philosophies, you can make minor or major changes along the way.
In order to improve your outlook and develop a healthy mind, it’s important to be more open. Rather than responding to things in the same way you usually would, take a few seconds to think about what’s happened, examine whether your automatic, go-to response is going to benefit you and, if not, change it!
By changing the way you respond to things, you’ll feel less out of control and far more balanced. You can’t always stop negative things from happening but you can minimize their impact but changing the way you react to them.
Poor sleep can be an invitation to a miserable and exhausting vicious circle. An unhealthy mind doesn’t equate to good quality sleep, but a lack of sleep doesn’t cultivate a healthy mind either. If you’re plagued with worries and this prevents you from getting a good night, it will have a negative impact on your mental health. Alternatively, if your usually sunny disposition is being affected by insomnia, you’ll start to feel the mental effects soon enough.
Creating a new sleep schedule can help to change things up and may allow your mind and body to rest. If you currently stay up late, use electronics before bed or eat right before retiring for the night, there are some easy changes you can make to improve your routine.
Give yourself time to relax before you go to bed, with minimal distractions. Forget binge-watching the latest series or snacking until your head hits the pillow. Practice a relaxing yoga routine or meditate for a few minutes and promote relaxation instead. In addition to this, adapting your bedroom, moving your bed to a new part of the room, adding low-lighting and removing electronics can help you to get a good night’s rest.
Try something new
We’re routinely torn between trying new things and staying with what’s familiar, but challenging yourself to something new can be healthy. As well as filling your minds, trying something new gives you new learning opportunities, which can have numerous beneficial effects on your life.
If you join a local group or class, for example, you can develop your interests alongside like-minded people. As well as learning a new skill or improving your fitness, you’ll build a whole new network of friends and classmates.
Alternatively, commit to an online course and see where it takes you. You can even enroll in certified courses to boost your career prospects, so why not complete your FNP certificate online, finish your college credits or sign up to an online business MBA?With a never-ending list of programs, subjects, and topics, you can develop your skills in any area. Whilst completing the course may improve your job prospects and boost your career, the learning process itself will help to keep your mind healthy.
Recognize your strengths
Although we can be supportive, caring and empathetic towards our friends, family members and colleagues, we don’t always view ourselves in the same way. In fact, you’re probably your own harshest critic.
Instead of getting bogged down in the things you could have done better, the mistakes you’ve made or the things that have gone wrong, focus on the positive things and recognize what you’ve done well.
Making an effort is worthy of recognition, even when the results haven’t quite gone to plan. Whether you’ve spent the day volunteering, working, caring for your family, studying or shopping, take a moment to recognize what you’ve achieved.
It doesn’t always feel natural to compliment oneself but this is something you should practice daily or even hourly! Write down a list of things you appreciate about yourself or strengths you think you possess and remind yourself of them at regular intervals.
Take time out
Taking a break and ensuring you have enough time to focus on yourself is key to maintaining a healthy mind. We’re often pulled in a variety of directions and your own needs may not be attended to. If you continue to neglect them, however, you and the people around you could start to suffer.
Whether you take a few minutes per day, an evening every week or a weekend every couple of months, make sure you take time off from your regular routine to focus on self-care. During this time, do things you enjoy but don’t push yourself to achieve any particular goals. Take a walk in the park, hike in the mountains or stroll around your neighborhood and enjoy the feel of fresh air on your skin. Alternatively, run yourself a bubble bath, book a day at the spa or treat yourself to a weekend retreat.
A healthy mind needs constant nurturing but once you become accustomed to practicing these top tips, you’ll soon find it easy to develop healthy habits. Along with taking care of your physical health, developing a healthy mind is vital to your wellbeing and happiness.