It seems that you can’t go anywhere without hearing about mental health and/or self-care and how important it is for everyone. In our crazy world of 24-hour news cycles, pandemics, work, social media, politics, family and any other stressors, there really is no time like the present to take a step back and practice some growth and recovery. These are some easy ways to slow down the pace, get refocused, centered, and ready to take on anything that is thrown at you.
We all hear about how important communication is and there’s no escaping that fact. However, something that is hugely underestimated is breathing. Talk to anyone managing stress or anxiety and they’ll tell you the importance of breathing. It is something that costs nothing and is so essential to our well-being. It’s probably safe to say that we take breathing for granted and sometimes it’s the most basic concept that is healthiest for us. Try taking a couple minutes out of your day to practice breathing. You may be surprised of the impact it has on you. There are many great apps and tools that can assist you in your breathing techniques. Science shows that deep breathing can lower your heartrate, provide calm in stressful situations, and stop you from getting overwhelmed. It will be difficult to understand how calming this effect is at first, but stick with it, and you too will see the beauty in breath.
Some might brush this one off or put it lower on the list of essential priorities, but it should definitely be at the top of the list. Sleep is essential to the healthy mind. Sometimes it’s hard to find good sleep on our own, especially when our mind has other plans. Find a way to turn off your mind and consider trying an app. It may seem counterintuitive to use your phone to unplug but you’ll be surprised at how it can help you fall asleep. The app will have you turning off your racing mind resulting in falling asleep faster and getting deeper sleep.
Control Your Brain
Speaking of your mind, learning to control your mind is one of the most powerful tools and skills you can develop. The active creative mind can try to take control of you, but you need to remember who is in charge. When your mind races for the next rabbit hole of uncertainty, stop, take a step back and re-center yourself. This can look different for people. Some might need a 5-minute breathing break while others might need a 20-minute walk. Re-centering isn’t a scientific formula. You can evoke different emotions and feelings in your body by just choosing to focus on different memories in your mind. Try thinking of a happy memory and really focus on the details, what were you wearing, what did the place smell like, who was there with you, what did it look like, time of day, weather, etc. Start painting yourself a detailed picture and take yourself back to that moment in time. This is a great technique in times of high stress.
There are many things we can’t control in the world but there are also ways to manage how we react to those things. Keeping a positive and healthy mindset is a critical in this day and age.