Today you can’t go anywhere without hearing about Mental Health and how important it is for self-care and nourishment.  In our crazy world of 24-hour news cycle, work, social media, family and other stressors, no time is like the present to take a step back and practice some inward growth and recovery.  These are some easy quick ways to slow down the pace, get refocused, centered, and ready to take on anything that is thrown at you.

Slow Things Down With Breathing

breathe

Talk to anyone managing stress or anxiety and they’ll insist on the importance of breathing.  It is something that costs nothing and is so essential to our well-being.  We take breathing for granted, quite literally, 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.  There are a lot of great apps and tools that can assist you in your breathing techniques.  Science shows that deep breathing can lower your heart-rate, 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 be converted. 

Sleep and Sleep Well

sleep

Of course 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 and tricks up its sleeve.  A fantastic life changing app called Calm has bedtime stories for adults called Sleep Stories.  They will have you turning off your racing mind resulting in falling asleep faster and getting deeper sleep. 

The Magic of Smell

smell

Smells are truly powerful; they can evoke all sorts of memories and feelings.  Surround yourself with smells that bring happiness and serenity to mind.  Lavender is a favorite of many – try using some lavender essential oil or lotion during your day for a quick reset.  Do some research on what smells bring you comfort and calm and use them in your self-care arsenal.

Practice Mind Control

mind

Your mind can be a convoluted place.  The active creative mind can try to take control of you, but you need to remember who is in charge.  When it tries to take you down rabbit holes of uncertainty and fiction, take a step back and re-center yourself.  You can evoke different emotions and feelings in your body by just choosing to focus on different memories in your mind.  Think of a happy memory and think vividly – what were you wearing, what did the place smell like, what did it look like, time of day, weather, etc.  Paint yourself a detailed picture.  This is a great technique in times of worry and an easy way to practice the overgeneralized “think happy thoughts.”

Self-awareness and self-care are cornerstones to a healthy happy life.  These all take practice and determination, so don’t give up easily.  Don’t try to take it all on at once, focus on what works for you and create your own toolbox for mental health.