Woman in red

Things You Can Do to Boost Your Mental Wellbeing

The importance of mental wellbeing and health can never be overstated. In fact, mental health and wellbeing is as important as physical health or we can say is more important than physical health. A healthy mind builds a healthy body. According to World Health Organization (WHO) “Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Here are six ways to achieve or boost mental wellbeing. You can incorporate these techniques in your daily routine.

Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness daily. Mindfulness is a state of being in the present and accepting and paying attention to bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings that come to your mind without being judgemental towards them. Make mindfulness a daily part of your routine.

Physical activity: Make some kind of physical activity a part of your daily routine. Physical activity has proven to be beneficial for your overall health. Do whatever you enjoy the most; be it dance, some kind of sport, exercise, cycling, running, or brisk-walk.

Stay curious: Curiosity is the key to all kinds of inventions that we see around us. Curiosity keeps the brain healthy. Observe things around you, try to notice anything unusual, focus your attention on everything that you observe, try to find why and how things are as they are. It will help you observe your feelings and thoughts as well as will help you manage them more effectively and in a healthy way.

Meet people: Invest your time and effort in building social connections with people around you. Socialize as much as possible. Man is a social animal; he needs to be surrounded by people if not all the time. Having social connections makes your life more enriching and will be a source of happiness. Socialize with people you work with, your neighbors, relatives, etc.

Be kind: Be kind to others around you. Kindness costs nothing but fills you with a sense of positivity and happiness that is everlasting. Help others. Make it a part of your daily activity to help at least one person daily be it a friend or stranger. You can even enroll yourself in some community service as well. You will be amazed by the effects of being kind to others.

Learn something new: Your brain is just like any other muscle in your body. It needs exercise to stay active and healthy. One way to keep your brain healthy is to make sure you never stop learning. Try something new, may be a new dish, engage in some hobbies, or enroll yourself in some course. Read biographies, learn new instruments or whatever you enjoy. You will gain confidence by learning new things.

Bringing Mindfulness to the Table — The Wellbeing Blogger

Mindfulness skills are quite handy when it comes to food. Not because mindfulness became trendy over the last couple of years, but because it can nurture your self-awareness and expand your senses. Who doesn’t want to enjoy food even more? By being mindful, you can deepen your relationship with food. Suddenly, you may find yourself more appreciative of the people who work to grow your food, or even realise that you can waste less food.

Bringing Mindfulness to the Table — The Wellbeing Blogger

Can Mindfulness Increase Your Self-esteem? — Sky Is The Limit

Haven’t you noticed how confident individuals have a certain charm in how they present themselves? They have a swagger in their walk and a captivating smile. Confident individuals are self-assured. Confidence allows them to have a positive view of themselves. You can be like that too! You know how much you are able to achieve. But first, you will need to figure out the following: Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem?

 

Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem? — Sky Is The Limit

How to Stay Positive During Lockdown

The whole world is going through an extraordinary phase. The present COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown is causing a great deal of uncertainty and doubt that might be ultimately affecting your mental health negatively. During this phase it becomes even more imperative to remain positive and take care of your mental health. Here are few ways in which you can stay positive during these trying times.

Limit your news intake: First of all you need to moderate your intake of news. There is no doubt that watching news seems to be the only way to stay updated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. But, watching too much news can be overwhelming and can cause a good deal of stress. If you feel stressed and anxious after watching news, it’s a sign that you need to limit excessive news consumption. You can make a point to watch news only twice or thrice a day, to stay up-to-date. Moreover, it is important that you follow only authorised and reliable sources of information. It is important to stay alert but no reason to stay alarmed all the time.

Follow a routine: If you are working from home or have kids who are attending online classes, it becomes even more important that you follow a routine so that you get proper time for all the activities and don’t unnecessarily get overwhelmed with all the tasks and activities at hand. Moreover following a routine will make you feel more in control of the situation and it will help you normalize the not-so-normal circumstances that the whole world is going through. You can make a To-Do list to organize work or maintain a dairy or journal of the tasks to be completed. Allocate time to work, exercise, rest, etc judiciously.

You are not alone: Remember, that you are not alone in this, everyone is going through almost the same situation. The only difference is how everyone is responding to these circumstances and no single way can be considered perfect. Do what suits you best.

Exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well: It has become even more critical during this lockdown that you eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. As per health officials, a healthy adult is required to perform 2.5 hours of exercise per week. Exercise has been found to have various health benefits, like it helps maintain healthy cognitive functions, and helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins. It is equally important to follow a healthy balanced diet. Avoid food that has too much fat and sugar content, avoid packed food that is filled with preservatives. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. Last but not the least, make sure you get 7-8 hours of sound sleep. Following a healthy balanced diet and exercising daily along with a sound sleep will boost your immunity and help you stay active.

Meditate: Meditation has been found to relieve stress and anxiety. It can also relieve depressive feelings. Just a few minutes spent on meditation can have a huge positive impact on you mental, physical and emotional health. Make it a point to spend few minutes daily on meditation. Find a quiet place where you can place a comfortable seat, make sure that the temperature of the room is neither too hot nor too cold, wear comfortable loose fitting clothes, and ensure the lighting of the room is not too bright. You can also add other elements like, a candle or aroma diffuser if you want. The purpose is to create a happy and comfortable space.

Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness refers to being present in the moment. Not thinking about the past or future, just being aware of the present moment non-judgementally. You can be mindful while cooking, eating, or even while sitting in your balcony. You can start practicing mindfulness by noticing things you can touch, see, and hear. Simply pause for a while and focus your attention on objects you can touch, see, and hear in your present environment. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Notice how your body reacts to deep breathing. While eating or cooking, use all of your five senses to notice how the food looks, smells, tastes, and touches like. These are some of the ways you can be mindful while performing your regular activities.

Stay in touch with your family and friends: While we all are basically locked up in our homes, this does not mean that you cannot meet your family or friends virtually. Stay in touch with your family members and friends by calling them up or having a video chat. Don’t let the lockdown cause loneliness. Stay connected with people around you virtually. Man is a social animal, and therefore, keeping in touch with others is vital for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

woman wearing maskBreak the monotony: The lockdown has already put a halt on a lot of our usual activities. We all are confined to our houses, so it is natural to experience monotony in our day-to-day activities. It, therefore, becomes even more important that we do not let monotony set in. If you are spending a lot of time on Netflix or Facebook and still not feeling entertained much, or feeling rather bored, it’s time to take a break and do something else—read a book, take a walk indoor, talk with your kids or partner. You can also break the monotony by simply changing your bed-sheets, trying some new dishes, going through old family album, redecorating your house, or by organizing your forever messy wardrobe. Who said there’s a rule where you can’t dress up for home or you have to use your finest crockery only for guests. Arrange a candle light dinner for your partner or family members, dress up, use your finest crockery and have a restaurant like feel at home. You might have to compromise on food, but who cares. The point is to create memories and moments that you can cherish when the pandemic is over.

Gratitude: No matter how difficult the present situation seems, there is still plenty to be grateful for, if you look properly. When there are people who are struggling to survive in shelter homes, when people are barely getting enough to eat—in such times, if you are getting three meals a day, have roof over your head, and loved ones who care for you, you have enough to be grateful for. Think about it—on the one hand, there are frontline workers who are risking their lives to save others and on the other, there is you who can stay safe indoor. If you bring all this to your consciousness, you would definitely experience a sense of gratitude. The feeling of gratitude will, in turn, help you overcome all your stresses and worries resulting in contentment, which will bring to you peace and satisfaction.

Help your community: It has been proven that helping others makes one feel positive and capable. In whatever little ways you can, try to help your community, maybe by giving food or other essentials to the needy (while taking all the necessary precautions and maintaining a safe distance), by appreciating the healthcare and other frontline workers, or even by following the directions of the state government. You can also help you community by just being kind to each other. In these difficult times, everyone is going through a lot, so simple gesture of kindness can bring positivity not only into your life but also into the lives of others.

Don’t think about future, prepare for the future: As we all are going through this stressful phase, there must be many who are fearing possible layoff in the near future. Already a lot of companies have started downsizing their work force. This has led to a great deal of anxiety and stress among a lot of individuals. But worrying simply cannot help you in this time. Instead of thinking too much about the future, use this time to enhance your skill sets, so as to make yourself essential for your company. Enrol yourself in some online courses and take part in these courses with full dedication. Don’t consider work from home as a paid holiday, work with full dedication.

coronavirusBe gentle with yourself: Don’t forget to be kind and gentle with yourself as well. Remember, this is something which none of us has ever experienced before, so you must not blame yourselves for not being prepared enough. If you are not able to learn a new skill or cook fancy dinners for your family, or if you are not as productive as your usual self, there’s no need to be harsh on yourself. If you don’t feel like doing anything, that is fine too. Relax, take rest. Remember, the lockdown could also be a chance to refresh or take a break from the normal hustle and bustle of life. If you come out of this lockdown as more energized and refreshed, consider it a success and achievement. Also, stop comparing yourself with others. Every individual is different and will be responding to the situation differently, there’s no point comparing yourself with others. Spend more time with your family. If you feel anxious or depressed there’s no harm in reaching out for help. There must be some online counseling services provided in your community, reach out to them.

16 Benefits of Meditation — ThoughtsnLifeBlog

 

What is all the hype about meditation? Why bother? Are you happy inside? Truly happy inside? Can you be completely alone and happy? Peaceful, and calm? Do you get upset quickly? Do you make bad decision? Do you regret things you have done? Do you ask is this all to life? Meditation and mindfulness are […]

via 16 Benefits of Meditation — ThoughtsnLifeBlog

Mindfulness and Neuroscience — Meditation

GreeneryMindfulness and Neuroscience It seems that everyone is talking about mindfulness lately. Have you heard? *The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is working with a number of groups—college faculty, attorneys and judges, social justice workers, business leaders, youth and those who work with young people–to encourage the incorporation of contemplative practices in a variety…

via Mindfulness and Neuroscience — Meditation

Mindfulness and Gratefulness — HUMAN PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGY

When most people think about meditation, they imagine a person sitting in the lotus position trying their best not to scratch those itches. Because once you put yourself in the lotus position and stop moving, everything starts itching. The bad news is that you WILL start feeling itchy the second you close your eyes.Continue…

via Mindfulness and Gratefulness — HUMAN PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGY

Mindfulness Mini – Compassion — Enhanced Perspective

Breath is literally your life source, don’t underestimate the power of focusing on your breath. When you can control your breath, you can control your thoughts. When you can control your thoughts, you can be thoughtful about your actions. Think about how powerful that is! Use this exercise for generating compassion for yourself, a situation […]

via Mindfulness Mini – Compassion — Enhanced Perspective

Mindfulness Meditation Therapy — Online Mindfulness Therapy

The growth of interest in Mindfulness Meditation in the West and its therapeutic application for healing the many forms of emotional suffering that we all experience as human beings is a phenomenon of great significance indeed. This movement is not about adopting yet another religion, not about learning a new set of rules to try to live by, and not about finding another set of rituals and practices to follow.

via Mindfulness Meditation Therapy — Online Mindfulness Therapy

Grateful woman in mustard field

7 Ways to Practice Gratitude

Being able to practice gratitude daily is a great virtue. It helps people feel emotions that are positive and healthy. People who practice gratitude get more sound sleep and are kinder and more compassionate towards others. Practicing gratitude also creates an overall feeling of contentment and makes an individual feel satisfied with life. Science has proven that it can also lead to a stronger immune system.

Learning to practice gratitude begins with the understanding that ‘gratitude’ is not something that is meant exclusively for major events in one’s life. One is naturally grateful for things that hold special place in his or her life, like getting admission in a prestigious or desired college, or getting a promotion but what one needs to learn is that he or she can be grateful for things as small as a good cup of coffee after a hard day of work as well. In fact, this is the key to practicing gratitude in daily life. Following are some simple ways to practice gratitude in daily life and reap its wonderful benefits:

1. Nothing is small: When it comes to practicing gratitude the most important thing that we must remember is that nothing is small. One should appreciate and be grateful for every good thing, whether it is the wonderful weather or getting to work on time because, as said before, gratitude is not for the big things alone. Of course inculcating this habit will take time, therefore, begin with finding one thing a day to be grateful for. While being grateful, try to be in the moment completely, notice the minute details and appreciate everything whole-heartedly and with complete conviction. Only then will you be genuinely able to understand the importance and worth of gratitude. Soon you will notice how naturally it comes to you and that there’s so much in life to be grateful for.

2. Just the right comparison: Comparing ourselves to others is quite common considering the amount of time we spend on social media these days. It is quite unavoidable even. But the key to practice gratitude is to know what kind of comparison might help you be grateful. Comparing ourselves with those who seem better will only bring misery and will only rob us of our joys. Therefore, it is imperative to stop comparing ourselves with others if we truly want to be grateful.

     Focus on yourself and be thankful for what you have. And at times when you find it difficult to be grateful, look around. You will find that there are so many others who are yearning to have what you have. This will help you appreciate your blessings.

3. Practice mindfulness: Practicing gratitude requires you to be mindful of all the little things around you whose value you fail to realize and those you often take for granted. Getting to office without getting stuck in a bad traffic jam, or taking a walk on a road that is clean and green are little things that often go unnoticed because we are not in the moment. Practicing mindfulness brings gratitude easily. You will notice that by being grateful, you’ve become happier and more empathetic as well.

4. Gratitude journal: Keeping a gratitude journal is a great habit. Develop the habit to write down all the things for which you are grateful daily, no matter how big or small. Keep a journal of all the positive thoughts that you experience while being grateful. It is also a wonderful way of realizing that there is so much in the world to be grateful for. Also, on the days you find yourself miserable or sad or down, this journal will help you feel positive. Practicing gratitude does not mean that you would never feel disappointed, sad, or low. You would, but the journal will surely come handy and will help you bounce back to a happy state quickly. You can keep a daily journal or a weekly journal whichever suits you better, though starting by keeping a daily journal will better serve the purpose.

5. Help others: Helping others or doing something for others, especially without expecting anything in return, can actually boost your happiness. Research has shown that helping others can increase well-being as well. When you bring smile on somebody’s face, you are bound to experience happiness yourself. Not only that, it will also help you be grateful for being able to do something for someone else. Small acts, such as effective listening or doing somebody’s work or simply being kind to others will instantly make you feel contented and give you a positive feeling of being capable.

6. Spend time with family and friends: Spending time with loved ones will not only make your relationships stronger but it will also bring you closer to your loved ones. Knowing that you have a loving family and friends who care, can make you be more grateful and appreciative. It will also provide you opportunities where you can do something for them and practice gratitude. Hence, make it a habit to meet and spend quality time with your family and friends no matter how busy life gets.

7. Consistency is the key: It is well known that it takes 21 days to two months to form a habit. Gratitude too is a kind of habit; and the key to attain it is to remain consistent so that being grateful becomes a part of your behavioral repertoire. Soon you will realize that what required an effort earlier, has ultimately become spontaneous. Thus, even if initially it takes a little effort to look for the things to be grateful for,  it will steadily become more and more effortless and spontaneous.

Depend On Yourself — Psychology of Mindfulness

We should try to learn to depend on ourselves. Try not to look to others, or external things to bring us happiness or fulfillment. Being independent can be a tough battle. What many don’t understand is that being dependent on others can lead to misery, sadness, loneliness, and disappointment. Others aren’t always going to be […]

via Depend On Yourself — Psychology of Mindfulness

Midnight Thoughts — DSM (Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night because of too many thoughts, try adopting mindfulness on a nightly basis. Nighttime is the worst part of the day to have unresolved thoughts which you have not paid enough attention to during daytime. When these thoughts linger in the middle of the night, it makes falling asleep nearly impossible. Your mind becomes like a night owl, ready to scavenge whatever it can find. […]

via Midnight Thoughts — DSM (Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Ultimate 5 Mindfulness Hacks to Feel Better Instantly — Human Performance Psychology

smile

Our negative mind states can feel so powerful that we can easily lose sight of how quickly they can change for the better. They are significantly more malleable than you may believe. It’s no understatement to say that they’re often based on a house of cards.

via The Ultimate 5 Mindfulness Hacks to Feel Better Instantly