When making a decision to get healthy, many people focus on the physical – exercising more and eating well. After all, the body is your instrument and you must cherish it and put it to good work. While this is certainly an important part of getting to a place of optimal health, it is just as important to consider mental wellness in that process.
Peace of mind and living as stress-free a life as possible is Key to living at your best. When your mind is clear and healthy, you are better able to be the best version of yourself. Moreover, maintaining actions and decisions that you may have made in becoming more physically fit or losing pounds is much easier when you are free of things like depression, anxiety, addiction and/or excessive stress. This is because of the strong connection between body, mind and spirit. Consider a few tips to enhance your mental balance and health even as you create a stronger more balanced you physically:
- Let go of residual anger: If you have anger over something – perhaps something you’ve been holding on to for a long time – do yourself a favor and let it go. Whether that means confronting the anger head on or talking it out with those involved, do what you need to in order to set that anger free. Your physical and mental health will be better for it.
- Take time for yourself every day: Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block or time spent just sitting somewhere quiet to meditate or pray, make sure to give yourself the time you need each day to decompress and relax. You will likely be more mentally sound and find it easier to focus on your goals if you do.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: Far too often, people get hung up on small things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. If you are going to stress, at least choose situations that are worth being stressed over. The small everyday annoyances that won’t matter just hours later don’t deserve the response that your body will have over the stress of the situation. Practice letting go of situations that don’t otherwise impact your life, and you will be mentally healthy for doing so. If you find yourself dwelling on situations and stress points for days and days, it’s time to seek out a way to resolve those issues…even if it just is a matter of personal peace.
- Take tender care of yourself: When you are having a bad day, do something to cheer yourself up. When you are sick, take the time needed to heal and recover. Take as tender care of yourself as you do your loved ones. Go the extra mile for yourself as you would for them. Do all of the things for yourself that you would for others in need around you. It is far too easy for people to forget about doing anything for themselves on the same plane that they would do for another.
- Ask for help when you need it: If you are struggling with issues of a mental or emotional nature, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, doing so could open doors to becoming that much more balanced and healthy beyond what you could have hoped for. This is particularly poignant if you are struggling with a mental illness of any kind of, hormonal imbalances, depression or if you simply can’t overcome an emotional issue. Ask for help. This could be in the form of professional counseling, therapy, talking with your pastor or perhaps just taking the time to talk with a trusted family member or friend. Whatever you feel will help you to overcome a mental or emotional challenge, just do it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a show of strength to yourself that you are important enough to you to take care of yourself no matter what it might take.
- Remember to breathe: Deep breathing for a few minutes each day can help you to retain your sense of calm and inner peace. It is important to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, fully filling your diaphragm when you do. As the body receives extra oxygen, it will in turn relax and help to fully clear your mind. When you are in the middle of stressful situation or struggling with you thoughts about changing your lifestyle, take some deep breaths. You may find that you feel better and are able to move forward with less stress and anxiety.
Anything that affects your mental well-being will ultimately affect your physical self as well. Mental stress can lead to a host of physical ailments, so even as you are making the effort to get as physically healthy as possible, don’t forget to take time to do the same for your mental well-being.