Dealing with mistakes and guilt
We commonly hear about mental health when someone is experiencing a low point, or getting treatment for a mental health related illness. While it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of poor mental health and what we can do to help ourselves through these experiences, it’s important to also talk about mental health when we are feeling good. How often do you hear discussion around positive mental health?
There are a number of ways we can practise healthy habits that supports a positive state of mental health, and prevents stress and burnout from escalating. From practising kindness to making sure you are getting enough quality rest, here are 4 ways to nurture your mental health and wellbeing - something that’s worth us all making the time for.
1. Ensure you are getting good, quality sleep
Quality sleep is just as important for our mental health as for our physical health. The rest that we get from sleeping helps us to recover from mental exertion. Poor sleep and poor mental health are intrinsically linked and so, getting good, quality rest enables us to feel at our optimal best the next day.
There are many benefits to sleep and our mental wellbeing. Not only does sleep improve our mood and happiness, but it also reduces the risk of anxiety and depression. When we are well rested, we are more likely to feel fulfilled in our social life and work commitments compared to when we feel tired and unmotivated, which can lead to a heightened state of stress.
Discover more about the link between sleep and our mental wellbeing with our Mindfulness for Sleep Course.
2. Consider practicing kindness
Being kind and receiving kindness is good for our mental health as it releases a hormone called Oxytocin, known as the love hormone, which works to boost your immune system and increase happiness levels.
You can practise kindness in many different ways, from performing an act of kindness to a stranger, to reaching out to a friend to let them know they are loved, to giving your time to a cause you believe in. Small acts like these not only benefit the person on the receiving end but also the individual who is spreading kindness. It is also important to give yourself the gift of self-kindness, which can be done by giving yourself time to do something you love, being creative, engaging in journaling or practising meditation.
To learn more about the science of kindness and to start your practice, take a look at our Self-Kindness Course.
3. Learn to manage stress
Although stress is part of being human, it is also a key trigger for poor mental health and wellbeing. Whether it’s work-related, personal or more universal, high levels of stress experienced over a long period of time that’s unresolved can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing, and can lead to overwhelm, burnout and mental illness.
While short, manageable bursts of stress can be a drive for motivation and focus, severe stress can feel all-consuming. Learning to manage stress is a vital part of taking care of your mental health and wellbeing, and there are many practical techniques you can learn to manage stress, prevent burnout from escalating, and bring a sense of calm into your daily life.
To find out more about inspiring regular habits to manage and relieve stress, find out more about our Stress Relief Course.
4. Introduce daily Mindfulness techniques
Practising Mindfulness is an empowering way to nurture good mental health, bringing a deeper sense of awareness into your daily life. Mindful activities have been scientifically proven to have multiple health benefits, including relaxing your body and mind, and feeling more connected to the present moment. In turn, this helps to alleviate feelings of overwhelm, stress and anxiety.
The act of being mindful simply means to build your sense of awareness in your mind, body and environment, with an attitude of curiosity and kindness to yourself and others. Focusing your attention on the present moment could be through observing your breathing during breathwork exercises, acknowledging your thoughts while meditating, engaging in mindful movement, or focusing on the details of immersing yourself in a creative activity. These exercises and techniques can fit into any lifestyle – whether you’re practising Mindfulness at work, at home or on the go.
If you’re new to practising Mindfulness, find out more about the science behind it and discover resources and tips to get started with our Daily Mindfulness Course.
Putting time aside to check in on your mental wellbeing
Often our mental health can get overlooked in favour of work deadlines, social plans and financial goals. However, cultivating regular healthy habits to check in with your sense of self and take stock of your wellbeing is vital for our overall health and long-term happiness; especially during busy and stressful periods.
To begin with, putting aside small pockets of time for yourself to build your sense of self-awareness and nurture good mental wellbeing will not only benefit your health and happiness, it will produce a positive ripple effect in all areas of your life - from improved relationships to progressing in your career, to leading an empowered life with purpose.
Original source: 4 ways to nurture good mental health