Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your body. When you feel healthy mentally, you’re more productive, find greater satisfaction in tasks, and feel more centered. One of the biggest factors that impacts your mental health is stress – that nasty condition that everyone experiences at some point. Some experience more of it than others, though, thanks to a difficult job, a demanding social calendar, or family issues.
Stress can be all-encompassing, making it difficult to function and enjoy life to the fullest. But just because you have stress in your life doesn’t mean it should take over. Take back your mental health with some of these stress relieving tips.
- Research Something You Love
Everyone has a hobby or a favorite subject. Oftentimes, the simple act of researching a hobby is enough to take your mind off your stress. For example, if you love interior design trends, spend at least 15 minutes a day looking up design trends online. Whatever your favorite hobby is, make it a part of your everyday life and you’ll see your tension fade.
- Pack Healthy Snacks
What you eat can really affect your stress and how you deal with it. When you eat junk food and sweets, they slow down your metabolic function and your mental capacity. This opens the door for stress to take over, particularly if the food you eat makes you feel sick.
Try to combat the negative mental health aspects of eating poorly by packing healthy snacks. People tend to eat comfort foods when they’re stressed, which makes the situation worse. If you’ve already packed healthy snacks, you’ll be less likely to reach for a candy bar when you’re stressed.
Spend some time thinking about you. It only takes a few minutes a day of deep breathing and mindfulness to restore some sanity. This is a practice that’s supported by research. According to findings, daily meditation can actually reroute neural pathways to reduce the impact of stress. It can make you feel more positive and give you better perspective for your day.
Meditation can be accomplished in many ways. The simplest involves sitting up straight with both feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Close your eyes and breathe deeply from the diaphragm. As you do this, think positive thoughts. You might think about the peaceful sound of ocean waves or repeat a positive affirmation. Do this for at least 10 minutes. If you still feel stressed, repeat the process when you have some extra time.
Study after study has closely linked increased stress with repeated use of technology. Most people own a smartphone, laptop or computer, and television. Some own even more devices than that and use them all daily. All of that screen time can keep your mind awake and buzzing when it should be resting and relaxing.
To save yourself from undue tension, try to take 30 minutes every day to perform a solitary activity that doesn’t involve a screen. Instead of looking at your phone while eating lunch, watch people as they interact with each other. Pick up a book, do some yard work, or clean the house without music on in the background. This time will allow you to think and meditate, allowing your mind to relax and restoring some of that mental energy.