There are thousands of things you could be doing that will improve your mental health. In fact, entire industries have popped up focused on just that. But you don’t need to spend thousands to maintain good mental health. In fact, if you do a few little free exercises every day you can do a lot more than an expensive trip to the spa every month will ever do. These are a few mental health exercises that everyone should do.
Doing a good breathing exercise is a great way to begin or end your day. In fact, there’s nothing to say you can’t do it at the beginning, middle, and end of the day. These will help you reduce stress and feel more grounded.
Find somewhere quiet, even if that’s the bathroom or outside. Sit in a comfortable position and rest one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in slowly through your nose until your lungs are full then hold that breath for 5 seconds and exhale through your mouth slowly. Repeat this 5 to 10 times. Try to focus your thoughts on your breathing and only your breathing.
If you’re looking for other breathing exercises to try out you can find them on Youtube and there are also a number of apps that will also give you a bit of variety.
One thing that a lot of people find comfort in is writing, and often this comes in the form of journaling. Of course, there are a lot of ways to do journaling. For example, gratitude journals where you write a list of things, you are grateful for or writing a letter to your future self.
Another option, one that is often used in Cognitive Behavior Therapy is writing down your problems for the day and hashing them out. Did the dog peeing on the kitchen floor really ruin your day? Is it the end of the world or just a minor irritation?
Writing these things down not only helps you get a better perspective on your problems; it helps free you from them.
Going out for a walk does amazing things for your mental health. There are the effects of being out in nature, the impact that the sun has on you, and the fact that you’ve got your body moving. All these things help your mental health. You can add an extra layer to that by going somewhere new.
Listen to Classical or Jazz Music
Take some time to listen to some calming music that doesn’t have any lyrics like classical or jazz music. While you’re listening close your eyes and just focus on the music. Try to pick out the different instruments. Focus on the music and only the music. Doing this regularly will give your mind the opportunity to unwind and destress.
I could write an entire series of blog posts about mindfulness, and maybe I will in the future. But if you’ve never heard of it before, here’s the basic idea. That you are aware and focused on your task at hand no matter what you’re doing. If you’re in the shower, think only about showering. Take time to enjoy the scent of your shampoo. Be aware of your breathing.
While you’re having a meal focus only on your food. How does it taste? What is it’s texture? Got a text while eating? Ignore it. Focus on one thing at a time. Texts will have their time later.
LaToyia, The Motivated Mom