Are you been struggling with your mental health and wellbeing? Are you searching how to live a healthy lifestyle? Here are 13 ways that can supercharge your mental health and wellbeing in under 25 minutes.
When an anxiety attack strikes it can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, sick, fatigued, and stressed among many other things. This can affect every aspect of your life.
After reading this post you will have a better understanding of what you can do to alleviate anxiety. These tips are designed to be able to fit into your lifestyle easily so you can start implementing them in under 25 minutes.
This post is about supercharging your mental health and wellbeing when you?re on a tight schedule.
In a study done by the Australian government it was revealed that almost half of Australian adults will face a mental health issue during their life. Think about that. 1 in 2 Australian adults will have mental ill-health. So what are some simple things that you can do to improve your mental health and wellbeing?
1. Connect with others.
Call a friend, meet for a coffee or message them and interact with them about your day. When those anxiety symptoms start lurching, reaching out and connecting with others can help us to feel acknowledged, supported and can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.
Social connection gives meaning to our lives, helps us feel positive and boosts emotional intimacy. Think about how you feel when with loved ones. Feeling connected enables us to feel loved and cared for and is a positive exercise for our mental health and wellbeing.
2. Deep breathing exercises
Can give you an immediate release of tension and reduce anxiety. Try inhaling through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and then exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds. Aim to do this for a minimum of 2 minutes. But, if you can continue for 5-10 minutes for a more profound result.
Ever noticed when feeling anxious your heart races, your breathing becomes shallow and you start to feel tense? This is your body responding to the stress. So we want to offset that by using a relaxation response.
Make sure when doing deep breathing exercises that you count the seconds in your head. The logic behind this is to bring you back to the present moment and create space between you and the anxiety producing thought.
Deep breathing exercises can help your mental health and wellbeing in under 25 minutes.
3. Walk off the anxiety.
Get those feet moving on a brisk 10 minute walk. It can be enough to settle your anxiety and reduce stress. Increasing your heart rate can release the ?feel good? hormones in your brain which can help you manage your stress.
Head for a local park, garden or waterfront area. There may be some hill climbing involved which will increase your heart rate even further and help dissolve the stress.
So pack those sneakers when going to work as this is something that can be achieved in your lunch break.
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Can melt away the stress and tension. A 15-minute power massage can lower your blood pressure, release tension and reduce pain.
Often when we feel anxious and stressed, we start to feel stiff, tight and tense in our neck and shoulders. This is a common response to anxiety and your body is responding this way as it?s preparing itself for the perceived physical threat. This is the ?fight or flight? response.
Massage is such a relaxing activity and can really help your mental health and wellbeing.
5. Body scan.
Start by finding a comfortable spot to sit or lay down. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Choose a body part to start with. You may like to start at your feet and work your way up to your head. Become aware of the sensations in your right foot. Is there any discomfort or tension there. Does something feel different about it?
If you do notice something, try not to judge it. Just acknowledge it and let any emotions pass. Imagine that with every exhale you are breathing the pain out of your body. Try focusing on each body part for up to a minute.
Keep moving to each body part and if you notice that your thoughts are drifting away from the exercise, just slowly bring them back to the body scan.
When completed then slowly bring your awareness back to your surroundings. A body scan can take a bit of practice to fully reap the benefits. The more practice you do the more you?ll find you can manage any unwanted emotions.
A body scan can help reduce your anxiety and increase your mental health and wellbeing.
Can be a powerful tool to offload those unwanted thoughts, to combat overthinking and to reduce anxiety attacks. Living in such a fast paced world it can be difficult to calm your mind.
Journaling can be useful in identifying unhelpful thought patterns and triggers that bring on anxiety attacks. Journaling consistently can reduce your stress and can often help you find solutions to the problems that you?re experiencing.
You do not have to adhere to any sort of rules around journaling and it can literally be a brain dump. Just write down everything that comes to mind.
Making sure you?re organised by having a notebook and pen accessible can help to make this a go-to for mental health awareness and stress and anxiety reduction.
If you would like a free downloadable brain dump journal you can find it here.
7. Grounding exercises
Are designed to bring you back to the present moment. When we?re stressed, anxious or have been triggered by something we tend to become so consumed by our thoughts that we overthink and become lost in all the worry.
Sometimes keeping a little note of this exercise in your handbag or in your desk at work can be handy if you feel an anxiety attack coming or if you?re feeling overwhelmed.
One of the best grounding exercises is the 5,4,3,2,1. This grounding exercise can be done anywhere and you do not need any materials. Start by thinking of 5 things that you can see. Really look around and see if you can see something that you have never seen before.
Now think of 4 things that you can hear. Are there any soft background noises? What are 3 things that you can touch? What do they feel like? Next on the list is 2 things that you can smell. If you?re in the supermarket it may be bread baking. If you?re in the city, it may be coffee from a caf?. Finally, 1 thing that you can taste. It may be a mint from your handbag. Really think about the texture and the sensory aspect of it.
Grounding exercises can be beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.
8. Dehydration and depression.
When we?re dehydrated our brain cannot function correctly. Dehydration reduces the levels of amnio acids in our brain which can lead to feelings of anxiety, irritability, and depression.
When we?re dehydrated our body can?t produce as much energy so we start to feel fatigued, may have a headache and it affects our thinking. Dehydration also inhibits our serotonin production. Serotonin is our ?feel good? or ?happy? hormone.
Being depressed can already have a significant effect on serotonin levels but add dehydration too and it can drastically affect our moods. So if you?re feeling stressed or anxious then try keeping a water bottle close by.
Drinking enough water is so important for our mental health and wellbeing.
9. Healthy eating.
Food fuels our body and mind. To nourish our bodies so we can stay healthy it is imperative to eat healthy food. When we eat healthily, we have more energy, we sleep better, and we can cope with stress better.
By eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables we are providing our gut with healthy bacteria which is crucial for our brain health. Do you get to 3 or 4pm and feel like you need an energy pick me up? Try opting for something like fruit and yoghurt rather than a chocolate bar.
Have you tried the chocolate bar only to end up with a sugar rush? After the sugar rush subsides then you?re left with the big dip in energy, and you feel sluggish once again. Caffeine can also do the same thing. You feel full of energy until that dip hits.
Eating healthy food can bring more self confidence as we feel more positive about our bodies, we tend to be able to cope and overcome any challenges better and the nutrients help brain function.
Healthy eating is vital for positive mental health and wellbeing.
Brings a feeling of happiness, positivity and can even boost your self-esteem. If we?re having a bad day at work, didn?t sleep well or feel stressed, then pausing and thinking about what you?re grateful for can really change your mindset.
Gratitude can be thinking of an experience that brought your joy. For example, a holiday or spending time with a loved one. Gratitude could be the delicious healthy lunch you are eating or for the friends in your life.
It is easy to start a gratitude journal and it?s something that you can do daily. Start by observing and reflecting on what?s happening around you.
What special people do you have in your life? What is something that you did for someone else? What is something that you love about your home? What is something that you like about your work? What generous thing has someone done for you lately?
Having a grateful mentality can change your life in so many positive ways. It can bring more fulfilment with relationships, job satisfaction and your mood.
Gratitude can bring a positive mindset to increase your mental health and wellbeing.
11. Listening to music
Can have such a positive effect on your mental health. Music can release the feel good chemical dopamine in your brain and can also reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
If you?re feeling unhappy then try listening to music that is up beat rather than sad, emotional songs. Try dancing and singing to the music and feel the stress and anxiety subside. What do you do when a good song starts playing on the radio? Turn it up and sing!! How do you feel? It can totally change your mood.
Music can be a good distraction from what is causing the stress and anxiousness. Often when we?re stressed we start overthinking and the problems seem larger than what they actually are.
Relaxation music can also be a good tool to help you fall asleep. The slow tempo can calm your mind and soothe the stresses of the day away. If you?re feeling stressed day or night there is a genre of music that can help you de-stress.
Listening to music is a way to help your mental health and wellbeing in under 25 minutes.
12. Cloud gazing.
Imagine laying down on the grass, listening to the birds chirping and watching the clouds float by. Now imagine putting your negative thoughts and worries on these clouds. As they float away so does that thought.
Sometimes when we?re so anxious and our thoughts take over, we don?t see the forest for the trees. Creating this distance between you and your thoughts can help you think of solutions and focus more from a problem-solving aspect rather than being consumed by it.
Cloud gazing can also allow your mind to wander. You may see different shapes in the clouds, feel the breeze on your cheeks or feel the grass prickling your skin. Breath in deeply and feel the tension release as you breath out.
Cloud gazing is another exercise to help your mental health and wellbeing.
If you have never heard of zentangle before it?s a picture made with intricate patterns and usually is done with a black pen on white paper. The materials needed are a pencil, black pen and heavy white paper or cardstock.
If you want to follow the traditional method, then 3 1/2 inch square tiles of thicker paper is used. Having a micro pen and a larger pen also helps with the drawing and shading. But this is not necessary and you can totally choose what suits you.
Through focus, repetition, and creativity zentangle can act like a mindfulness activity and bring you back to the present moment. It can be a soothing and calming activity that requires very little materials.
This is a simple activity that gives you the opportunity to enjoy a creative process. It?s focusing on the ?here and now? rather than focusing on the past or future.
Zentangle is an activity that you can add to your lifestyle to assist your mental health and wellbeing.
This post was about 13 ways to supercharge your mental health and wellbeing in under 25 minutes. Now you have 13 different ways to reduce your stress and anxiety and to live a healthier life – even if you are time poor.
Here are a bonus 6 things to improve your mental health
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