21 Things To Do To Improve Your Mental Health & Well-being

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Glitter & sparkle

Particularly useful at this busy time of year when expectations are high.

via 21 Things To Do To Improve Your Mental Health & Wellbeing ‹ BayArt ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

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Hygge

All this talk on line of Hygge – a form of nuturing, natural and cosy lifestyle practised in Denmark.

hygge-definition

In these dark evenings, fresh icy days and by the fire nights, I need to incorporate some into my life!

hygge

The art of keeping your surroundings simple, natural but cosy and surrounding yourself with animals, family & friends.

Being social in a simple, low key and comforting way.

The month of December means we often do much of this socialising, but often not in the comfortable surroundings of home.

So when you are not preparing or celebrating Christmas madly,

try some Hygge to soothe the mind and nuture the soul.

 

Anxiety

Anxiety,  is a  little word

but with a

big impact.

Anxiety

Anxiety is the sensation of being on high alert, otherwise recognised as the “fight or flight response”.

This is a normal body function. When faced with a threat, the body responds via the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and shifts into gear to prepare you for action. Your body is mobilising resources to mobilise body and brain.

This normal response gives physical symptons of shortness of breath, fluttering in the stomach, racing heartbeat and sweating and emotionally you may start to feel fearful.

This sense of being ready for action was necessary in the days when we lived in caves and lived a primitive life. We often had to use our body physically and this gave an outlet for the energy build up.

Nowadays you may need to be on high alert in different situations, maybe to present a speech to a large group or a discussion with your boss if a confrontation is brewing which needs to be addressed. Then your body prepares, to sharpen your attention, so you can set about performing. This performance is an outlet for the build up of energy.

Unfortunately humans are unique in that a danger doesn’t have to be present to give us this response, we can conceptualise it. Neuroscientist Bruce McEwen says “the mind is so powerful that we can set off the [stress] response by imagining ourselves in a threatening situation”. Is it this ability that can cause people to be stuck rumminating and anticipating a stressful situation and being stuck in the stress response, leading to a state of anxiety?

We may have lost sight of where some of our body processes come from but we need to recognise them to make them work for us. Unchecked we can easily drift into symptons we know associate with anxiety.

How can we recognise our reactions, acknowledge them and make them work for us in modern life?

Sounds like action is needed!

  1. Recognition and understanding is the first step.
  2. Time out in the fresh air, dog walking, connecting with nature, or any exercise which suits your lifestyle, is a must.
  3. Relaxation of the mind, accompanying exercise, or in the form of meditation, mindfulness or hypnosis.

This gives you time to disconnect from your concerns and enjoy the physicality of movement and/or of emptying your mind – preferably both!!

If this is a challenge and you are finding activity difficult to incorporate into your week,  sessions with a Hypnotherapist can help you to identify what you need to focus on for yourself, to promote better well-being.

The outcome is harnessing the energy  of your body and mind to work with you!

Re-focusing, to notice the good things in our lives – boosts our mood.

imageIt is often more challenging to feel happy:-

as the nights draw in and the days become shorter

the days become dull and misty

the cold season rapidly approaches

But don’t dispair!!

A few minutes each day, to reaffirm what is good in our lives, can prevent this becoming a challenge.

Try these simple exercises to refocus your attention and boost your mood!

via 5 Science-Backed Strategies for More Happiness – Mindful

Autumn mists – leaves & little dog….get out there!

The weather has turned, it’s cool & misty.

The leaves are still on the trees & falling..

falling….

Before the weather gets too miserable – get out there!!

Walk with friends, children and little dogs!?!

Anything that encourages you to get the circulation going, air spreading throughout your lungs, legs pumping..😀

A sense of wellbeing – calm and tranquility as you observe the autumn colours, smell the changes in the season, kick the leaves and enjoy the sensation and the rustle.

Great for body and soul!

Celebrating friendships 👩‍👩‍👦‍👦

Do you have those friendships where you haven’t spoken or met for possibly weeks? You know… maybe you shared time as new parents, at college, or a particular work place together?

Challenging and emotional experiences make these friendships intense and special. How people get to know each other and bond over particular times, creates powerful connections. Nurturing these friendships and spending time, if only occasionally, can remind you of who you are and can be immensely supportive.

Ensuring you make time for these friendships by planning meet ups and social events is important. It helps to reinvigorate you and give you energy to move forward in the more difficult times of life. Connecting has the additional benefit of creating experiences and memories, which research suggests is not only bonding for the group members but boosts well being and happiness.

I  am lucky enough to have built a variety of different friendship groups and link up in different ways. The more fun ways the better and here are some examples:-

meet up for a coffee and chat at home or in a local cafe

light lunch at a local farm shop

a few drinks in town

bubble at a local spa

a walk together in the countryside, along a canal or riverbank, or up a hill

a visit to the seaside

a music concert or show together

Having these gatherings in the diary helps to focus you for working through what you need to for life to tick over. They don’t always have to cost much, in fact I find embracing nature is less costly and one of the most calming.

Just need to get the plans in the diary now!…..

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Connecting in a fun positive way helps motivate you and keep you keep connected to your life journey.

 

Recharging!!

imageTime away from it all.

Peace and quiet and a feeling of connection with nature. Choose what you enjoy:-

the beach

the seaside, or coast

the mountains

by a river or canal

in a park

observing animals in nature eg birds or mammals

a country home and gardens

beside a lake

in a forest or woodland

or wetlands.

Anywhere you can observe the sights, smells, noises, sensations and feelings of being in the fresh air.

Know you are alive by connecting with the Earth and our wonderful natural world.

For me there are several habitats I love but the beach or seaside is a favourite. The feeling of the soft fine sand between my toes, the sound of the crashing waves, the salty smell and breeze in my hair is enhanced when it is sunny and warm. It enables a relaxation to seep through my body.

Sitting or lying in this outdoor space with my senses alive I can reflect on issues of the day or more likely chill out………bliss!

When the weather is cooler testing muscles not used so regularly in a working environment to walk, clamber and explore brings a childish thrill.

This is the life 😃

 

 

 

Quiet time….just be!

A busy household – part time intense job, teenagers, step-teenagers, animals, music, driving, stress, older active mum, working away husband, friends, learning and running a household. Quiet time I ask?

Essential…if you are going to keep your mind calm, your body functioning and your mental health in one piece.We all know this on some level but it is trying to fit it in.

So we need to develop strategies to make it happen.

Find a peaceful place – where you don’t have to overthink of anything, time for you to focus on the here and now. Focus on you! Even if only for 10-15 minutes each day:-

Walk the dog

Sit in the park

Plan a relaxing bubble bath

Walk through countryside

Reading a book or magasine

Gardening

Play sport or exercise class

Sing

Painting

These are some of the things I have tried .Whatever allows you to have that feeling of tuning out or ‘flow’ , where your mind switches off and you can just be. Be in the moment.

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With people demanding of your time and energy for much of the day, you need and deserve this time and space to replenish your energy levels.

If this is difficult for you, I know I have been there, plan to make it a priority 🙂