Let’s face it: we may feel in control of our lives one minute, and the next life throws us a curve ball of stress and anxiety. Whether it be a break-up, the death of a family member, or a personal ailment, sometimes it just feels like you can never get on top. While we cannot control everything that happens in our lives, we can treat how we deal with them physically and psychologically. Here are habits you can use to enhance physical and mental wellness.
Negative emotions are not to be avoided, and in fact it is an important part of the human experience. If you are desolate after a breakup, do not bury that hurt deep down. Suppressing your sadness will only cripple your life. If you are not the expressive type, do not worry—there are plenty of ways to grieve that can be completely private. It is tempting to drown your sorrows in alcohol, erratic behavior, and impulsive decisions like addictive shopping. Instead of waking up from these decisions with regret, try a different approach. For instance, grief can come in the form of a private letter. Write a letter to the person who hurt you or the loved one who passed, or to the depression in your life that has no source. It doesn’t need to be sent, so you can be completely honest. This form of therapy can help take off a huge burden on your life. If you are the artistic type, compose a song or paint. Find a form of expression that works for you, so that you don’t result to behavior that will make you feel worse. This is also a good time to consider finding faith and praying about your negative emotions. Turn to a religious friend and share with them how you feel. You might be surprised that they are willing to pray for you too!
You’ve heard it over and over—exercise is important. However, it’s not just for you to like how you look in the mirror. Sure, toning those buns may give you some confidence to strut your stuff, but it has other positive effects on body and mind besides appearance. Want to feel a spring in your step? Regular physical activity is linked to the release of endorphins, a chemical linked with happiness. This is what a runner experiences when they say they have a “runner’s high.” Even a leisurely walk can boost your mood. Exercise also heightens energy levels, by delivering fresh oxygen to your system and improving cardiovascular health and libido—all things that will promote you to do the things you love. So, find some form of exercise you can enjoy. Whether it is the activating and meditative movement of yoga, the high-intensity power of kickboxing, the fun and freedom of dancing, or a simple brisk walk, there is something out there for you. You can even find social fitness groups. Find your niche, settle in a routine, and perform it regularly to rewire your brain to enjoy the high of physical activity.
Routine sleep is easier said than done. Life happens—the kids won’t settle into bed, last minute plans to go out spring forth, or your job just won’t let you stay off the clock. Nevertheless, it is essential that you take your good night’s sleep back into your control. Just like with exercise, sleep boosts your mood and energy. Lack of sleep can cause a host of health problems, from emotional strife to acne problems. Consider the latter; lack of sleep can lead to hardened, painful pimples, especially those who are predisposed to breakouts. Cystic pimples can form deep lesions and scars in the skin—if that doesn’t convince you to get to bed early, maybe the next fact will inspire you. Exhaustion can lead to lowered libidos, and cause disinterest in sex, which could greatly affect your relationships.
It is time to set the alarm; you may have to schedule more of your activities and become slightly less spontaneous, but you will ultimately improve the quality of your life. If you experience difficulty sleeping, consider reducing caffeine and sugar intake, as well as investing in natural sleep-aids. If this doesn’t help, try consulting a doctor.
Make a Small Change in Your Diet
Who doesn’t love a good piece of cake? There is nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while, but excessive intake of artificial sugars and lack of important nutrients in moderation can lead to disease and other ailments. On the other hand, extreme dieting can have the same effect. Malnutrition will deteriorate your body. Ironically, both forms of diet will have similar effects on your body—both are linked with depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, muscle weakness, loss of memory, and other issues. Now, don’t jump on the hip new diet change just yet—simple changes can make a world of difference. Healthy moderation can improve your mental and physical health in ways you never experienced.
Changing just a few habits can result in an overall healthy lifestyle. Consider how you can incorporate these steps today for better health in 2017!