If someone would have told me ten years ago that it’s just as important to work on your mind as it is your body and physical fitness I wouldn’t have understood. I didn’t comprehend the connection of your mind and body, and if one isn’t being taken care of the other will suffer…..
Did you know that our brains are hardwired from birth to actually think more negative about situations?! Now you are thinking “oh great so we are set up for failure from birth”…. If you understand why we were programmed that way is because it goes back to the caveman days when everything was all about survival. People really had to constantly be thinking about risks, and have their guard up to survive! The problem is it has stuck with us through evolution! Anxiety was considered an asset back then! The more anxious and careful you were, you were the ones that survived!!! In these present times your mind can literally destroy your health and wellbeing, so it is extremely important to take time every single day improving your mental health. I promise you it will change your life for the better.
- You are what you eat. What does that even mean? What does food have to do with mental health? Actually a lot. 90 percent of your serotonin (that feel good hormone that counteracts anxiety and depression) is made in your gut and digestive tract. So if you are putting garbage into your system and slowing down your digestive tract it won’t be able to do it’s numerous functions, and create that feel good hormone. Invest in a good probiotic, stop loading your body with sugar and find ways to de- stress, as stress can literally eat away at the lining of your stomach causing issues like ulcers and IBS. The other interesting thing I’ve learnt along the way is that your gut is literally your second brain. When you feel it in your gut that something isn’t right, it’s usually not!
2. Start a gratitude journal. Every single night before I go to bed I think about or write down five things that I am grateful for. Whether it was things that happened during that same day, my life in general or just anything that makes me feel those warm fuzzies in my belly. When you think and feel good experiences, your body’s chemical make up changes for the better. Not only does it boost those much needed brain chemicals it helps your body balance out and work optimally. You are creating new positive pathways in your brain and shutting off the negative ones.
3. Meditate. Find yourself a quiet spot for 20 minutes. If you have issues quieting your “monkey mind” on its own YouTube has hundreds of meditation videos that walk you through a peaceful adventure with waterfalls or birds chirping in the background. Your mind does not know the difference between imagining something and it actually happen. So when you are imagining about yourself laying on the beach sipping on a fruity umbrella drink, your body believes that is what you are doing! How cool is that! It’s like a free relaxation vacation. (Okay maybe not as good.. but live with what you got). You will find meditation difficult your first few times and that’s okay. The more and more you try it, you are restoring those good pathways and setting yourself up for happiness, health and success.
4. Think and speak positively. Most of our life is spent complaining. What does complaining or nagging do for you? Absolutely nothing. Negativity is extremely toxic and can really push away those that are close to you. Nobody likes to hang around a “Negative Nancy”. Instead of having your own sympathy party start talking about goals and dreams, topics that are useful for your growth and wellbeing. Isn’t the whole purpose of life to grow and enjoy it? The more positive you act, the easier life will get for you. Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t get angry over silly little things that you can’t control. Realize that everything isn’t going to go as planned in life and there are usually good reasons for it. You will either take away a valuable life lesson or it will force you to change and challenge yourself to become the best version of you, but it’s your choice. I choose to be positive…… your opportunities become endless and you will attract others with the same mindset.
5. Get a hobby. Having a hobby that you enjoy will give you a purpose. A purpose to wake up every day and feel accomplished that you were able work towards completing a goal or improving your skills. I renovated my whole camper. It was a lot of work but it was exhilarating watching it come together and knowing that you created something so special. Do some DIY’s, start a blog, join a fitness class, attend a makeup class, take a photography lesson, if there is anything that you feel interested in try it!!!!
6. Say goodbye to the negative people in your life. This one I will admit has always been a hard one for me. Sometimes negative people will latch onto positive people and literally drain away all of your happiness!!! Do not let this happen. If someone isn’t good for your soul, wellbeing or growth why spend time entertaining them? No one should ever hold you back from your dreams, belittle you or feed you constant guilt trips. The five people that you surround yourself with are who you will become the most like. Choose wisely.
“I’m learning to love the sound of my feet, walking away from things and people not meant for me”.
In closing make this an absolute must in 2018. Learn how to love yourself more than anything, believe that you deserve nothing but happiness and make sure you spend time every single day nourishing your soul.