How To Elevate And Maintain Mental Health
Do you ever find yourself facing the challenges of mental health battles?
Not to fear you are most definitely not alone as pretty much everyone faces some sort of mental health challenge(s) throughout the course of their life.
And if you are facing any mental health challenge right now, one thing to remember is that just like the highest highs, the lowest lows are not permanent and won't last forever. No matter what we face on any given day we can remind ourselves that this too shall pass. Just take a deep breath, relax your shoulders a bit and be graceful with yourself while you give this a read.
If health is wealth, as we know it is, then mental health is the most valuable wealth to cultivate and grow continually. And just like all things in life, we fall to our level of training rather than rise to the occasion. So one of the most powerful things you can do is prepare in advance so you are ready when adversity strikes.
May is Mental Health Month and so it seemed fitting to share some resources with immediately actionable ideas to prioritize and elevate your mental health.
This will flood your body and brain with oxygen thus allowing your brain and body to fire fully and increase brain output and awareness. Doing three rounds in a row takes only about ten minutes and will transform your mindset. Watch this video to help guide you through the process.
Breath of Fire
This is a technique that calls for rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breaths in and out of the nose while expanding the diaphragm on the in-breath and contracting it on the out-breath. Breath of fire is, simply put, one of the best and quickest ways to instantly boost energy in the body naturally without ingesting any substances and without jeopardizing sleep. Watch this video as a guide for this exercise.
If you want to check out a variety of breathwork techniques and exercises there is an app called Othership. You can download it and explore ways to boost your energy, calm your system down, increase focus, help yourself prepare for sleep, along with several others. It is an awesome and powerful weapon to add to your arsenal. It is a paid app but there is a trial you can utilize to try before you buy.
Grab a pen and paper and write out 5-10 things you are grateful for. This will elevate positive endorphins in the brain and body and help you to be in a mindset of gratitude and positivity thus allowing for increased awareness and an uptick in brain function. Start each statement with the phrase, “I am grateful for…” And if you really want to get the most upgrade and take things to the next level, read each statement out loud with authority and conviction to connect to the energy of gratitude and cultivate an attitude of gratitude deep within your mind and spirit.
This is a simple practice that anyone can do. It doesn't cost anything and it only takes 15-20 minutes each day. You can meditate anywhere – at home or in the office. And once you get started, meditation will become part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. The benefits are amazing! Meditating just 5-10 minutes per day has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 40%, improve sleep quality by 30%, increase productivity by 50% and even boost immunity from illness! Imagine how much more productive you could be with all those extra hours in the day if you weren't so stressed out about work? Check out this video for a guided meditation to jumpstart your meditation practice.
Cold Shower Power
Taking a brief two-minute shower will help you to be present and more fully aware. It will also wake up your brain and does wonders for supercharging your immune system along with many other health benefits including decreasing depression. If you’re ambitious, jump in the shower and turn it on as cold as it will go, and stand in it for at least 2 minutes. Or if you need a running start, that’s perfectly fine, just start with alternating between the coldest and hottest you can handle every 10-15 seconds for 2-3 mins. Work your way up to a full 2 minutes of just cold shower power and watch your world and mental state transform.
We should all be aware by now that exercise is an essential component of health and wellness. In addition, regular exercises will help you build more stamina, have more energy, and release stress. If you’re not exercising regularly, do yourself a favor and get on the path. This doesn’t mean you need to start a crazy regimen, just start by walking outdoor 20-30 minutes three times a week. You can build from there. And if you’re already exercising, take some time to discover ways you can refine your routine to make it even better.
Begin recording how much water you consume throughout the day and consider adding in some no sugar electrolytes such as Redmond Re-lyte to improve your hydration. Being dehydrated by just 2% can impair brain function. There is a cool app called MyFitnessPal you can use to track both hydration and nutrition intake. Remember, that which gets tracked improves, that which gets tracked and reported improves exponentially!
Know which foods to choose and which to lose to help energy, focus, attention, anxiety, moods, sleep, and memory. Start by eliminating sugar from your diet, next eliminate corn. Another low-effort, high-impact area is to stop drinking calories - that’s right find alternatives to your favorite drinks especially coffee that’s loaded with sugar and toxic creamers. Omica organics vanilla stevia in coffee and sparkling water are great alternatives, organic sugar-free nut milk (my favorite is Sprouts Vanilla No Sugar Almond Milk). The next big thing to eliminate after sugar is corn and all corn products. Finally, work to eliminate all processed foods and include more single-ingredient foods. Remember that food is medicine and focus on eating foods you love that love you back!
Intermittent Fasting and/or a 24 hour water-only fast
This is one of the best self awareness and self-discovery tools in existence. If you really want to supercharge your results do a 72-hour water-only fast. And if you’re experienced with 72-hour water-only fasts, it may be time to try a 7-day water-only fast. You will come out of that fully transformed. Do your research, there is plenty online, and be safe!
Laugh really, really, really hard every single day
This is one of the most important habits to practice to boost self awareness and happiness. In order to change our state, we must change our physiology. And what better way to change our physiology and activate a peak mental state than laughing. A few of my favorite methods for this are playing a comedy clip that cracks me up, watching Ridiculousness videos on YouTube, and remembering past funny moments of life and replaying them in my mind until I’m laughing uncontrollably.
Rest & Recovery
The absolute most important component of any self-care routine is getting quality sleep every night to allow your body to repair itself. Most people need between 6-8 hours of sleep per night on average. Do your best to refine your evening routines so that you are winding down properly and getting to bed at a consistent time so you can get good quality sleep. Practice the 3-2-1 routine: Stop eating 3 hours before bed, stop working 2 hours before bed, and No screens for the last hour before bed. If you have difficulties in this department try taking a time-release magnesium supplement like MagSRT to help calm your system and prime your body for a restful night of sleep. Also, be aware of things that are impacting your sleep quality and eliminate everything that is causing a disruption
Use the 2 Minute Rule To Develop New Mindfulness Habits (framework below).
Choose one or two of the mindfulness practices below you would like to begin building into your daily habits. I strongly suggest exploring a breathwork exercise and meditation practice for maximal upgrades, but feel free to start with any two that resonate with you. Use the 2 Minute Rule and utilize the Strides App to begin tracking your new habits daily and make them part of your routine.
Once you’ve successfully installed the first two mindfulness habits, feel free to add in others as you build momentum and are able to maintain daily consistency
Atomic Habits 2 Minute Rule framework:
- Choose a new habit you desire to take on.
- Set a goal to practice the new habit for only 2 minutes each day.
- Consistently practice that new habit for 2 minutes for 90 days.
- This will lead you to install the new habit as a daily practice and soon you will find yourself enjoying practicing it for much more than 2 minutes.
- Remember the goal is to only do 2 minutes because it removes procrastination and any other resistance, feel free to go for longer but just aim for 2 minutes each day.
- The goal here is to build momentum with the least amount of resistance so you actually do the new habit daily and before long it becomes just part of your normal daily routine.
Remember to start slow and be graceful with yourself.
Pick one or two mindfulness practices you want to develop into a habit and get started right now today.
And if you are the Explorer type, you may consider giving all of them a try more than once in order to decide which one or two you find most helpful for you.
Get to work with consistent persistence and prioritize your mental health today and every day.
DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR HEALTH CONDITIONS, A SERIOUS HEART CONDITION, OR ARE PREGNANT PLEASE REFRAIN FROM THE BREATHING EXERCISES AND ANY OTHER MINDFULNESS PRACTICES THAT WOULD STRAIN YOUR CONDITION. AND AS ALWAYS, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY NEW EXERCISE ROUTINES, DIETS, OR TAKING ANY NEW SUPPLEMENTS.
THE SAFEST PRACTICES CONTAINED BELOW ARE THE GRATITUDE JOURNAL, MEDITATION, TRACKING HYDRATION, AND LAUGHING REALLY HARD SO IF YOU DO HAVE AN EXISTING MEDICAL OR HEALTH CONDITION JUST START WITH THOSE UNTIL YOU RECEIVE MEDICAL CLEARANCE TO ADD IN OTHERS.
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