We’re all so busy these days that it can be a bit of a job keeping your emotional and mental balance. Mental health issues have become quite topical with more and more high-profile individual sharing their own experiences of it. Its something that we all will face at some time in our lives. How can you manage our stress levels before they get out of control?
A few years ago, I thought about this issue myself and decided to do something to take control. Here I share a few simple practices that were easy for me to do to help me feel a little more balanced. Looking back on this now, a few years on, I can see that doing them has worked quite well to help me.
If you struggle with consistency as I did at the start, keep your chin up and work through the challenge, stick with them, and you’ll reap real benefits.
So, here are a few of the actions from my list:
Well, I’m really not an exercise person. Having bought gym memberships time and again over the years and after a few weeks, I lose interest. Even I have to admit that method isn’t for me. Running on a treadmill looking into a mirror day after day doesn’t thrill me.
So, I had to find something that worked for me. Something that engaged more of my senses while I’m moving my body. Finding the right exercise that works or you, that’s the key.
Walking works for me, so I brought it into my weekly experience without making it ridiculous. Just walking for between forty to fifty minutes, at least three times a week was what I could commit to. I travel a lot in my work, so it had to be manageable.
This is enough to keep me toned physically and refresh my mind. Ace. You may not think this is enough for you, and that’s fine. Just find what works for you to keep you mentally and physically fit. Exercise not only brings more energy to your body but also into your mind.
2. Keep learning for growth.
As a coach and trainer, I preach the value of openness to learning and personal growth. I take this quite seriously in my own life. I don’t have a lot of spare time, so here again, I needed to find easy ways of incorporating learning into my day.
The way I’ve managed this is to use the time when I’m getting dressed in the morning. When I getting dressed, putting on my makeup, preparing breakfast, etc., I listen to audio books, CD or videos. I can usually be seen with one headphone in an ear (so I can hear the family calling me through the other ear) and my mobile in my pocket or my tablet next to me in the kitchen. The object for me here is to use any spare time I can to get in some new and interesting information.
I do sometimes squeeze in an actual physical book to read. I like the feel of holding a book in my hands. This happens when I’m travelling by train or when we’re out as a family and my husband is driving. I probably now read a minimum of four books a month, which is a huge increase for me.
3. Meditation or Mindfulness Practice.
I meditate for a minimum of twenty minutes each day. Scientists have proven that meditating for as little time as this each day rebalances the mind and reduces the amygdala.
The amygdala is part of the limbic system within the brain and is thought to be responsible for managing our emotions, our survival (fright, fight or flight) instincts and our memory. With a reduced amygdala, we are better able to control our emotional responses and suffer less stress. This is well worth it. It has really worked for me. Although I must add that nothing takes away stress from us completely but there are ways to help us learn how to manage it more effectively.
All I do is to list between three and five things that I’m happy about and/or grateful for each day. That’s it. Making space in your day to reflect on what’s going well for you is a powerful tool to help you remain more positive and find personal satisfaction with your life.
My day starts with gratitude and ends it. I try to make it the last thing I do before I close my eyes, and this brings me peace and joy as I go off to sleep.
In summary, we all have things that work for us. What do you do to create and maintain balance mentally, emotionally and physically? Share your tips with me in the comments space below. Thanks for reading.