Over the past months, many of us have paid a lot of attention to our physical wellbeing, taking daily exercise with online trainers or maybe spending time walking or running in the great outdoors. Our physical health is extremely important and has a significant and positive impact on our mental wellbeing. For an extra mental boost, how about spending a little bit of time exercising your mind? An active mind is just as important as an active body as both contribute significantly to your overall health.
So, let’s flex those mental muscles with a simple workout…
1. When you wake up…
Guide your self talk with a positive statement about the day to come. This is so simple and sets the tone of your thinking for the whole day. Here are some examples and it is great to think of some of your own!
“Today is going to be a wonderful day.”
“I wonder what interesting things are going to happen today?”
“I feel great, let’s do this!”
“What will I learn today that helps me to grow?”
“Let’s get going.”
As you move through your day, it really helps your mind to stay sharp and clear if you pay attention to your feelings. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “How do I feel?” Acknowledging your feelings lets your unconscious mind know that you have listened to what it is telling you. Emotions are there for a reason and you should notice them rather than push them away. As you notice your feelings, tell someone how you feel. If you are away from others at that point, say it out loud. Now ask yourself, “What action do I need to take?” Take a small action to further enhance your positive feelings and to address the cause of any feelings which cause you to feel less empowered.
Mental relaxation is an important part of a busy day. Quietening your chattering self talk for a few moments will help you to re-centre and focus on your day. Remember, what you focus on is what you get. During your midday break, seek out a moment of peace. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and quieten your internal chatter. The best way to achieve this calming state is to give your internal dialogue something to do. Here are a couple of ideas:
Focus on your breathing for 5 minutes. Notice how every breath feels as it enters and exits your body. Because breathing is an unconscious process, to focus on it completely means that is all that you can do. The self-talk is quietened for a few moments, creating a clear space for enhanced mental capacity.
Create an affirmation. Think of something empowering to say to yourself in your mind and repeat it over and over, blocking any other internal dialogue. This will boost your self-confidence as well as give your mind space to focus on the rest of your day. Choose something that you find meaningful and resourceful. One of the most famous affirmations is that created n by Emile Coue who said, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
Enter your happy space. During your mid-afternoon break, take 5 minutes to feel happy. This is very simple and it’s the one thing that we consistently forget to do. Consider that it’s not things or other people that make us happy, it’s a choice that we have to feel happy at any time. Find a quiet space, close your eyes and think of something or someone that makes you happy. Really feel the happy feeling. Run a movie in your mind, hear the sounds, experience the smells and tastes and really feel the happy feeling, so much that it makes you smile.
5. Before you go to sleep…
A restful, refreshing period of sleep contributes greatly to our mental and physical wellbeing. Here’s a quick exercise you can do in those relaxed moments just before you drop of into a rejuvenating sleep:
Replay in your mind something great that happened during the day and feel the resourceful feelings.
Take a positive learning from anything that didn’t work out how you expected or wanted and then let that memory go.
Close your eyes, assume a comfortable position and then begin counting backwards from 100, with the intention that before you get to 90 you will be sound asleep.
5 quick and easy exercises to boost your mental health during each day. The more you practice, the more you will start managing your mental wellbeing unconsciously and the more resilient to change you will become.
Remember, you are a magnificent human being and whatever you think you are, you are much, much more than that. Smile.