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10 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health And Well-Being Today

Written by: Christine Deschemin, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Some habits can set you up to have a stressful day. Restructure your morning with these 10 tips to minimize your stress and maximize your mental health. Is stress affecting your mental and emotional wellbeing? In today’s busy world, self-care often falls by the wayside.


1. Craft your morning routine


Much of what you do to prepare for your day’s work is likely so deeply engrained that it is automatic. These deep-rooted habits can set you up to have a fantastic or stressful day. To minimize your risk of stress and maximize your chances of success, you need to restructure your morning.


Craft a morning routine that does not include stress-inducing daily news, busy emails, or frustrating social media. Instead, consider gentle stretching and deep breathing exercises, which activate the vagus nerve. This nerve plays a key role in the “rest and digest” system and influences your breathing, digestion, and heart rate. Taking a little “me time” by stretching, breathing, and getting your morning off to a healthy start might just be the best way possible to shake that morning routine up and crush that stress.


2. Move, Move, Move


The World Health Organization recommends that most healthy adults spend at least 150 minutes a week engaged in moderate-intensity exercises. While that might sound like a lot of time to carve out of your day, regular exercise can be among the best stress-busting activities you can do.


Research shows that just 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can calm you for several hours. You do not need to use a specific workout, such as yoga or Tai Chi, to enjoy the benefits. Any movement can help you restore homeostasis and trigger the hormonal changes and neurotransmitters that change how you react to stress. To maximize the benefits for your mental health, get outside and soak up a little sun to counteract the effects of seasonal depression.


3. Cultivate curiosity


Stress can leave you treading the same old boring pathways and dull your mind. Curiosity and creativity are closely linked, but if stress is putting a damper on both, you can take back the reins. Immerse yourself in a new book, take a new route to work, or spend a day meandering around your town as a tourist to rediscover favorite haunts. The idea is to break free from your routine, get out of old habits, and look at the world through a new lens. You might just be surprised by what you discover.


4. Get organized


When life gets overwhelming, you might find it difficult to focus. Use to-do lists and sticky notes to track your most important tasks and get organized. By focusing on your priorities and the things that you can control, you will waste less time, reduce your stress, and regain a sense of control over your life and choices. You might also rediscover a sense of freedom as you embrace what really matters and ditch the time-wasters.


5. Smile and laugh


Have you ever heard the suggestion to smile as you answer the phone? The physical act of smiling is not just seen but heard, and people can even determine the type of smile merely from the tone of your voice. As it turns out, a smile is not only powerful enough to reach through telephone lines but can also calm your fight-or-flight system. When you laugh, your mental health and immune system both get a boost as stress hormones such as epinephrine, cortisol, and other stress hormones are decreased.


Watching a great comedy, tuning into your favorite funny podcast, scheduling a fun night out with friends for a laugh-fest can all be great ways to lower your heart rate and get some laugh therapy into your life.


6. Say something positive every day


Stress can send you reeling into a spiral of negativity and keep you trapped in a negative mindset. Affirmations can flip the script. With affirmations, you can retake control over your negative thoughts and send your confidence soaring. Saying something positive about yourself each day can boost your motivation and self-esteem and help you find new solutions to problems that have been plaguing you.


7. Experiment and gather data


A mental rut can leave you feeling not only unmotivated. It can also be stressful. Change your perspective, try something new, and experiment in your life. Examine and explore your goals and find ways to implement small changes that help you move closer to overall wellbeing. Get impulsive and take a day off here and there to give your brain a break. Do what you need to do to get out of that mental rut, and gather the data you need from your experiments. Be realistic about your expectations, and pay attention to the results so that you can tweak your efforts.


8. Try some self-hypnosis


Hypnosis can offer powerful stress relief. Hypnosis is a state of conscious awareness and focused attention. During self-hypnosis, this altered consciousness is used to redirect attention and harness the power of the subconscious mind to address various issues. With hypnosis, you can tackle the emotional and mental blocks that are holding you back. Although research is ongoing, several studies have demonstrated that the process is beneficial for relieving anxiety, improving sleep, and calming stress. It might even lower your blood pressure for greater overall wellbeing!


9. Go off-grid at bedtime


If you are like many of us, your phone is your lifeline. It keeps you connected to friends, family, the office, and even your home. Your phone enables you to order food or supplies, turn your home’s various systems on and off, and connect with others with just a click or command. It is likely ever-present, but that constant need to be connected might take a heavy toll on your mental wellbeing.


At the end of the day, try a digital detox, unplug, and disconnect. At least an hour before bedtime, turn off all social media and switch on your phone’s “do not disturb” setting for all but the most important phone calls and texts. Take the time to relax, unwind, and reconnect with your loved ones or yourself.


10. Commit to letting go


Do you struggle to fall asleep at the end of a long day because you are mulling over the day’s events? Learning to let go can transform not only how quickly you drift off but also the quality of your rest.


Stress triggers the release of a complex hormone cocktail that keeps your body from returning to its normal baseline. These hormones can disrupt your natural sleep cycles, which can then trigger the release of more disruptive hormones that keep you trapped in a dangerous and unhealthy stressful pattern.


Letting go of your daytime stress and worries through progressive relaxation, mindfulness, deep breathing, hypnosis, or other techniques can help you “turn off” your stress response and “turn on” the best rest of your life.


Visit UpNow.com to learn more about how you can maximize your emotional and mental wellbeing through the power of self-hypnosis.



 

Christine Deschemin, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Christine Deschemin is a certified hypnotherapist and founder of the Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre in Hong Kong. With a keen interest in resilience, she leverages her experience as an athlete and as a former engineer and banker in high-stress environments with her executive and sports clients. In March 2020, she released the UpNow hypnosis app to bring the benefits of self-hypnosis to the fingertips of anyone in need. The self-hypnosis downloads can be accessed online and offline to make mental health aids very affordable.


In addition to her many scholastic achievements, Christine Deschemin has a Master of Science from the Ecole Polytechnique (France) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is fluent in four languages.

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