I've been doing alot of work with clients this week on positive thinking and how negativity can cause real health problems. Emotions, if not allowed to be released, can be harboured within the body and result in actual physical symptoms, which can be tricky to get rid of.
So today's blog offers some tips on how to keep your mind healthy :
Keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day by eating small regualr meals combining carbs and protein, particularly slow release foods such as wholegrains, nuts and seeds, and berries. This encourages steady moods rather than peaks and troughs.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Think when a 'problem' arises " will I still worry about this next week?". If the answer is no, let it go!
Focus, and keep focussed. Have a list of what you want to achieve each day from small jobs to big projects - learn to prioritise. If you have a list it prevents procrastination (I'm a big procrastinator but find if its written down I'm less likely to put things off).
Keep it simple. Apparently research shows that simple actions every day can improve mental wellbeing. Smile at someone at the shops, take a walk in the park, have coffee with a friend. Get that feel good factor!
Physical and mental health are so closely linked. The endorphins released through exercise can help impove self confidence and moods, try to remember how good you feel after your work out and it'll make you want to do it again, and again. If only we could bottle that feeling!
Eat a diet full of key 'mood nutrients' - iron, B vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids particularly will help keep you on an even keel, and are vital for brain function.
Rather than looking forward to a one off treat such as a holiday which can seem ages away try small and frequent boosts throughout the day or week. Plan things you enjoy doing such as working with a personal trainer (me, hey hey!), going dancing, walking the dog, phoning a friend, going to the cinema - the list is endless!
As social creatures, in the main, we crave comfort, support and contact. Hugs,kisses, cuddles, or a kind word go a long way to giving us a boost. Give someone you care about a big cuddle today. My children are the cuddliest creatures, and they love being tickled which is their way of inviting closeness - "mummy, tickle me please". We have regular tickling sessions in our house, and the giggling gives me a big high! I say to Nat "what's mummys happy thought" and he says " me laughing".
Singing and dancing allows us to express ourselves and don't worry if youre not as good as Madonna or Beyonce (all of us then). Close the curtains, ramp up the volume and have a good sing and a good boogie - try it, it's almost guaranteed to put you in a better mood. Useful with children; I use this method alot to lift moods and divert tantrums.
Aim to be flexible with your behaviour ie. don't be so rigid that if things change for whatever reason you lose the plot ( this is one of my biggest bug bears. I am Monica from friends and struggle with lack of organisation and if things change, well that's me thrown). Challenge yourself to a day of behaving in a way that's the opposite of what you'd normally do.
To uplift and balance moods aromatherapy oils are second to none. Lavender makes a great relaxant in the bath, and rosemary and marjoram are stimulants useful for focus and concentration. Geranium, frankincense and orange will give you a boost if you're flagging. Add six to eight drops to a bath and lie back and relax.
Visualisation is my last tip and not everyone is into this. If you do have a negative thought, try to visualise it leaving your body and mind (you can wrap it up, put it in a box first etc.) and let it float away. Then, replace it with a positive thought.
Todays Tip : stress is cummulative (I know for a fact!). Try releasing it as you get it with whatever means you have at your disposal, and don't be afraid to ask for help.