Categories
Mindset/Strenghts

5 Ways To Boost Your mental Health

Scientists tell us there are certain things we can do to improve our mental wellbeing. These techniques will help you feel more positive about yourself.

They teach you how to ride the lows and wait out the lows. Once you know that, nothing can stop you from getting what you want out of life.

Today, we’re going to share with you five ways to boost your mental health. Keep reading for more.

Connect With Others

Good relationships don’t need years to build. They can form in a matter of months, or weeks even. Plus, they don’t have to be an all-in, best-friends-for-life type of relationship.

Just talking to a neighbor or members of your church can have a great impact on your mental health. You learn to listen, empathize, and build a strong sense of self-worth and value.

Have you and a friend not seen each other in a while? Then, reach out and try to arrange a coffee date so you can get together and catch up.

How about your children or other family members? Why not try to set an hour during the day where you talk or play games?

We all know how social media has become an important part of our lives. And it’s made it easier to stay in touch with important people in our lives, especially if they live far away.

It’s good to text and chat on a regular basis. Just make sure technology isn’t replacing your face-to-face communications with people.

Learn New Skills

Learning a new skill or hobby can have a significant boost on your mental health. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and improve your self-esteem.

It’s nice to have a sense of purpose, other than your work. It means you have something to look forward to each day.

The problem, however, is many people complain they don’t have enough hours in the day. Luckily, though, technology has made learning more accessible.

Here are some of the ways you can use those high-tech gadgets you have to good use:

  • Sign up for an online course, like learning a new language or a practical skill like programming
  • Look for free video tutorials online to help you out with a DIY project
  • If you enjoy cooking, find healthy recipes and learn how to make them
  • Try a new hobby that challenges and entertains you, like painting, writing, or gardening
  • Learn to play a new sport or physical activity

Pay More Attention

We’re all guilty of not paying attention to people and things going on around us. We’re always busy with work or scrolling through our social media feed.

Learning to focus all your senses on the present moment can improve your mental well-being. It also boosts your mood and lowers stress levels. Experts call this type of focus ‘mindfulness.’

When you practice mindfulness, you enjoy the little things in life. Things like watching a bird soar overhead or taking in the nuances of nature are just two small examples.

When you’re in tune with the small details, you feel more relaxed and at peace. Plus, you start to get a better understanding of what makes you happy or anxious, which is a healthy way to approach life’s challenges.

Get Physically Active

When you do any type of physical activity, you boost your physical fitness, as well as your mental wellness. It could be a short 15-minute walk, an hour of cycling each week, or 30 minutes at the gym. You pick the activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good.

Then, once you start noticing the difference, you start to feel good about your looks. That’s when your confidence will soar through the roof.

In addition, your brain signals the nervous central system to release ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins. These wonder chemicals trigger a positive response, which boosts your mood. They also reduce feelings of pain and anxiety.

Check out the following tips on how to get moving to boost your mental health:

  • Look online for free activities catered to your fitness level
  • Find local centers where you can dance, swim, or cycle
  • Try running with a ‘couch to 5K’ app or podcast
  • If you have a chronic health condition or a disability, there are many exercises and physical activities that can be customized to meet your needs

Give to Others

According to research, acts of kindness and giving are great ways to improve your mental well-being. The reason is that when we help others, our brains trigger the release of another ‘feel-good’ hormone called oxytocin.

This chemical promotes feelings of empathy and trust. It also makes us calmer, happier, and more inspired to do more.

Giving to others could be volunteering at a local shelter or helping out someone on a personal level. The point is to offer your time and energy doing something for other people. In return, you’ll feel good about yourself, knowing that you’re valued and appreciated.

Categories
Mindset/Strenghts Self Care

How To Increase Happy Chemicals In Your Brain – 4 Proven ways

Did you know you can control your own happiness? Being unhappy seems to be the new normal. So many people have their faces stuck in their phones that they’ve lost the ability to enjoy their lives. Don’t let that be you.

“So, what do I do?” you ask. You make use of the chemicals, hormones, and neurotransmitters in your brain.

These natural substances work together to help out with certain bodily processes. Their other function? They regulate our moods.

When you have a better understanding of how these chemicals work, you learn how to regulate and adjust them naturally.

In this post, we’ll share with you four ways to increase these happy chemicals in your brain.

Let’s get started.

What Are Happy Chemicals?

Our brain stimulates certain glands to release dozens of different chemicals. They’re sent out into the bloodstream and get to where they need to go.

These chemicals, aka hormones, are involved in various bodily processes. There’s a hormone for managing digestion, heart rate, and reproduction. Basically, anything your body does is regulated by one hormone or another.

They also have the ability to make us feel joy, sadness, hunger, or pumped up with energy. They’re usually referred to as ‘feel-good’ or ‘happy’ hormones.

These chemicals fluctuate throughout the day. This is why you feel lethargic mid-afternoon or excited for an upcoming party you’re attending.

Below, you’ll find the four main happy chemicals in our bodies. Then, in the following section, we’ll tell you how each one affects our moods.

  • Dopamine
  • Endorphins
  • Oxytocin
  • Serotonin

4 Ways To Increase Happy Chemicals

The great thing about these happy chemicals is we have power over them. We can either increase or decrease how much of them are released through the choices we make each day.

Let’s explore how you can take full advantage of these natural happy chemicals of yours.

Find Time To Exercise

Exercising has so many health benefits. The most important benefit is that it affects our emotional and mental well-being.

Studies show that when you exercise for at least 20 minutes, your body releases endorphins. The science behind it is that they induce a sense of euphoria.

Have you ever heard of the ‘runner’s high?’ Guess who’s behind that? That’s right, endorphins!

Endorphins are also popular among athletes because they can block pain signals. They do this by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. As a result, your feeling of pain is considerably reduced.

To take full advantage of your natural mood stabilizers, exercise outdoors. You’ll get some serotonin coursing through your veins in addition to endorphins. Plus, working out with a group provides even more benefits than going at it alone.

If you can find some friends to exercise with, that’s amazing! Yet, if all your friends are busy, join a class and exercise with strangers. Who knows? You may end up striking up a conversation with one of them, which your brain will reward you for with a shot of oxytocin.

Cook A Meal With A Loved One

In theory, preparing a meal and enjoying it with someone you love can activate all four happy chemicals! Let’s take it one feel-good hormone at a time.

First off, there’s the bonding and sharing special time with a loved one. All those feelings tell the brain it’s time to produce some oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone.

The great thing about oxytocin is it doesn’t specify what type of love. Your brain will release it when you’re with your partner on a romantic night out or when you’re shaking someone’s hand.

Now, let’s talk about endorphins and dopamine. These are released whenever you’re eating something delicious.

Having someone special to share the meal with just boosts their levels even more. Don’t forget to laugh, as well. Studies show that laughter is truly ‘the best medicine’ because it triggers endorphin release.

Finally, there’s serotonin. One way to get some is by eating certain foods that restore your gut health, especially those that contain tryptophan.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It’s vital for your health, but your body can’t make it. So, you have to find foods that contain this amino acid, which your body transforms into serotonin.

Eating prebiotic foods is also a terrific way to support healthy gut bacteria. By taking care of your microbiome, you can regulate your mental and emotional health.

So, eat right, be happy. It’s that simple. Fascinating, right?

Check out just a few of the foods that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Some of them contain tryptophan as well, so it’s a win-win!

  • Wheat and oats
  • Onions and garlic
  • Legumes
  • All types of berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Mushrooms

Enjoy The Sunshine

According to research, spending about 10 to 15 minutes outdoors works wonders for our moods. It can help stimulate the production of not one, but two, happy chemicals: endorphins and serotonin.

Even if it’s a bit cloudy out, take a few minutes to enjoy being outdoors. Getting a breath of fresh air as you walk around the block can do wonders for your mood.

If it’s sunny outside, then all the better. Just make sure you take your sunscreen along.

The reason? When you’re outside, your body absorbs Vitamin D from the Sun. This activates the production of an enzyme that converts tryptophan into serotonin. How cool is that!

Not only that, but the natural light from the sun cues certain areas in our retinas to produce serotonin. This phenomenon explains why many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter when the days are shorter.

Get Enough Sleep

Everyone knows they need anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, few people recognize the link between sleep and their hormones.

When you don’t get the sleep your body craves, you create an imbalance of chemicals in your body. Dopamine is especially affected, and accordingly, you wreak havoc on your mood. You start suffering from mood swings, lethargy, and lack of focus.

This flows onto your mental health and you begin spiraling towards feelings of despair. It can even lead to depression. Not surprisingly, your physical health will start to suffer as well.

To prevent all that, all you have to do is get some quality sleep. Just those few hours can really make a world of difference.

First off, they can help regain the balance of happy chemicals you need to feel good. You’ll also be able to manage stress better and improve your concentration skills.

There are tips and tricks you can try to get those invaluable hours of sleep each night.

  • Don’t drink anything with caffeine at least two hours before bedtime
  • Avoid heavy meals several hours before going to bed
  • Give yourself an hour of screen-free time before bedtime
  • Reduce the lighting and noise in your bedroom
  • Meditate for at least five minutes before bedtime to relax and reduce stress
  • Set up a schedule where you go to bed and get up at the same time, even on weekends
Categories
Mindset/Strenghts Personal Growth

Stop Worrying About What People Think

Do you find yourself constantly doubting your decisions? Are you fretting over other people’s reactions to your actions or opinions?

In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help you stop worrying about what people think of you. Learn how to use constructive criticism to your advantage. Then, simply filter out any negative judgment.

This will leave you less anxious and less overwhelmed. As a result, you can stay more focused on yourself and the best ways to achieve your goals.

Let’s get started.

Are People’s Opinions Holding You Back?

Worrying about what others think and feel about you is a normal part of our DNA. We’re programmed to seek others’ approval.

Studies show there’s a reward center that’s activated when we’re given a compliment. Even if you just sense other people’s recognition of your hard work, your brains fire up those same reward centers.

So, we feel good about ourselves when we’re accepted. Yet, we can’t always be accepted and liked by everyone at all times.

Problems start when we start pivoting our lifestyles to fit people’s expectations. We give others power over our lives and how we should live it. Consequently, we lose out on being who we truly are.

After that, things go downhill and start spiraling out of control. Being stuck in that mind frame can be destructive to you and those around you.

Going down this unproductive path, you’ll be leaving a path of destruction in your wake. Your job will be affected, relationships might be sabotaged, and your self-esteem will most certainly take a hit.

What Can I Do To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think?

Do some serious soul searching. Do you feel that your reality has shifted? Have you started to believe in other people’s version of who you are as opposed to the real you?

Then, it’s time to step up and take some actionable steps. You owe it to yourself to share the real you with the world. They don’t know what they’re missing!

We rounded some simple, yet effective, ways to help you break this vicious cycle. Read on to learn more.

Focus on What’s Important

Has someone said something unkind about you? Instead of letting it fester, don’t let it go to your head.

Chances are, that person won’t recall what they said in about ten minutes. Plus, what they say reflects who they are as a person. If you think about it, it actually has very little to do with you.

In other words, their perceptions of you come from them. And you’re not responsible for how they feel or what they think, neither can you change any of it. So, why waste your time fretting over something you have no control over?

Instead, channel that energy into something productive. You can learn a new skill, take up a class, or pick up an old hobby. Just make sure that whatever it is, it’s something you enjoy.

Below are some things more worthy of your time than worrying about what people think:

  • Spend quality time with friends and family
  • Smile at the barista serving your coffee or hold the door for someone
  • Find and surround yourself people who support and encourage you
  • Become a Volunteer at a local food bank or community shelter
  • Connect with nature and take a walk on the beach or through the park
  • Have dinner at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try

Highlight Your Accomplishments

We’ve all been through difficult times in our lives; some more than others. At the same time, we’ve all accomplished one thing or another.

It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose or elaborate. It just has to mean something to you, like filing your taxes on time or making home-cooked meals for an entire week. Acknowledge yourself for what you have achieved and all the hard work you put in. Give yourself a meaning fun reward – something that is fun or nourishing for your soul perhaps – it does not have to be expensive.

You can even write down these accomplishments and hang them up on your fridge or vanity mirror. Then every time you catch a glimpse of one of your achievements, say to yourself, “I did that!” Keep repeated it as often as needed until your subconscious takes it in.

Another way to boost your confidence is to practice saying encouraging statements. These will help build up your self-esteem and improve the way you view yourself.

Here are a few statements to get you inspired:

  • My self-confidence is on the rise.
  • I’m worthy of all good things.
  • I can’t control what happens, but I can control my reaction to them.
  • My ideas are great.
  • I’m blessed and appreciative of everyone and everything in my life.

Train Yourself to See the Positive

Our brains are wired to see the negative. We complain, we blame others, and we dwell. That has to stop today!

Yet is possible to adopt a more of a positive thinking attitude by training your thoughts to be more positive. But not in a deluded, naive sort of way; in a healthy, productive way. As a result, you become less anxious and more resilient.

To be honest, this works if you think more objectively, especially when it comes to your weaknesses or flaws.

We all have them. Some are just better at acknowledging and improving them than others. Why can’t that be you?

Write down a list of five things that bother you about yourself. Then, set some realistic goals to change them and reward yourself each time you reach one of your set goals.

Make sure you start small and work at your own pace. The point is to feel good about yourself, not overwhelm or burden you. It kind of defeats the purpose.

  1. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are becoming popular because people are realizing the importance of self-care. These techniques aim at reducing stress levels and improving your overall health. They also teach you the value of savoring the present.

When you focus on your today, you stop worrying about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. These techniques can also help you stop worrying about what people think about you.

And best of all you can do them anywhere – thats the best thing about them. Whenever you start to worry, remind yourself that you could be overreacting. In all likelihood, your colleagues aren’t judging you as harshly as you think they are.

Take a few deep breaths and focus on anything around you: your coffee mug, a cloud, and your nails. Anything that can steer your thoughts to the present moment will do the trick!

Then, lo and behold, you’ll notice that your pulse is slowing down and so is your heart rate. Your anxiety will start to recede and you’ll realize you don’t care about what people think as much anymore.

Check out these marvelous relaxation techniques. You can even do a couple of them as you’re reading this post.

  • Mindful meditation
  • Yoga
  • Aromatherapy
  • Guided breathing