As Dr Phil is fond of saying, “Life is not the pizza man – it doesn’t deliver”. We all know that we get out of life what we put into it. If you want to improve your physical and mental well-being you might want to explore the following steps.
Firstly, exercise is unquestionably the best thing you can do. Walking is now recognised as a wonder-medicine which reduces our weight, blood pressure and risk of developing diabetes, cancer and strokes. A thirty minute brisk walk per day is the goal to aim for. We all know that exercise is good for us. But two lesser known effects are, firstly, that it burns cortisol, (which is the toxic chemical which accumulates in our body when we get stressed), and secondly, exercise has a great ‘knock-on’ effect in influencing other positive habits we want to develop.
Secondly, sitting in stillness for ten minutes a day, just focusing your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, which it surely will, just bring your focus back to your breathing. This, in a nutshell is what we mean by mindfulness. If ten minutes feels too long, do it for five. And if that’s too long do it for two. The evidence is mounting that doing this mindfulness practice on a regular basis can build your resilience to stress.
Finally, keep reminding yourself to see the positives. Every evening, try to recall three things that went well. Our brains are designed to focus on negatives, so this sometimes isn’t an easy task. But to spot positives is a sure-fire way to be able to keep your mental balance when life starts to get overwhelming. Additionally, you start to better enjoy the good things as they happen!
For NHS funded therapy for stress, anxiety or depression, phone (01208) 871905 or register online [HERE]