Most of us put a lot of care and attention into our physical health. If we start to feel unwell, we will take a rest or go to see a doctor. However, our mental health is just as essential and can even affect our physical health. Yet so many people don’t listen to their bodies or take the time they need to process emotional or stressful situations. Your mental health is so important, and taking care of it will improve almost every aspect of your life from relationships to health and wealth.
When you read about improving your mental health and taking time for yourself, a lot of articles talk about meditation and yoga. While these are excellent ways of clearing your mind and helping your whole body relax, they might not appeal to you at all. Some of us weren’t made for mediation. We find it hard to focus and clear our minds then feel frustrated with the process. There are apps too, which are there to help us drift off to sleep or calm us during the day. However, not everyone wants to listen to someone talking to distract them from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
While meditation is a brilliant way of emptying your mind of all the clutter, there are other ways you can do this. Finding something you can focus on for an extended period of time, that you enjoy and all of your thoughts will melt away. This is a necessary part of improving our mental health; it is why meditation is so good. Put simply, you are clearing all off the messy thoughts from your mind and focussing on one thing, one moment. You will feel calm, the stress will lift, and you may find you are able to refocus and move on.
Getting creative is a great place to start. Many people advise writing as a great alternative to meditation. If you write fiction, then your mind can drift off into an imaginary world for an hour. This will stimulate your mind and help to silence any of the chatter that distracts us from our work and families. Writing can also be helpful to empty your mind of worries. It could be as simple as writing a journal every day. Noting how you felt and why you felt that way. You can set yourself goals and tasks for the next day and try to challenge yourself to do something new each week.
If you don’t like writing, then reading is the next best thing. Taking some time in the day to sit and focus all our attention on reading a book will help put a pause on any worries or pain you might be feeling. It doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as you enjoy it. You could read a comic, a novel or even a magazine. Just find yourself somewhere calm and relaxing and focus on the story within the pages.
Making things is a brilliant way to focus the mind and relax. Providing you aren’t taking on anything too challenging, which could frustrate you! There are some excellent kits available to help us get creative at home. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn how to make jewellery. Finding a course in your local area and heading to class once a week could help you detach from your stress and improve your overall well being. Clearing our mind and relaxing often involves all of the five senses. We want them to calm and switch off slightly so we can be at peace for a few precious moments. You could consider hand castings if you want to try something that feels good and focuses the mind. This will also give you a product at the end that can help remind you of feeling relaxed and calm.
Sometimes music is all we need to switch off and find a little inner peace even if that music is a heavy metal song or something that other people would find stress-inducing! Putting your earphones in and enjoying your favourite band for a few moments in the day can boost your mood and help you focus on the rest of your day. Try to tune in to the words or the sounds instead of thinking. Practice the art of listening without trying to process too much information. This can refresh you and give you a moment in your day where your mind is clear from any worries.
Exercise helps us to clear our minds too, plus it gives us a release of endorphins which help to boost our mood. An excellent form of exercise to clear the mind is mountain biking. This requires a whole-body effort, and being in the great outdoors will help you to clear your mind and process the events that have gone on in the week. You could also try a new type of fitness routine. Maybe you have always wanted to ride a horse. Spending time with animals is very soothing for the soul and horses are particularly good at helping us to find a little inner peace. Learning a new skill is highly rewarding and will require all of your focus. This means your mind will be too busy learning to focus on worrying, allowing you to take a break from all the stresses and anxieties that have been weighing you down.
If after reading all this you are still curious about meditation, then why not give it a go? One crucial piece of advice is that you don’t need to shut out everything from your mind when you meditate. You can listen to the noises, let your mind wander as it hears cars or planes or children laughing in the garden. Use those noises as your focal point. The whole point in relaxation is to focus on something good and silence the chatter in your mind.
Get creative with your mental health and enjoy the benefits of a happier, healthier lifestyle.
**disclaimer; this is a collaborative post