Your mind is full. You can’t seem to think straight. You’re not moving, but it feels like you are out breath from the fast pace of your day.
You say to yourself, “I can’t keep going like this. I can’t even think.”
How do I know all of this about you?
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I’ve been there. I’m here to help you improve your mental health with SIMPLE daily techniques.
Here are 5 of my favorites:
1. Stretch your chest while breathing deeply
We have all heard that a stretching or yoga routine is good for us. But if you are short on time (or are having an acute bout of stress), a simple chest stretch can immediately help.
Stress and anxiety causes our body to tense up.
Imagine your body trying to go into the fetal position even though you are standing. Your head and shoulders drop, as your chest tightens. This can even cause you to feel like you can’t breathe. Some of us walk around like this all day.
This can trap our brain in a negative state.
Try these techniques
– Raise your head and look towards the sky.
– Bring your arms out to your side, with your palms up.
– Raise and open your chest up towards the sky (keeping your head up and arms outstretched).
– Hold the position for at least 10 seconds, while breathing deeply.
Use this stretch in the mornings to start off your day, and then anytime during the day if you feel tense.
This stretch will help you break the tension physically, which will trigger a break in the tension mentally.
2. Exercise… the way you want to
So often our exercise routine becomes a source of stress, instead of helping us to relieve stress. In order for exercise to benefit your mental health, chose an activity that you actually want to do.
Pick anything active that you want to do, and do it at least 3 days a week for 20-30 minutes.
What if you don’t want to exercise at all?
Find a nice place for a reflective walk, and then take one step at a time. Focus on breathing deep. If you are outdoors, look for the calming colors of blue and green.
Allow your thoughts to focus on your breathing and movement.
Simply walking with this type of breathing and focus on movement, can give you some of the same benefits as meditation. It allows your brain to have a break, as you increase the oxygen flow to it.
Often times we are taking in simple sugar, fatty foods, alcohol, or caffeine to make us feel better. However, dieting can be a huge source of stress.
Lighten up this mental load, by just focusing on increasing your fruits and veggies at first. Many times fatigue mentally and physically is from a lack of essential nutrients.
Each color of fruits and veggies with a healthy fat or protein, helps our body get what it needs to feel good.
Some easy snacks are apples and natural nut butter, plain greek yogurt with berries, cottage cheese and tomatoes/cucumbers, and veggies dipped in hummus with olive oil drizzled on top.
4. Take free time for yourself, in between your commitments
You say that time is money. You say time shouldn’t be wasted. But then why don’t you take this valuable time to yourself? Why don’t you treat your time as a gift to yourself? Why is it so easily given away to other people?
Creativity is often lost, (and stress creeps in) when we do not allow our brains time to break.
Take extra time to breathe and reset your mind in between appointments. Allowing margin in your life to give your brain the space it needs to switch gears.
5. Journal your intentions for the day, in the morning
Part of the reason our brain becomes overwhelmed is that we are not aligned with what we truly want. You will feel resistance, anxiety, and stress, if the activities in your day are not important to you.
Take a moment at the beginning of your day, (before any of your work takes place) to write down what you want to happen that day.
As we just mentioned, time is valuable. Setting your intentions before the day starts, will set you on the path towards achieving those important things first.
I hope you have found these techniques helpful. Remember, take care of yourself first!
Connect with Expert Maile Inouye