Now that March is here, it is officially National Nutrition Month!
Finding balance with regard to health is a well rounded culmination of mental, physical and emotional well being.
So for the next 27 days (the missing four days please see below), I am going to be posting one tip, nutrient and/or fact to help you make health your lifestyle!
This week I'll be focusing on mental health so these tips will help you decrease anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings and your perception of stress.
Tip 1: Write a gratitude list
Buy a journal (heres my go to) or find a notebook around your home and write three things you are grateful for, every day. Set a small goal to write your three gratitudes for a week, then set another goal for the following week. Setting small achievable goals leads to greater success and adherence to what you want to achieve.
Your gratitude list can be profound or it can be small things that you appreciate day to day.
Some of the world's top leaders and entrepreneurs use this strategy on a daily basis to get their mind right for the day ahead.
Tip 2: Journaling
Related to tip 1, is journaling. This is a tool I learned when I was in recovery from my eating disorder and found it to be an easy way to make myself "heard" without always having to vocalize my emotions. And sometimes, we just need to vent our frustrations, wins or just details of the day. Whatever it is, its significant to you and getting it down on paper is a natural form of mental release and can decrease stress.
Think about it like this... how many times have you wanted to vent about something, but have held back because you thought you'd be judged? Exactly ... so go get yourself a journal and start writing!
Tip 3: Meditation
Meditation has been used by so many cultures over a span of thousands of years. So it must do something beneficial right? Well it definitely does!
Meditation has been linked to decreases in anxiety, blood pressure, fatigue, stress and improved sleep, energy and motivation.
The point of meditation is not to prevent thoughts from happening, its actually to let them come and go. Quieting your mind doesn't mean shutting it off. It means giving yourself permission to have the thoughts and let them leave as easily as they came on.
Whether for an hour or 5 minutes, meditation has proved to be extremely helpful.
Start with 5 minutes in the morning right when you wake up and 5 minutes before bed and gradually increase the time.
Tip 4: Diaphragmatic Breathing aka Belly Breathing
This is a tool I recently started using to help decrease stress. If you think you're taking a deep meaningful breath when your chest fills with air, you're breathing completely wrong.
You want your belly to expand during the inhale and retract during the exhale. Try lying down on your back and place one hand on your chest. This hand should stay relatively still. Place your other hand on your belly. This hand should be moving as you in and exhale. You should also be able to feel your diaphragm moving up and down.
This technique is not only great for relieving stress, it also helps encourage bowel movements and help you fall asleep!
Now, make sure you check in daily for the following tips to help you reach balance with your health and wellness!