Staying mindful isn’t just about maintaining a healthy body, but also a healthy mind. With everyday stressors, it can sometimes be difficult to ease our mind. However, there are many tips and techniques for staying mindful. Often quick and simple, these helpful hints can help you develop a better peace of mind and overall health.
- Just breathe. Try a deep breathing exercise. “Belly breathing” is a beginner exercise that involves placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly while inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling. Repeat 6-10 times per minute for ten minutes per day.
- Eat mindfully. Sit down and enjoy each meal. Chew slowly and learn to appreciate the flavors of your food. Stop when you’re full. Choose foods both satisfying and nutritional. Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine increases your heart rate, blood pressure and levels of stress hormones.
- Be grateful. Even the smallest things can bring us the most happiness. Try to write down five things you’re grateful for at least every other day. This helps you appreciate what you have and limit the pressures of feeling like you need more.
- Exercise. Endorphins, chemicals in your brain that are released when you exercise, also trigger a positive feeling in your body. Regular exercise can help boost your mood and lower rates of depression.
- Ask for help. Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness, but strength. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate whether your condition is physical, mental or a combination of both since each share similar symptoms. Your primary care doctor is a good source. He or she can help you determine what’s wrong or can refer you to a mental health specialist if needed. Need a doctor? Call 877-717-9355 or visit gch.org/Find-a-Physician for a GCH physician.
What do you do to stay mindful? Tell us at gch.org/Passport-to-Good-Health to earn credit for this month’s Passport to Good Health Challenge.