When we pay attention to our mental wellbeing, we become more emotionally resilient and cope with stress better. This helps in the overall improvement of our health.
1. Having a restful and uninterrupted good night’s sleep can improve mental capabilities
Sleep is important as it allows our body to repair itself and improve our cognitive and emotional capability. According to the Sleep Foundation, the recommended hours of sleep for adults is a good 7 to 9 hours each day.
Consider putting your phone away for the night, or even place it out of your room. This reduces exposure to blue light, allowing us to fall asleep more easily.
Use an alarm clock in place of a smartphone. A watch or smartwatch with an alarm works just as well.
2. Spending time in nature decreases stress levels
When was the last time you spent time with nature? Even if it’s a short walk around the neighbourhood garden or going for a hike? Working from home forces us to be constantly stuck in the four walls of our home.
Taking time to expose ourselves to nature and (moderate) sunlight calms our body down, enhances our mood and improves our mental wellbeing. We can further enjoy our experience by being present at the moment and observing our surroundings, touching and examining interesting finds.
During a study, participants who took part in a 90-minute walk through a natural environment had decreased activity levels in their prefrontal cortex (the part of our brain linked to stress, anxiety and mental illness). They also reported lower levels of negative self-thought, compared to participants who took a walk in an urban, built-up environment.
When enjoying your walk, here are some questions that you can think about: Are there flowers, plants or animals you have never noticed before? What do they resemble? What about it intrigues you?
3. Practice mindfulness and learn to be in the present moment
We can learn to take a step back from the hustle and bustle to improve our mental wellbeing. When we are present, we find ourselves in sync with our surroundings, thoughts and emotions.
When we take action and practise mindfulness, we find meaning and fulfilment. If you are worn out from daily stress, take a break from constant anxiety. Clearing our mental and emotional quota for the day keeps us in the race for longer.
Keeping fit mentally is as important as keeping physically fit.
With some work and discipline, the rewards of keeping mentally fit will help us develop a healthier sense of self and build better relationships.