Much of the time, we hustle and bustle through our lifestyles of ‘busy-ness', paying little attention to how active our minds truly are. Our daily routines keep us active on the physical side of things, but our minds, they need a good workout too! There are many habits we can reinforce on a daily basis which can help keep the mind (and body) happy, healthy, and positive. Here are…
10 Habits to Maintain a Healthy, Happy and Positive Mind
1. Exercise Regularly
There's no arguing that exercises play a major role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Cardio activities produce natural endorphins which help to improve our mood. Pretty much any form of physical activity is interlinked with good sleep, mental well-being, and great energy levels. Do some research and you'll find study after study discussing the benefits that exercise has on the mind, body and spirit. There's no doubt, a lifestyle incorporating regular exercise makes for a happy, healthy, and beautiful mind.
2. Socialize Often
The Internet and social media has become ubiquitous with our lifestyles. Many consider online social interactions to be as powerful as interacting in person (aka real life), but there's something to be said about the human touch and sharing energy with someone in person. Step away from smart phones, laptops, and other technologies, in order to spend quality time interacting with people around you. Just wait and see how your mood improves! These interactions will not only boost your energy and motivation, but keeps the mind sharp.
3. Healthy Diet
If we eat smart, we can be smarter. There's no denying the connection between the foods we eat and our mental capacity to handle stressful situations and interact with others. Avoiding consumption of high-calorie, overly processed foods, while increasing nutrient rich whole foods, along with healthy fats, will work wonders on the functionality of the mind. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish, flax seeds, and nuts promote healthy brain function while also reducing inflammatory markers in the body. Vitamin E and C have an antioxidant effect and the presence of folate in food helps in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative problems, too. So eating smart will make you smart!
Meditation is a proven, old technique of calming the mind and helping it recover. Meditation can calm the mind and help us deal with external stresses in a controlled, mindful manner. The productivity of a calm mind versus that of a mind that is racing is noticeably different. It's a habit that will provide a mental boost and improve overall well being almost instantly, but the trick is consistently committing to the practice. Give it a try for 28-days and feel the difference it makes in your life.
5. Sleep Adequately
Not sleeping well makes for grumpy, irritable and unproductive, stressed out people. It's not just about quantity of sleep, it's about quality of sleep. For the body and mind to fully recover and reset from a day's stresses, a restful sleep is a must. During REM sleep, a variety of bodily functions go to work in regulating metabolism, repairing tissues, and resetting many of our stress hormones. Napping is a great way to get a refreshing boost for the body and mind, and lift both mood and productivity. It doesn't have to be a massive 2 to 3 hour sleep, simply taking a short nap of 15 minutes can also work great on helping the brain reactivate itself. So, don’t skip your naps and aim to get a solid, restful sleep each night.
6. Move Every 15 Minutes
A body at rest creates a sleepy mind. Much of our lifestyles may be sedentary in nature based on our daily work and commuting habits, but if you are focused on improving mood and mental capacity, start setting a timer to get up and move every hour on the hour for 10 to 15 minutes. This will not only benefit the body, it also improves the function of the brain and awakens us so we can remain productive and focused on the tasks at hand. So, go for a walk around the office, grab a tea, take the stairs or go for a small walk to refill your water bottle as this little action will be sure to keep you mind happy, healthy, and alert.
7. Hydrate Yourself
Nothing is worse for the body than dehydration. When we are in a state of dehydration our mental capacities are compromised greatly. What would normally be an easy task to do becomes very difficult. Focus wanes, we become sleepy, and we find it difficult to retain anything we learn. So, carry a water bottle with you and refill it often. Don't let yourself get dehydrated. Tip: if you feel thirsty, you're probably already slightly dehydrated, so aim to drink minimally 250ml (1 cup) of water for every hour you are awake per day, and if you're active, that amount will need to increase. Check out these articles for more hydration strategies.
8. Solve Puzzles
Solving puzzles on the regular and playing various mind stimulating games is fantastic at improving the quality of the mind. These activities sharpen our mental skills of the mind and enhance the power to recall. Playing memory games and mental teasers like Sudoku, Crossword puzzles or other mental teasers is the ‘gym' for the mind. So workout, and workout regularly to keep your mind young, healthy and spry.
9. Think Happy and Positive
Positive inputs lead to positive outputs. Feed your mind with positive images, ideas, and concepts and you'll be amazed at the positive thoughts, ideas and concepts you will manifest in your mind. Positive begets positive. Creating a daily, mindful practice of creating positive images in the mind, envisioning your dreams, goals, and ambitions will create positive moods and mental wellbeing. At times it may be challenging to remain positive based on life's circumstances, but remain optimistic and look for the positives in every situation. You can convince the mind to believe anything, and the physical and chemical reactions in our body will follow accordingly. If you envision yourself to be happy, you will feel happier. Just try it!
Not everyone is open to sharing their feelings, or for those that have very busy minds and equally hectic lives, the act of journaling is a great way to take a moment to reflect and internalize on our lives. For those individuals, writing is an excellent means of communicating self-thoughts and deep-felt issues, while acknowledging them there's opportunity to reconcile. Writing or journaling avoids criticism and judgment and allows the mind to go freely express itself. Negative thoughts are a like a poison to the mind, so don't try to simply suppress them, use the journal as a way to capture these thoughts and get them out of you. Personally I've found this activity very cathartic and has allowed me to overcome many limiting beliefs while also allowing me to feel more relaxed and present in my life.
Now it's not necessary to adopt all 10 of these mind boosting tips – just pick a couple and start to implement them into your life. I'm confident you'll notice a significant improvement in your mental health immediately.
Author Bio: Sana Afreen
Sara is a corporate professional with a quench to write and explore the territories of fashion, beauty, health & lifestyle along a dream to travel the world! From being a complete Introvert to extreme Extrovert dwelling the life waters with these traits along the situations. In pass time writes for FashionLady.in Twitter: https://twitter.com/sanafreenahmed