By Maggie Williams, Executive Coach at Thriving Hives
Your mood drives your performance and your ability to how you handle life challenges. Here are six proven strategies to boost your mood, handle your emotions better and improve your mental health.
What is good mental health?
Mood influences how we think, feel, and behave. When we are in balance you can manage your stress, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. So when we have great mental health it usually involves having a range of presence of positive characteristics
People who are mentally healthy have a sense of being in the zone, contentment and a zest for life. They are able to bounce back when they face adversity. These people are equipped with a high emotional Intelligence quotient and they have a sense of purpose. They are flexible, and open to change. They have a great work life balance, and have great relationships, both personal and professional.
This does not mean that they never experience bad times it just means that they have an ability to be able to bounce back. These people have a tool box for coping and maintaining a positive outlook. This does not mean that they always see a rainbow over the horizon, they seem to have an ability when shit happens to be able to look for options, to use consequential thinking, and intrinsic motivation to navigate through. They are also able to manage fear better and cope with an uncertain future. They demonstrate resilience and are hopeful that a solution can be found.
1. Make social connection a priority—especially face-to-face
Prioritise face to face connection.
Over the last year we have been forced to embrace online communication, and while there have been many benefits, it certainly does not replace being in the presence of another human being, seeing the smiles, being able to hug family and loved ones, to read faces and use all our senses read hidden messages under the words spoken, and so to build better relationships.
So, building a network of friends, calling family and neighbours, join networks, and talk to strangers when you can, will all help you feel connected to the outer world.
2. Stay Active
Physical activity, releases the all – powerful endorphins, the feel good hormones that make us feel great, lift our mood. Exercise is THE proven way to improve memory, relieve stress, and improve sleep. Try to incorporate 30 minutes of activity daily and watch you mood improve.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Practice mindfulness and prioritise Me-time. Take time to become aware of your surroundings. Learn breathing techniques, listen to music, or relaxing sounds of the beach, the sea, the river and trees, take note of how your senses are ignites to smell and the sights and sounds. Mindfulness helps us stay grounded. Practice walking barefoot in the grass or sand to bring you back into your body and not lost in thought. his will help you think clearly and manage situations with insight. Meditate to bring insight.
Practising gratitude and daily acts of random kindness are all known to improve esteem and wellbeing, and mental health
4. Feed Your Gut and Brain
We are what we eat. Eating a healthy diet, can lift our moods , it affects how we feel and think in a positive mood. Switch to fresh. Local, and seasonal products, keeping junk food and pre- prepared foods to a minimum.
Make sure you cut out the “ bad fats” , processed oils which can damage your entire microbiome and thus your overall health. Choose lots of green vegetables. Nuts and seeds, and try to incorporate a variety of different foods, approximately 21 different ones weekly, so you can utilise all their vitamins and minerals from a wide source. Cut down on sugars as much possible. Source your meat from animal friendly farms and fisherman, to ensure sustainable supplies.
5. Get a great night’s sleep.
Start winding down an hour before bed. Switch off the phone, and all WIFI. Lower the lights, take a calming tea, and put some calming music on or read a book. Take a shower, and or a bath with lovely essential oils before bed and you’ll drift away like a baby.
6. Find your Purpose
When we connect to purpose, we find meaning in what we do. Everything seems worthwhile, and when we involve benefitting others, as well as your -self we gain a deep sense of satisfaction and wellbeing. Finding meaning and purpose is essential to brain health, generating new neurological pathways and strengthening our immune system, alleviating pain, and lowering stress.
Finding purpose can involve finding meaningful work, caring for the elderly, family, or a pet. Volunteering in the many organisations that require our support can bring a deep sense of contribution.
If you are making consistent efforts to improve your mental wellbeing and you find your stress levels are still at optimum, then perhaps its time to seek professional help, and having someone as a guide beside you can often help you to better take care of ourselves.
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