Three ways to make yourself happier and healthier
We are living in one of the best eras for mental health, on the whole. Humanity has never understood as much as we do now, and people tend to find it easier to be open and honest with others about what is upsetting them and how they are feeling.
However, there are still plenty of ways many people could improve.
This is more important than you might think, especially if you’re trying to be physically healthy. Managing your diet and exercise is one thing, but taking care of your mind is just as important and doesn’t tend to get nearly as much attention. Taking the right steps to feel calmer and more positive can work wonders for your overall health goals.
Of course, making yourself feel happier isn’t something you can just do; you need to learn the right techniques for mental health improvement to have any beneficial effects. Here are some of the best ways to boost your mood and calm your senses, and the physical benefits they can bring with them:
Meditate with yoga
Stress is one of the most common causes of mental health issues, as it can lead to anxiety, depression or feelings of low mood. Luckily, it is something that can be managed, and one of the best ways to do this is through meditation. However, we’re going to go one step better and suggest meditating through yoga.
Anyone who’s performed a routine knows that a major focus of yoga is steady breathing. This is also a key part of meditation. In addition, one of the main points of meditation is to clear your thoughts, and being focused on nothing more than breathing and holding your current pose is a great way to do this.
If you are suffering from stress, you will find it harder to eat healthily and exercise, so this has multiple uses. It allows you to lose weight and improve your fitness while undergoing something that is relaxing and helps with anxiety. It’s a great hobby to take up for both your physical and mental health.
Mix up your routine
If you regularly walk, jog or cycle for your fitness, do you tend to stick to the same few routes? Some people stick to just one, repeating the same track over and over again each day. It might not be a surprise to hear that this is not the best option for your mental health.
Variety is very important for your mental stimulation, meaning if you just repeat the same route over and over again, your mind will get bored and you’ll find yourself feeling sluggish and unmotivated. This in turn will make it harder for you to complete your exercise session, as your brain will be more focused on your muscles and lungs than on your surroundings.
Switching up your route as often as possible will help to keep you stimulated, making you feel better during and after each run or bike ride. While you’re exercising, try to focus on your surroundings, whether that’s trying to identify species of bird or just getting to the top of a hill and enjoying the view.
Set yourself the right goals
Being physically healthy is often the root cause of a lot of mental health issues. You can feel like a failure if you’re struggling to lose weight – or just not losing it as quickly as you’d like – and finding exercise difficult can lead to feelings of inadequacy and weakness. However, often the problem is that the goals you set yourself are too vague.
‘Lose two stone’ or ‘get better at running’ might sound like good goals to have, but they are so non-specific that it will constantly feel like you’re failing them. You should aim to make every objective a MAT goal. This stands for measurable, achievable and time-specific.
In other words, there should be something you can measure, such as the amount of weight you have lost or how many push-ups you can do.
You should set yourself a set time period to complete the goal in, and you should make sure your objective is achievable. ‘Run a marathon by Wednesday’ isn’t going to be a good goal, but ‘complete a five-kilometre run by this time next month’ would be.