How do you feel about yourself and the world around you, right now? There are naturally going to be times in life that are more difficult than others. You may face unemployment, be diagnosed with a health problem, struggle with finances, feel stressed with your workload or anxious about an upcoming event. However, it’s the way you cope when times get tougher than normal that really matters.
How can I stay mentally well?
If you struggle to deal with pressures, there are a number of signs to look out for. From feeling unconfident, becoming unengaged with the world, feeling stressed, losing concentration, having minimal motivation, becoming irritable, and you may also find yourself hiding away and ultimately not living life to the full.
“Stress overwhelms you when you think you can’t cope, and when you feel like you have no control. Thankfully, you can even learn to restore calm, you can even master stress. Skills, knowledge and some practice brings relief, renewed energy and resilience” – Jacqueline Stone.
By looking after your mental wellbeing and developing your emotional resilience, you will feel happier, more positive and will find it easier to deal with future stresses in your life. This can simply involve opening up to someone about the way you feel, establishing a good sleeping pattern, taking up a physical activity, eating more healthily and generally looking after yourself better.
What is mindfulness and how can it help?
Another way to improve your mental wellbeing is through mindfulness. Mindfulness encourages you to focus on the present moment and become more aware of your body and mind.
Before reading on, stop to think about how many times you’ve personally been doing something but your mind has been thinking about a previous event, or something that is coming up in the future? In the process, it’s likely that you’ve missed what’s happening right in front of you, in the present moment.
In modern life, it’s easy to get caught up in our thoughts that we forget to see what’s really happening, in the world around us and with our bodies. By allowing ourselves to be in the present, we can stop and enjoy the world around us and try to understand ourselves better. It can also help us notice warning signs and pick up on problems with our mental wellbeing earlier, before they become bigger issues.
How can I become more mindful?
Anyone can become more mindful. Step one is simply taking notice of your current thoughts, thinking about how you feel right now, how your body feels and becoming aware of what is happening around you! You could do this on your next walk, whilst you’re waiting for a bus, or even during breakfast.
Another increasingly popular way to incorporate mindfulness into your life is through mindfulness meditation. This encourages you to focus on your thoughts, breathing and individual body parts. All you need is somewhere quiet to sit so you can practice it anywhere at any time, whether you have a whole hour, 10 minutes, or just 1 minute to spare. Look for a meditation group in your local area, find a class online, or buy a meditation DVD so you can enjoy guided meditation from the comfort of your own home. If you need extra help getting started, try downloading meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm.
Have you tried mindfulness meditation? Let us know about your experiences via the comments box below!
- Meditation – Headspace App
- Meditate, Sleep, Relax – Calm App
- Thoughts For Better Living Quote – Open Colleges
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more.