Change is hard | Learn how to shift your mental health today
Learning how to shift your mental health quickly is more important now than ever before. As humans we are overwhelmed with information on a daily basis and our brains were not designed to handle this type of load!
When you have noise in the brain try and imagine this feeling like stress in the body. Too much noise and you can only imagine what will happen.
As you race from one thing to the next, day in day out, distracting ourselves and ignoring the happiness that we are seeking and deserve it is no wonder we feel overwhelmed and unhappy in many areas of our lives.
You post a photo on Facebook and after receiving a bunch of likes you ride that short term feel good hormone. You feel good briefly but then all-of-a-sudden, you are down again searching for your next hit. It is an exhausting cycle and unfortunately it is how most of us live.
We are approaching Bell Let’s Talk day and at this time of year, it is important to press pause and entertain some simple ideas on how you can learn to shift your mental health.
But wait, before we dive into it we had to share more information about our upcoming Day Retreat - Flow and arrow. The focus of this retreat is to help you connect the relationship between your head and your heart. Sounds simple, but extremely difficult to do. Learn more here about the day retreat taking place right here in Calgary!
Okay, back to it. Here are 5 simple ways to change things up and put a focus on your mental health.
CONNECT WITH YOU
It only takes 6 mindful full body breaths to completely shift your state from anxious or (on the other end of the spectrum) lethargic, into a state of groundedness and flow. Our “tunnel vision” or narrowed perspective is generally connected to Beta Brain waves - which are a bit frantic. When we slow down, get into our bodies by noticing our breath and following the expansion of the inhale and deflation of the exhale, we change our brain waves, which calms our heart rhythm, which expands our perspective and allows us to see bigger picture once again. This simple act of slowing down to truly connect with who you are now, is the most powerful thing you can do to shift your state in a moment.
2 - MOVEMENT
As humans we are designed to MOVE! The gym not your thing? That is okay. Listen to your body and move in a way that feels good to you! Simple stretches, neck rolls, lunges, a few squats here and there, posture check-ins, spine twists, forward folds, get outside and go for a walk, stand on your sidewalk or porch and do a few sun salutations with your breath leading your movements, take the stairs, and sit on the floor to encourage yourself to keep moving rather than melting into the couch. If you find pleasure in your movement, you are far more likely to want to do more of it.
3. MINDFUL EATING
Mindful Eating is one of the most powerful practices we have incorporated into my daily routine. After both recovering from eating disorders, we now know the importance to eat in this style.
We will be educating you more about mindful eating during our Flow & Arrow retreat but in a nutshell here is what you can do to get started.
Simply pause to smell your food or drink before you consume the item. It will completely change the experience. Pause, take a deep breath in and out, then take a big smell of your food and notice your salivary glands light up. The process of digestion and absorption is now ready, so dig in! Put down your fork or spoon occasionally, and just chew and enjoy. Notice how the food feels in your body.
Intuitive and mindful eating will direct you towards the foods that feel good and you will notice more readily when you eat something that might not be what your body needs or wants at this phase of your life.
4. PAY IT FORWARD
Serve others. This is a great way to get out of your head about struggles and focus on something that brings joy. Big or small; these are random acts of kindness, compassionate gestures, love letters, positive feedback, celebratory acknowledgements, offers of support, a high five, a big hug, a patient listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Simply put, see love in others. When we focus our attention on others and look for ways to lighten the load or brighten someone’s day, suddenly our own struggles don’t feel as big. You’re system is built to respond positively to social bonds and loving companionship: we get a juicy boost of happy chemicals when we foster loving connections to those around us.
5. EVENING ROUTINE
As a human, one of our basic needs is sleep! Sleep is so important and can often be the solution to a lot of the problems or stress you have going on. It is worth putting a focus on but we know it is easier said than done! Developing an evening routine will make this easier for you. Here are some simple things to try tonight….
Decide what time you will plug in your phone and keep it out of your hands for the rest of the evening
Before you shut down and head to bed, get down on the floor (with the tv on or your family nearby) and move slowly through some hip and shoulder stretches while consciously slowing and deepening your breath
Have a warm shower or bath
Pull out a notebook and write out three things you’re grateful for, three things you’re proud of, and what you need to release and allow tomorrow-you to handle
If/when your thoughts about the day begin to roll through your mind, rest easy knowing this is an important part of your brain hygiene. Your mind naturally reflects and integrates the day so that it can begin the long and short term storage process that happens over night. So don’t fight it, just notice it. Keep guiding your attention back to your breath and the feeling of you body laying in bed
We hope you enjoyed reading about how you can learn to shift your mental health today. We know change is hard but trust us, it is worth it.
Interested in learning more and experiencing mental health strength training in person??
Join us at the Flow + Arrow day retreat, on February 9
Helping you balance the relationship between your head and your heart.
Lucy + Marin xo