Tag: mental health

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Managing Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be writing about managing negative thoughts. When you’re having negative thoughts, you know that getting your mind off of it is easier said than done. In fact, research shows that when people are instructed not to think about a specific topic, it makes…

4 7 8 Breathing Method – Ultimate Guide!

4 7 8 Breathing Method – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be sharing with you all need to know about the 4 7 8 breathing method. If you’ve ever found yourself in a moment where your stress is through the roof and you struggle to calm down quickly, or you’re fighting against another…

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Today I will be talking you through the box breathing exercise for stress and anxiety relief.

What do yoga teachers, meditation leaders, mindfulness practitioners, Navy SEALs, firefighters, paramedics, and elite athletes all have in common?

Take a moment to think about the relaxed state many of these different categories of people can be in.

Even in high-stress situations, soldiers, firefighters and other professionals in such stressful jobs can keep their shit together and get the job done.

The military and other professionals in high pressured jobs have been using tactical box breathing  for years – soldiers rely on this technique to reduce stress and calm themselves down under extreme pressure.

Box breathing has also been adopted by elite athletes to gain focus and control in the heat of competition.

Often undervalued, breathing is one of the most important things you can do to control your anxiety and stress. It has been shown to help control anxiety and nervousness in high stress situations.

During stressful moments conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy, instead of storing it in your body.

This is important because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.

 

 

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

 

The benefits of Box breathing

Box breathing is a powerful tool for reducing stress, and it has an immediate impact. Square breathing is used by the US Navy Seals and in professions such as law enforcement and medical care, where managing high stress situations is a critical part of the role.

Here are some of the benefits identified by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Eases anxiety, depression, and other stress related issues
  • Increases alertness
  • Allows your body to release toxins more readily

The Mayo Clinic also identifies a neurological foundation to the benefits of square breathing:

Many studies have found that deep, yogic breathing helps balance the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions, such as temperature control and bladder function.

This may help ease symptoms of stress-related disorders and mental health conditions such as anxiety, general stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

All very profound!

Below are the benefits of box breathing as I experience them:

Reduces stress instantly

I think of the box breathing technique as ‘the body regaining control over the mind’. The deep breathing triggers a relaxation response which regains control over the body’s fight or flight response to short-term stress.

When I’m feeling stressed at work a few minutes of box breathing really helps. And it’s so practical because I can do it at my desk (I don’t need a darkened room, and I don’t have to close my eyes to feel the benefits).

Increases focus and control

If I’m feeling nervous or becoming frustrated with a certain situation, box breathing can help.

With the reduced stress comes an increased focus and control which enhances my performance with my work.

A useful weight-control ally

This may seem like a strange benefit! Here’s how square breathing helps me manage my weight.

Towards the end of the afternoon I often get hungry and low on energy. My previous habit was to walk over to the cupboard for some biscuits or a chocolate bar.

Now, when I get that little bit hungry / low energy feeling towards the end of the afternoon I do a few minutes of square breathing.

It’s enough to refocus me and recharge me to get through until my next meal.

A quick and effective break from work

Ideally, we take regular breaks through-out the day, to recharge and refocus. But sometimes that’s just not possible. There’s just too much on.

When that’s the case, try just 3 minutes of square breathing, it really helps.

 

How to practice box breathing

Try it out using the gif provided below. It’s really simple, but a little practice will give you the confidence to use it when you need it.

Sit comfortably in your chair, relax your shoulders, have your hands comfortable (perhaps resting in your lap).

Practice: inhale, hold, exhale, hold, repeat.

When you first practice, don’t worry about how long you are practicing, just focus on the rhythm (even just for 3 or 4 cycles is fine).

Box breathing is also known as box breathing or 4×4 breathing (or even four-square breathing).

Did I mention that the box breathing technique is really simple? Here’s all you need to know about the technique itself.

  • Step 1: Inhale your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 2: Hold your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 3: Exhale your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 4: Hold your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 5: Repeat

This is what it looks like:

box-breathing-exercise

 

 

Here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t strain your diaphragm by over-inhaling or over-exhaling, experiment with the level of inhale and exhale that is comfortable for you.
  • If at any time you feel a little dizzy, just stop, rest in your seat a minute and come back to the practice later.
  • As you become more practiced, you might want to set a timer on your phone and explore longer sessions of square breathing (though I’ve never felt the need to go beyond 5 minutes).
  • You can also explore the durations of the inhale, the holds and exhale. You can explore a ‘bigger box’ (eg: a 5 x 5 square breathing practice), or you can keep the holds to a count of 4 and extend the exhale and inhale (creating an oblong breathing practice!).

This is a simple technique that can be extended as you become more confident.

 

Box Breathing Exercise – Final thought

Unarguably, box breathing is a great way to enhance your attention and concentration and lower stress and anxiety in tour daily lives.

Like many breathing techniques, box breathing has been shown to bring short- as well as long-term health benefits to its practitioners.

While more research is required, the current findings are enough to regard box breathing as an extremely effective way to boost focus, deal with stress, boost mood and mental state.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST  GROUNDING TECHNIQUES BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

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How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Today I discussing how to stay positive during a  pandemic. As COVID-19 spreads steadily around the world, many of us are finding ourselves spending more time at home due to government restrictions. I have taken advantage of this extra time to focus on how I…

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Brain Dump Exercise – Declutter Your Mind!

Today I will be discussing what a brain dump exercise is and what benefits the practice can have. I don’t know about you, but I used to often have so many thoughts running through my head at once, it would be overwhelming. I would end up in…

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – Great for Anxiety and Stress!

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – Great for Anxiety and Stress!

Today I will talking about one of my favourite grounding techniques, the 5 4 3 2 1 grounding exercise.

Stress and anxiety have skyrocketed in recent years — in kids and adults.

It’s crucial we discover strategies to cope, to become more resilient, and manage these uncomfortable feelings.

This five-step 54321 grounding exercise is favoured by many therapists and will help you (and your kids) during periods of stress, anxiety, or even when you just need a little break.

Below, we will walk you through specific instructions to complete this simple but extremely effective 54321 grounding exercise.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

What is grounding?

Grounding as a coping skill has been around for some time. The purpose of grounding is to divert focus from something distressing to something more pleasant by being mindful.

By shifting focus to something in the environment, we can better control what we experience. To do so, we concentrate on using the information our five senses provide.

5-4-3-2-1-Grounding-Exercise

For example, if I were anxious over something, and could not stop thinking about it, I would look around and focus on something I see, to begin distracting myself from my anxiety.

After performing a grounding exercise, you will be able to shift your focus away from your anxiety by becoming more aware of what is around you.

Grounding is a series of exercises designed to use all your senses. For each sense, you note what your senses are telling you. To begin, we will focus on sight.

 

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – Great for Anxiety and Stress!

Before you begin the 54321 grounding exercise, you need to take deep, slow, and long breaths as your first priority. This will achieve a calm state of mind before proceeding to the following steps:

 

5. SEE

Acknowledge five things that you can see around you.

Options can range from a pen or stapler at your office, to a bird or tree while you’re out at the local park.

If you’re at home, you can look at a family photo on the wall or a glass of water on the kitchen counter. You can pick between big and small items to keep your options open.

 

4. TOUCH

Acknowledge four things that you can touch around you. You can start with your hair, hands, elbows, and other parts of your body if you’re short on time.

The ground beneath your feet, whether it’s the floor of your bedroom or the office at work, also helps. Pillows, desks, phones, and keyboards can fit this step.

 

3. HEAR

Acknowledge three things you can hear around you. Instead of listening to your own thoughts or sounds from your body like your stomach growling, focus on external noises.

Examples include someone driving a car nearby, a clock ticking, or a dog barking. If you’re at work, you can listen to typing and the steps of people walking by your desk.

 

2. SMELL

Acknowledge two things around you that you can smell.

This step may be a challenge compared to the others, so it’s best to go to a place with more sources of scent if you don’t smell anything wherever you are at the moment.

The outdoors has plenty of options for smells, and the soap in bathrooms also helps. Your furniture can provide pleasant smells for this step when you’re home.

 

1. TASTE

Acknowledge one thing around you that you can taste. It doesn’t necessarily have to be food, as toothpaste and minty floss you use in the morning or at night are easy sources.

You can also go with the oatmeal you have for breakfast, the sandwich and crisps you have for lunch, or the pasta you have for dinner.

Coffee, tea, and other drinks you have to get through the day also work.

End this exercise with a long, deep breath.

 

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – Final thoughts

With these steps, you will be able to get the most out of the moment.

Focusing on your senses will help you be more mindful, which will then help you accomplish your tasks and experience success.

As a result, you can defeat your anxiety and feel in control of your life. Put this technique into practice to so that you can improve your health and make those big days fun!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST GROUNDING TECHNIQUES BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

5-4-3-2-1-Grounding-Exercise

Top 3 Grounding Techniques – Anxiety, Stress, Panic & Anxiety Attacks!

Top 3 Grounding Techniques – Anxiety, Stress, Panic & Anxiety Attacks!

Today I will be sharing our top three grounding techniques for calming anxiety, stress, panic and anxiety attacks. Grounding techniques are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your…

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Ultimate Guide!

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Ultimate Guide!

How many times have you been angry, stressed, or anxious and someone told you to just take a deep breath? Often at times, we write this phrase off as just what you’re supposed to say when you don’t really know how to help. But the truth…

Self-Care for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Self-Care for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you ideas on self-care for mental health.

The phrase ‘self-care’ is a popular one, and conjures up images of luxurious bubble baths with a glass of wine or hour-long meditation sessions.

Self-care has long been misunderstood in many ways, perhaps a mantra reserved for yoga-doers, an indulgent brushing aside of responsibilities or as therapy only when feelings of stress, depression and anxiety are at their worst.

But in recent years, the concept of self-care has become so universal that the World Health Organisation now officially recognises it as an essential ability to care for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Proper self-care is crucial for mental health and feeling well.

Though often we tend to get distracted by the daily tasks of our stressful everyday life and therefore forget to focus on ourselves.

Self-care doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive and doesn’t need to take more than 5 minutes of your day.

The idea of self-care is basically taking time to care for yourself.

On some days this might look like taking time off to do nothing or attending a yoga class, on other days it is as simple as taking a breather in the middle of a stressful day.

It’s ok to put yourself first. Self-care is an important part of managing your stress and can help you stay happy and healthy.

 

 

WHAT IS SELF-CARE?

Because it’s important we’re all on the same page, right?

Let’s start with a self-care definition from Oxford Dictionaries:

“The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”

“The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

So basically, self-care is you and I taking responsibility for our own health, both mental and physical.

Seems pretty legit and certainly not self-indulgent.

In fact, for anyone to suggest that taking responsibly for your mental and physical health is anything but common sense, well they’re the one’s sounding ridiculous.

Please don’t let anyone shame you for self-care or listen to anyone that says anything negative about your self-care practices.

You are taking responsibility for your physical and mental health, that is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about at all.

Self-care is not selfish – as mentioned earlier, it will improve you as a person, and that will make you a better person to be around.

 

WHY IS SELF-CARE SO IMPORTANT?

This seems like a no-brainer. But so many people forget how neglecting self-care damages other areas of our life – until it actually happens.

With energised minds and bodies, we can, first of all, be more productive. You can get more done in less time, and in turn have more hours left for the things you love.

As you can see, a good kind of a self-perpetuating cycle grows out of making your wellness and emotional contentedness a priority.

self-care-for-mental-health

Through these activities/through patterns/habits, you make sure you live as your best self, rather than just exist. Cheesiness ahead warning, but why are so many of us concerned about making ‘enjoying life’ a frequent, rather than an occasional treat?!

Focusing on wellbeing and happiness now prevents burnout from creeping up on you and throwing your health and stress levels out of control. You should never feel bad about making yourself a priority, and inspires you to take action accordingly.

 

THINK OF SELF-CARE AS THE DAILY ATTENTION AND LOVE THAT YOU GIVE TO YOURSELF

When you take care of your needs, you feel nourished, content, in balance and this supports your ability to feel at peace. Self-care builds resilience in times of challenge.

Self-care is self-love. When you identify what nourishes and feeds your soul, and as you provide this for yourself, you feel loved.

It’s important to assess how much self-care you give, especially if you have recently (or if you have for a prolonged time), felt emotionally or physically drained or exhausted.

Self-care is also a learned behaviour. We are shown how to do this early in our lives as it is modelled by our caregivers and taught to us.

You may need to teach yourself self-care if it is something that you have not learned. As self-care becomes a naturally occurring daily habit, your positive feelings about yourself grow immensely – and you feel autonomous as you are able to care for your needs.

 

Self-Care for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

I’ve been making a really conscious effort to include more self-care habits in my daily routine for a while now.

It has made an incredible difference to my stress levels and mental health.

There’s no need to take on every single one of the self-care tips in this guide all at once.

Gradually build these self-care ideas into your day-to-day and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Here some ideas to practice self-care for your mental health.

 

Restful sleep 

The importance of sleep may be overlooked unless of course you have experienced difficulty sleeping or falling back asleep if you wake during the night.

In fact, sleep is an important healing and self -nourishing practice. Go without it or have disruptive sleep cycles and you will feel irritable, distracted easily, and it will be difficult to feel productive.

 

 

Movement and exercise

We know the benefits of exercise but do you think of them as self -care? Exercise stimulates the release of serotonin. These are mood stabilisers and they help us to feel motivated and happy.

Not only are there several physical benefits, but you build greater resilience to stress by building in daily exercise sessions. This is how you continue to support yourself and to feel at your best.

 

Be kind to yourself

This is also called kind and loving self -talk. What you say to yourself often goes unnoticed. What you say, you believe – so, to nourish and care for yourself best, you need to begin a practice of kind and positive self-talk that encourages, accepts, and loves who you currently are.

This self-care habit is one that we all must give our attention to since we all hold messages and beliefs taught to us that are less than kind.

 

Do something each day that you love

Ideally, there will be much in your day that you enjoy and that allows you to feel happy and fulfilled. Identify what you love and then decide how you can include some of these activities in each day.

Doing what you enjoy allows you to nurture and care for your needs and it reinforces your confidence and worth.

 

Learn

There is always something new to learn that nourishes us and that adds to our growing confidence in what we know. Each day, make time to learn something new.

Carve out time for daily learning and you will look forward to this self-care practice that focuses on your ability to know and experience more.

 

Be love

One of my favourites is to begin each day in a state of love – this means finding your inner calm and peace so that you can you shine brightly of this light in the world.

There are many ways to conjure your inner love vibe – some of the easiest and most direct ways to feel your inner being is through meditation, prayer, gratitude, being in the present moment, and to think thoughts of positivism and love directed towards yourself and of others.

self=care

Consider what allows you to be of your loving nature. Connect with this energy and live out of this heart-centred kindness is how you are love in action.

You may also want to take mini-breaks throughout your day to re-establish this state of being for yourself. It will prove to be so helpful to you.

If you would like some practice on this now, please check out these resources on self-love, loving kindness, and being of love unto yourself.

 

Healthful foods

Self-care is investing in your physical well -being. It means eating healthy, whole (unprocessed), and if possible, organic.

Consider how you may take more time and presence with preparing your food with care and love – holding gratitude for the healthy food and clean water that you have, and for nourishing your body and mind since you will always think and feel better when what you eat and drink is supporting your health.

 

Meditation/prayer

Inner contemplation and self-reflection requires time in silence with yourself. To be alone and in thoughtful pursuits of what is important to you now and for your future will uplift and inspire – and it will allow you to feel at peace.

Meditation is the quieting of your mind so that you can experience the present moment. With meditation practice, you begin to find yourself living out of the present moment far more often – and with this, appreciating the beauty and perfection of life.

Prayer can take many forms, but most simply it is the conversations that you have with your highest self for guidance and nurturing.

Meditation and prayer support our need for connection with a power that we hold within ourselves for free will choice – for choosing a path that is remarkable – for inner reflection and our sacred dedication towards what positive action will support us.

 

 

Journal writing

Be willing to write your thoughts and feelings – to express your inner world onto paper (or as notes that you record in your technological device).

Writing is the physical manifestation of your inner world – and it is the outward means of expressing what you desire and dream of.

As you bring these experiences to light, you manifest their form – you provide the space and the transformation of these experiences to live beyond what they are inside your being.

As a self-care practice, writing is a way of connecting with your inner world – with validating how you feel – and it is a tool for helping you witness your perceptions and beliefs, and for problem solving.

Take 5 -10 minutes to write some of what you have been thinking on any topic – what you feel right now – or a goal or intention that you would like to formally acknowledge.

Notice how your regular writing practice brings to the surface what is needed – how it sheds light on who you are. Journal writing is a wonderful process to discover more about yourself.

Top tip:

The below is an excellent guided self-care journal:

 

 

Self-forgiveness

Self-care is the emotional expression of giving yourself permission to heal, to return to peace – to be whole. It is the permission to release past hurts and self -recrimination.

When we forgive our self, and as we use our experiences as a learning ground for how we wish to be in the present and future, we can hold comfort in knowing that the experiences of our life, and our actions may hold presence – they are towards something pure and of meaning.

If you hold yourself in contempt for the actions of your past, you are not allowing yourself to heal – nor integrate what new information and choices you are now choosing.

We learn through trial and error – of not always knowing the right answer, of not having the capacity in some moments to live from our heart – to do our best.

If you want to practice self-forgiveness, begin with your gentle urging – your willingness to accept all of you as imperfect and perfect – as a work in progress towards all that you desire to be – and of the knowledge that everything serves to teach you much if you allow it.

Start with these words, said out loud: “I forgive you. I love you.” Notice how these words resonate at a much deeper level, offering you the permission to forgive yourself.

Say these words with compassion – allow yourself to take them in, to feel their weighted presence and relief.

 

 

Clean/tidy/organise

Self-care is present in the few moments of time that you choose to organize, tidy, or clean your physical environment.

This is how you simultaneously offer appreciation, respect and kindness directed to yourself as cleanliness and care.

You may wish to expand this to such broader acts of collecting garbage off of the street as you take your evening walk or tidy an area of your workplace.

These actions benefit how you feel about your space and environment and they also invoke personal pride and a sense of accomplishment.

 

 

Yoga

Yoga may be considered exercise but it is more about a philosophy, a mindset – and a way of approaching life that includes the union of body, mind, and nonphysical awareness (as energy).

Whether some gentle asanas (postures) to stretch and strengthen your body first thing in the morning, as a healthful break during your work day, or perhaps an online class, you are choosing to nourish all aspects of yourself through mindful attention, posture awareness, breathing, care and love of yourself.

The benefits of yoga are remarkable.

 

Unplug from technology

We are all so dependent on our devices that we are often distracted from the care and love that we need to give our self on a moment-to-moment basis.

Self-care is possible when you focus on yourself without multi -tasking or other distractions. Unplug for 10 minutes or ideally one hour and pay attention to the world that you live in as you check in with yourself and give to you what is needed.

 

Listen to your body

Treat your body as the ultimate source of wonder and love that allows you to experience the physical world. Give your body what it needs to thrive. We often push ourselves working around the clock – not truly giving our body (or mind) enough rest and all that it needs.

I have on several occasions, heard stories of people being admitted to hospital because they have – and for a prolonged time, pushed themselves beyond what has been healthy – because of their thoughts and belief that they should or must work harder, longer, and more.

Your body is always giving you signals to help you remain in a state of equilibrium.

Check in with your physical needs by being mindful and self-aware.

Ultimate self-care is the nurturing of your physical needs, whether that is rest, a mental break, healthful food or supplements, water, a nap, exercise, a task that needs your attention – all of which come from listening and caring for your body.

Your body as a vessel of health – as a temple that houses your eternal self are metaphors for reminding you, of the care that you need to attend to.

Check in often and ask yourself, “What do I need in this moment?” Provide this to yourself to feel nourished and cared for.

 

Future planning and visioning

Self-care is the ability to set goals and plan for your future based on what is most wanted. Habitually ask yourself these two questions: “What do I want for my future?” and “What is most important for me to focus on now?

These questions help guide and direct your energy and time in ways that will be most helpful and productive, and which will move you towards your long -term goals.

When you create goals, remember to decide on the action steps that will allow you to see your goals through.

self-care

Have a plan and a course of action for how you will attain what you want. Follow through on this plan and update it regularly to ensure that you are always focused on what is most important now and for your future.

Self-care is future planning to ensure that you have in place – what is most desired for your life.

Make time each day for self-reflection as self-care so that you can plan and envision what is most important to you. Set your timer for 10 minutes and let your mind take you into your future.

 

Visualise your ideal self

Together with future planning, visualise and imagine your ideal self. This is how you become the best version of yourself. It is also how you feel inspired to continue on your path towards your ideal.

Visualising builds greater confidence in how you think and feel about yourself.

 

Music and sound

Whatever sounds are most nourishing for you is what you need to hear each day. For some, this is a particular type of music – for others who are musicians, it is important that they practice and hear the music that they co-create.

For many others it is nature sounds: birds, the ocean, the breeze as it rustles leaves in the trees – or perhaps the sound of a fountain or waterfall.

We can find reproductions of sounds in nature to play in the background as we are indoors. The benefits of sound and music are great for your wellbeing, and they nourish and care for yourself.

 

Go outside

Be in nature. Ground yourself by planting your bare feet unto the earth. Earthing or Grounding are terms used to denote healing effects – of connecting to Earth’s electrical energy as a way of promoting physical wellbeing.

The act of earthing refers to a physical connection between the electrical frequencies of the human body with that of Earth’s.

Just like the sun provides us with energy and vitamins, the earth too is a source of subtle energy that contributes to optimum health. Whether you plant your feet on the grass or sand, or lie in your backyard, this self-care is a whole -body experience.

 

Break old habits

Self-care is about recognising what habits and behaviours create dissonance and sabotage you from how you want to feel and be. There are many ways to break an unhealthy habit.

One of the ways that I teach this to clients is to think of it as shedding an old aspect of yourself that is no longer needed.

If you choose to think of your unhealthy habits in this way, and as you choose to let go of them, decide what new healthy self-care practices or habits you will replace them with.

Think of what will best serve your highest good and what new practices will allow you feel great so that it will be easier to teach yourself the new habit.

 

Self-love 

Self-care is self-love. When you do for yourself what is needed – when you make time to care for and nurture yourself, these are examples of self-love.

Self-love is also the words that you say inward and aloud. It is your messages of kindness spoken unto yourself that serve as reminders for your care and love of yourself.

 

 

Present moment awareness (Mindfulness)

Self-care is the ability to know what you need in any given moment and to be able to then give this to yourself. It is also how you witness yourself in the present.

When you are distracting or busying yourself, you miss out on the precious moments of life always in motion.

self-care

Practice stopping for a time what you are doing and sit or stand in stillness. Take in everything for 1 full minute. All of your senses now open to what you are aware of.

Notice how your senses become attuned to both your external world and what you witness within.

This is how you build greater presence in your life – how you hone the ability to step into the present moment by choice, and to nourish yourself with the ability to be aware and awake.

For more on practising mindfulness and present moment awareness.

 

 

Breathe

The simplest self-care practice you could give yourself is to take conscious deep breaths and often. New research suggests that 5 minutes of deep breathing is as beneficial as meditation – because when you breathe with conscious – mindful – awareness – you experience the benefits of calming the nerve which is responsible for calming your entire body.

 

 

Self-compassion

Kindness in self -talk is self -compassion. We need self -compassion in order to enjoy a positive and uplifted way of experiencing our self – and for being patient and for giving our self -permission to feel good and nourished.

Self -compassion is a central construct in Buddhist psychology. It is how we practice kindness to our self.

 

Self-honesty

When you are completely honest with yourself, you soar – because in self-honesty lies the opportunity for change, growth, self -awareness and discovery.

Your willingness to be self-honest proclaims to yourself and others that you are someone that can be trusted and relied on to be truthful.

When you are willing to reveal the truth to yourself about anything, you no longer hold yourself back in life by wishing for something that is not going to be – instead, you take charge to move forward on what you do have control over.

Self-honesty is how you honour your inner being – it is how you align yourself with what is right and best for you. This is one of the highest examples of practising self -care.

 

Sunlight

Sunlight received by going outdoors shuts down the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you sleep at night. This natural means of shutting your melatonin down during the day, helps you to be awake and alert. 10 or 15 minutes in the morning as you take a brisk walk would be ideal.

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Sunlight (and in particular morning sunlight) as it absorbs into the skin, triggers the body’s production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a crucial ingredient for overall health – it protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps support your muscles, and improves brain function.

Your body is meant to be in the sun, and exposure to sunlight during the day is crucial to your wellbeing. As well, exposure to sunlight has a huge impact on depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and sleep quality.

 

Evening self-reflection

Take 10 -15 minutes each evening to reflect on the self-care that you did that day – and plan for what self-care you will give to yourself the following day.

This is a wonderful practice that encourages you to reflect upon what self-care practices were most helpful – and as a gratifying means of honouring your commitment to your self -care.

I promise if you do this, it will become a practice that you look forward to – to reflect upon how your self-care has helped you to feel nourished and cared for, and it will be a welcome means to plan for what you put in place for yourself for the upcoming day.

 

Maintain healthy boundaries with all people in your life

Boundaries are the expressions that we uphold for our self that allow us to feel safe and secure – to be in control of our choices, and to honour our needs.

If we overextend our self, or if we do for others at the expense of our needs, we are not respectful of our care, nor personal boundaries.

Having boundaries allows you to say “no” when something does not feel right to do. It is also what helps you to instil the right kind of care each time that you recognize what is needed.

 

Gratitude is self-care and self-love

One of the most powerful ways to feel instant joy and inner contentment and to feel blessed and nourished in your life is gratitude. I think it’s so important to experience this first -hand, to witness how uplifting gratitude is as self-care and self-love.

 

 

Self-Care for Mental HealthFinal thoughts

Your body and mind are always going to be your most valuable assets. To get through each day, you need to do whatever you can do in order to keep both in good shape.

Remember to cut yourself some slack and to go easier on yourself during these challenging and pressing times.

Schedule time for yourself and make yourself your own number one priority. Your mind and body will thank you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST SELF-CARE BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

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12 Ways to Calm Your Mind – Ultimate Guide!

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