Tag: mental health

12 Ways to Calm Your Mind – Ultimate Guide!

12 Ways to Calm Your Mind – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you 12 ways to calm your mind. It’s important to look after our mental wellbeing, particularly whilst we find ourselves spending more and more time at home. There are plenty of things that we can do to help us…

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Meditation Benefits for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be discussing meditation benefits for mental health. Most people are aware of the need to do physical exercises to stay healthy and fit, but many fitness freaks are not too clued up when it comes to exercising their mind. Like any muscle…

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – For Anxiety, Stress, Panic!

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – For Anxiety, Stress, Panic!

Today I will be sharing three amazing grounding techniques for calming anxiety, stress, panic and other negative emotions.

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 stress back to something more pleasurable and relaxing.

There are infinite ways to practice grounding, but the general idea is to connect with the present moment by settling into your body through the five senses.

Throw yourself into one of these grounding exercises to manage stress and improve focus.

When your mind wanders back to worries or things that are outside of your control, gently ground yourself back in the present moment – even if you have to bring your attention back over and over again.

With high stress, try one exercise after another until you find the one or a combination that makes you feel calm, safe, and relaxed.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist, therefore all the advice given is 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.

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.

 

Health benefits of grounding

Though grounding techniques for anxiety is an under-researched topic, there are emerging results that show positive effect.  Some of these health benefits include reduction of pain, depression, stress, and fatigue.

In my experiences with grounding, I’ve also found some added benefits. For example, when I’m stressed while working, it’s not uncommon for me to utilise various grounding techniques to enhance my concentration.

 

How can grounding reduce anxiety at home?

Grounding is simple and free strategy to reduce anxiety that you can use anywhere.

Grounding distracts you from your worry and anxiety. It uses mindfulness principles to refocus your attention on concrete, observable things in the present.

3-Amazing-Grounding-Techniques

As the name says, it grounds you in reality so that your mind isn’t stuck in the past or future.

There are very few “rules” to grounding. You can change the questions as they suit you and your environment. The key is to just get you to tune into observing and using your senses.

Now let’s look at our top three favourite grounding techniques.

 

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – For Anxiety, Stress, Panic!

 

4 7 8 Breathing Method 

 

4-7-8 Breathing Benefits

Dr. Weil calls this breath a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” and clarifies that it “gains in power with repetition and practice.”

Although there isn’t a large amount of clinical research on this specific technique, there is a large amount of anecdotal evidence from those who use this technique regularly (including myself.)

According to Medical News Today, who conducted a review on the 2011 Health Science Journal article, revealed some potential benefits of deep breathing – especially if that is deep breathing from the diaphragm.

 

Some of those benefits include:

  • Decreased fatigue
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Better stress management
  • Reduced hypertension
  • Improved migraine symptoms
  • Helps induce sleep

systematic review was conducted of 15 articles pulled from 2461 abstracts on the psychological and physiological changes of the brain-body interaction of the voluntary slowing of breath frequency in relaxing practices.

These slow breathing techniques alter the body’s heart rate, central nervous system activity, and brain waves.

The review results state: “Psychological/behavioural outputs related to the abovementioned [biological] changes are increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigour and alertness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion”

The same review concluded that slowed breathing techniques are linked to emotional control and psychological well-being in healthy patients.

If one of your main goals of this breathing technique is to reduce anxiety, this article has a few other techniques that are helpful.

If your main goal of this breathing technique is to induce sleep, this article on valerian root is also a good resource.

 

The origin of the method

Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder of the University of Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine, is a celebrity doctor who brought these fascinating ancient Indian breathing techniques closer to the Western population.

According to his own words, he was surprised by how little research there was on ancient Indian yogic techniques considering how beneficial they are.

There is a very limited amount of written evidence because in India these techniques are passed on from generation to generation by oral tradition.

This ancient practice called pranayama in Sanskrit is about manipulating rhythmic breathing for its various health benefits as well as relaxation of the body and mind.

4-7-8-breathing-method

The three phases we already mentioned are crucial for pranayama – inhalation, retention, and exhalation.

There are many methods for slowing down breathing, 4-7-8 breathing being one of the most popular.

These breathing exercises help reduce stress, improve attention, and boost cognition.

They also increase speed in activities which include simultaneous physical and visual action.

 

How to Perform the 4-7-8 Breathing method

The 4-7-8 breath originated from a pranayama, or yoga, breath. Dr. Weil further evolved this breathing technique to relax the mind and body.

This breathing technique is effortless to practice, involves nothing but your body, and is finished faster than it began.

Before beginning:

  • Sit or lay down.
  • Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth.
  • Push all the existing air out of your lungs before beginning.

The 4-7-8 breathing method:

  • Breath quietly in through your nose for a count of 4
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7
  • Breath out of your mouth for a count of 8 while making a ‘whooshing‘ sound
  • Repeat for 4 breath cycles
  • Open your eyes and wallow in the bliss

Dr. Weil suggests practicing at least 2 times a day.

For me, practicing once when I wake up and once before bed is a simple way to keep track of the practice. If you have been practicing for a month or longer, you can repeat for 8 breath cycles, but no more.

The ratio of the 4-7-8 is more important than how long you are performing one breath cycle – keeping a steady rhythm, regardless of speed, is crucial.

The more you practice this technique, the slower you will be able to practice.

 

Using the 4-7-8 Breath in real life situations

Dr. Weil suggests practicing this technique for 4-6 weeks before attempting to use it for relief in a specific situation.

After practicing this technique for some time, I personally found value when amidst an anxiety attack.

I was overwhelmed with everything that was going on in my life. My heart was pounding and my mind was racing.

But something magical happened that day.

For the first time ever, I successfully used a breathing technique, the 4-7-8 breath, to stop a full-blown anxiety attack.

How did I remember to use it? Well, I had been practicing it regular, so when it was game-time, my muscle memory jumped right to it.

Top-3-Grounding-Techniques

Typically, in times like these, I would try to ‘think’ my way out of overthinking. Counterproductive, I know.

This time was different – this time I had a tool my anxiety attack had never seen before.

I sat on a chair, closed my eyes, and performed the four rounds of 4-7-8 breathing cycles. I paid close attention to the breath and close attention to my counting.

When I opened my eyes, I realised my brain had quieted down a little. I felt better and calmer.

Of course, I still felt some anxiety, shame, and guilt but it was all much more manageable.

Plus, I had dodged a full-blown anxiety attack for one of the first times in my life.

Some other real-life scenarios you can consider using the 4-7-8 breath:

  • feeling anxiety during social engagements
  • experiencing overwhelm at work
  • navigating intense shame or guilt after an argument
  • working through a busy and stressful schedule
  • having trouble calming down to fall asleep

The 4-7-8 breath is uncomplicated and takes no more than a minute to complete.

It is a technique that has added extreme benefit to my life and the lives of many others that practice this technique both daily and in times of need.

Maybe, just maybe, this breathing technique will be the one that changes your mind and reveals to you the real power behind the phrase – just breath.

 

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

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

 

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 5 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 get started with box breathing

Try it out using the gif provided above. 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).

 

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.

 

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise 

One of the most studied and preferred methods of distraction is known as the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.

This method is simple and effective for helping you to regain control of your mind by grounding you into the present moment.

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

It works by incorporating all five of your senses to keep you in your present surroundings, which is incredibly effective for fighting anxiety.

The best part? It only takes one minute of your time!

 

Here’s how it works:

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.

 

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – Final thoughts

These 10 practices are each quite simple, and easy to apply. It can be helpful to write them down or put them in your phone, so that when anxiety arises, you’ll have them at the ready.

It’s also helpful to work with them one at a time, using the same one several times to get somewhat familiar with it, before trying the next one.

Then once you are confident with all three, you’ll know which one to try in a given situation.

Have you ever heard of grounding techniques before? Also, what helps you stay calm during stressful moments?

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!

 

 

 

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

GROUNDING-TECHNQIUES

Ways to Stop Overthinking – Ultimate Guide!

Ways to Stop Overthinking – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be sharing information on ways to stop overthinking. Everyone overthinks sometimes. It becomes problematic when someone finds it difficult to stop having the same thoughts. From there, it gets easy to slip into a circular pattern of thinking and move on to…

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Today I will be sharing panic attack tips and techniques that have helped me overcome them in the past. Panic attacks are truly terrifying, something anyone who has suffered having one will agree with. Your heart beats out of your chest, breathing becomes more difficult,…

Overcoming Morning Anxiety – What Helped Me!

Overcoming Morning Anxiety – What Helped Me!

Today I will be sharing some tips for overcoming morning anxiety and what measures I have put in place in the past to help with it.

Do you struggle with morning anxiety?

Are the first thoughts that enter your mind so negative and so dreadful that you regret waking up in the first place?

Morning anxiety is very REAL, I would suffer from this terrible illness on a day-to-day basis.

If you suffer from panic attacks, dreadful morning fear, and of course depression, this post will come to your aid.

Of course, if you really need help and feel very depressed? Please seek the help of a doctor over anything else that you read today. 

But if you do feel like you can combat this yourself or if mornings aren’t your thing, then this is your post!

Let’s help you wake up to pleasant and peaceful thoughts each morning with some effective and positive habits that helped me when overcoming morning anxiety!

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

 

 

What is morning anxiety?

According to Calm Clinic, “most people define (morning anxiety) as anxiety either immediately after waking up or anxiety that tends to build over the first hour or so upon awakening.”

As far as symptoms go, everyone experiences anxiety differently, but here are just a few signs of morning anxiety listed by Healthy Place:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Trembling

Morning anxiety is caused by many different factors. For example, we produce higher levels of cortisol– which is a stress hormone — in the mornings.

Aside from an increase in cortisol levels, Health Line adds that things like environmental factors and low blood sugar can contribute to morning anxiety.

Although waking up with these symptoms is devastating, there are steps you can take to relieve morning anxiety and still have a good day.

Here are some tips I have put together that have helped me overcome morning anxiety.

 

Overcoming Morning Anxiety – What Helped Me!

 

Don’t go to bed late the night before

Before we get started, there’s one mistake you cannot afford to make. This morning mistake will screw up your entire day.

Go to bed early the night before!

Sleep is not only for the weak. It’s the best way to stay strong all day.

Are all-nighters worth bragging about? Maybe they’re fine once in a while when they can’t be avoided but otherwise – staying up late constantly isn’t a sign of working hard; it’s working too much, working inefficiently and mismanaging your time.

I use to be one of those people who stayed up to the early hours of the morning, then wake up like and zombie and head off to work feeling like I had just been dug up!

Not anymore though!

OVERCOMING-MORNING-ANXIETY

Without enough sleep, you’ll start the day with a mind that’s not 100% energised – no matter how many times you give yourself a good slap on the face.

The worst part? Imagine your brain failing in the departments of common sense and alertness.

Around 16 million Brits experience side effects of sleep deprivation every night!

And studies suggest they can range from less obvious stuff – like a lack of focus or attention – to crying over small things, or a lower reaction time while driving or pouring coffee!

Speaking of coffee – don’t rely on it to overcome sleep deprivation. I enjoy my morning coffee as much as the next person. But I also know caffeine has its limitations.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-8 hours of sleep (or 9 if possible) for the average adult.

I have about 6/7, which suits me fine.

 

 

Wake Up Early

One of the reasons you may feel anxious in the morning is because you feel rushed. Waking up earlier is a great way to get ready at a slower, more peaceful pace.

When you wake up earlier, you have more time to focus on things like self-care (which will be a part of your morning routine for anxiety relief).

If you are rushing around and then flying out of the door every morning, start waking up between 5:00am – 6:30am depending on when you have to leave.

You want to wake up a couple of hours before you need to be somewhere. And, remember, start small and build up

 

 

Exercise

Exercise is one of those habits that everyone talks about. It makes you roll your eyes when you hear or read about it. Like what else is new? Exercise is good for you.

To me, exercise is a very important habit physically and mentally. I especially notice how much it impacts my life when I don’t do it. I become stressed, I’m also reactive and it shows in my relationships, in my work and in the decisions I make.

Excercise

I can’t seem to stay clear and objective when I don’t do it. Plus, I just feel tired and ache all the time.

So, I try to make exercise a part of my day whether it would be by walking for at least an hour, going to the gym, stretching, running or doing an at home workout.

It has become a part of my life and it fits naturally. If it’s still not a part of your daily routine, just try it.

 

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is practiced by focusing the mind on the present and keeping your thoughts from wandering into the past and future.

It focuses on breath awareness to draw attention to your body, open up your senses and anchor you into the present and your immediate surroundings.

  • Sit comfortably with your upper body straight but do not stiffen.
  • Relax and pay attention to what every part of your body is doing like how your legs are positioned and where your arms lay.
  • You may close your eyes if you need help getting more focused and relaxed, but it’s not necessary.
  • Gently inhale and exhale, getting into the rhythm of your breath noticing how each part of your body reacts and what you’re currently feeling.
  • Open your eyes and with a soft gaze, notice your surroundings using your senses, without all

By implementing Mindfulness meditation into your morning, it will help calm down your mind.

The more you practice, the more enjoyable it becomes and more benefits you see.

 

 

Conscious breathing

There’s no need to wait until stress rises to use breathing methods for well-being.

You experience balance and harmony when your breaths are of equal length and depth.

As inhaling and exhaling uniformly are the natural response to inner peace, your brain thinks you are relaxed even when you breathe this way intentionally.

Take deep, even breaths throughout the day to preserve well-being.

 

 

Eat a healthy breakfast

Since you are not rushing, you are now able to sit down and eat a healthy nutritious breakfast.

Eating a healthy breakfast as part of your morning routine before work will help you to be more productive.

morning-anxiety-breakfast

Moreover, the breakfast will provide the energy needed to fuel your brain.

Additionally, eating breakfast will keep you full for longer, eliminating the need for you to consume high and empty calories which will harm your body.

Furthermore, while sitting down to eat your breakfast you can read a few pages of a positive mental attitude book or any other self-development book.

 

Set goals

Goals tend to add structure to our daysHaving structure and routine may help anxiety.

What are three things you want to accomplish today?

Start off by making them simple, such as eating fruit with breakfast.

The more you set goals for yourself, the more they become ingrained into your habits.

I find that having a simple fitness goal every day is super beneficial.

I recommend trying a 30-day squat or crunch challenge. You can find loads of them Pinterest.

Always ensure you are present while working towards your goals.

 

Take a short walk

Before or after your shower, your choice, take a short walk.

I prefer to go after my shower because the shower wakes me up, while the walk gets me pumped for the day. Others may prefer to take a shower after the walk.

First of all, we all need exercise on a daily basis. Without it, we are way more prone to anxiety and depression.

So, instead of going to the gym after your day is over, start your day with a little exercise.

A 30-minute walk is a great way to get out of the house, enjoy nature, and get your blood pumping.

Not only does it do the body well, but it improves your mood as well.

 

Switch up your attitude

Going to bed worrying that tomorrow will be another day of worrying and upset doesn’t resolve the issue what so ever – it will snowball into a huge problem that wasn’t there in the first place.

It’s time to switch up your attitude. Go to bed expecting to be upset in the morning, and tell yourself it will probably be there regardless of whether you worry or not.

Tell yourself that when you wake up and the anxiety hits, that it’s ok to feel worried, nervous, shaken.

It’s not a big deal, you can handle it. You can do whatever you need to do, you can get through today. Believe in you.

 

Make reminders

It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? It’s easy to say: “tomorrow I will be positive”. Because sometimes, just sometimes, you will wake up and think: “I just don’t have the energy to do that today”.

And that is when you’re most vulnerable to anxiety taking over your entire day.

So, whether it’s writing on a sticky note or leaving a reminder on your phone, have a backup option to help you out when you need that extra bit of encouragement and positivity in the morning.

A gentle reminder that reads something as simple as “you can do this” can make all the difference.

 

Journal and express gratitude

It’s always great to start the day with gratitude. 

This will help you start the day with a positive attitude.

Journaling has been shown to help manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression.

A great place to start is to write down three things you are grateful for, three things you hope to accomplish that day, and three things you were able to accomplish the day before.

Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!

 

 

Your surroundings

Imagine finally drifting off into a peaceful sleep in a dark room and cosy bed, to be woken up by a pounding alarm and harsh bright lights and the chill of getting out of bed.

Environmental aggravations like these can soon welcome you to your worst day ever.

It’s vital to infuse positive energy into your home to wake up peacefully and ensure the best possible start to your day.

Minimise your chances of anxiety by making your surroundings more peaceful.

Small alterations such as a soothing alarm clock instead of an ear-splitting cuckoo noise, having slippers and a comfy dressing gown to slip into in the morning.

This way you don’t have to bear the freezing cold mornings, also try a dimmer switch on your bedside lamp instead of blinding spotlights.

 

Drink more water

A simple yet vital daily requirement, drinking water.

This not only hydrates you but improves your bodily functions, preventing headaches, washes out toxins from the body, and helps with weight loss.

Drinking water can solve other problems such as clearing skin issues and providing mental clarity.

One way to drink more water is to keep a water bottle with you at all times so you can hydrate yourself throughout the day.

I personally like to drink room temperature and hot water; this helps with digestion.

 

Don’t check your phone immediately

In an ideal world, your day shouldn’t begin with the phone. Reading about stressful news events before your day even begins compounds anxiety.

Be mindful of what media you ingest, especially in the morning.

I recommend trying to keep your mind blank and your thoughts your own for the first hour of the day.

 

Overcoming morning anxiety – Final thoughts

Morning anxiety can be beaten.

It’s nothing more than an extension of what’s going on in your life and what kind of lifestyle you lead.

If it happens consistently without any apparent reason, you should definitely talk to a medical professional.

Otherwise, a few changes to your lifestyle and better self-care can help you overcome morning anxiety easily.

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.

I would love to hear what tips you have to combat morning anxiety – please share them below!

 

 

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

OVERCOMING-MORNING-ANXIETY

How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!

How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will diving deep into the subject of how to let go of anger and resentment. I’ve been there, you know that feeling in your chest just won’t go away, and it’s starting to slowly eat you up each day. Anger, sadness, rage, anxiety,…

40 Journal Prompts for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

40 Journal Prompts for Mental Health – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you 40 journal prompts for mental health. Have you been feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately? When was the last time you did a mental health check-in? Mental illness is a silent killer. Depression, anxiety, OCD, panic attacks, eating disorders…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Self-Care for Mental Health – Final 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.

 

 

 

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