When was the last time you took some time to ask a friend or family member if they were doing okay? When was the last time you asked yourself that question? The truth is, having a healthy headspace can be hard to manage, especially when it’s so intangible. We all know to take care of our bodies, yet the state of our mental health is often neglected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently announced that mental disorders affect one in four people around the world. That’s nearly 1.8 billion people who struggle with mental health related issues – and nearly two-thirds of them never seek help or get treated.
Part and parcel of taking care of your mental state can comprise seeking professional help and seeing a therapist. While we highly recommend doing so, there are also many other ways that you can contribute to creating a healthy mental state for yourself on the daily. The gnômadic team list a few easy and manageable ways you can begin to help support your mental health today.
Living and working in a fast-paced world can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Take some time to practice mindfulness, the art of living in the present moment through awareness, attention and acceptance. Take a few minutes to meditate and really notice your environment each day, paying attention to things you would usually skim over, like what you can see, hear, taste, touch and feel. Perhaps you’ve never noticed the patterns on your door, or the way the fabric of your favourite sweater feels under your fingers. Mindfulness takes you out of rumination and worry, and places you in the present.
Ecotherapy is a wonderful way to destress and reduce feelings of anxiety. In a recent report by the Global Wellness Summit, exposure to nature, whether through taking long walks in lush greenery, or through biophilic design at home or in the workplace can greatly help to soothe your mental state. If you’re unsure where to start, consider signing yourself up for the closest guided forest bathing session where you can practice the Japanese art of ‘shinrin-yoku’ – the act of immersing oneself within nature’s biophilic atmosphere. If you’re in Singapore, we recommend a session with the experts at Xiu Nature Connections.
Experience a rush of endorphins whenever you make time to work out. Known as ‘feel-good’ chemicals, endorphins help you to feel happy and even help to alleviate anxiety. It also serves as a great distraction when you’re trying to get your mind off negative thoughts. If you love the great outdoors, make time every other day for a walk or jog through the park or explore lush hiking trails you’ve never thought to see. Another great way to keep yourself motivated is to sign up for a package at the closest gym – it’s harder to back out of once you’ve got your money on it.
It’s always good to get things off your chest. Being honest and open with the people you trust can help you to gain new perspectives on your situation, or even give you the courage you need to seek professional help and make real changes in your life. It’s important to remember that we are never in this alone, and we can always reach out and seek help or advice from the people around us. If opening up all at once is difficult, don’t feel alarmed or ashamed, you can always start with sharing just a little bit at a time. Sharing about your mental health issues can also contribute to lifting the stigma that surrounds it, and you may even encourage others to step forward and seek the help they need.
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