Today is the last day of mental health awareness week and so I thought that I should probably do a post for it!
The topic of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW)
is mindfulness, something I believe is incredibly beneficial or even essential for your mental wellbeing. You may think that mindfulness involved sitting cross legged on the floor or focusing on your breathing and yes it is all this but also so much more. It means focusing on what is happening NOW, in the present moment, any feelings and thoughts you may have, the world around you and it means not worrying about the past or future.
This might sound very difficult to do but you have probably done it far more often then you think. Simple things such as noticing the sound of wind through trees or the birds singing in the morning and focusing only on that one thought is being mindful. It could also be something more difficult like meditation but more often than not mindfulness in everyday life is a lot easier we just have to remember to do it!
One easy practice in mindfulness is focusing on your breathing. Take a breath in and recognise how it feels going in through your nostrils, all the way down and into your lungs. Then focus on how it feels going out through your nose or mouth and the sensation of your chest moving up and down with these breaths.
Practicing mindfulness has been proven to aid stress, depression and anxiety as it allows you to focus on the now and gives you even just momentary relief from any worries, pains or negative thoughts you may have.
On the other hand it can also mean being aware of your feelings and thoughts as they happen. This helps with negative thoughts because instead of pushing them to the back of your mind to resurface later or even dwelling on them and causing you distress, you can say, “Yes I am having this thought right now but it is only a thought and it doesn’t have to take over my mind – I am in control.” Saying this every time you have a negative automatic thought can eventually change your thought patterns and improve your mental wellbeing.
Other things than can contribute to your mental wellbeing are:
● Getting the right amount of sleep for you (not too much and not too little)
● Being active
Again remember not to over do it but 30 minutes of exercise a day has been proven to help lift your mood and relieve stress.
● Spending time with friends and family.
● Doing things to help others. This can help you feel like a better person, escepcially if you have low self esteem.
● Learn something.
Learning a new skill can help your self confidence and give you a sense of achievement.
● Make time for yourself.
Even if it’s just half an hour a day, having some ‘me time’ can help you feel more at one with yourself. Also, doing things you enjoy should not be a treat, it should be a habit as it is absolutely essential for your mental wellbeing.
So there we have it, my mental health awareness week post!
Sorry it’s a bit short and a day late (oops…) but I’ve had a lot to think about recently.
Oh, and make sure you check out the ‘Recovery Wins’ page because it will updated shortly 🙂