Most of us spend a significant amount of time every day doing things to ensure our physical health but not so much time doing things to improve your mental health. By practicing self-care and self-calming you can develop a more positive attitude towards life, control your anxiety and feel calmer and more at peace. Studies also tell us that these practices will contribute to better physical health including improved circulation, a stronger immune system, an improvement in your ability to tolerate pain and more.
Self-care behaviours address basic lifestyle and have an almost immediate effect on your physical and mental well-being and include:
- Getting at least 30 minutes exercise each day
- Getting 8 hours sleep each night
- Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet, preferably low in sugar and food additives with multiple portions of fruits and vegetables each day
- Consuming alcohol and caffeine in moderation
- Spending time each day in the company of people who care about you
Self-calming techniques are planned and conscious behaviours that trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. These techniques slow your breathing, relax your muscles and also lower your heart rate and blood pressure. These techniques simultaneously increase the brain chemicals associated with a positive mood and decrease the brain chemicals associated with stress. Self-calming techniques include:
- Progressive Relaxation
- Deep breathing
- Guided Imagery
- Walk in Nature
- Mindful Meditation
Start today and keep track of your self-care and self-calming techniques for the next 21 days in order to turn these behaviours into habits.