November 23, 2013

Why and how it’s important to keep your mind in a healthy way and what the benefits are.

If everyone was more aware of the human mind including its interpretations, reactions and responses, the world would be a more peaceful place. However, the world would also be a poorer place as many commercial industries thrive on our lack of understanding of how we are influenced by our external environment. Keeping your mind in a healthy way is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and for those around you. When our mind is healthy, we experience more positive thoughts and feelings. We attract and create more fulfilling relationships to our lives. We spend our time more productively, doing things that are going to help us progressively excel in our life journey.  When we do not keep our mind healthy we may experience low self-esteem which often has a negative impact on our relationships and our response to the world around us. Low self-esteem can hold us back in any area of our life and often we try to hide low-self esteem by pretending, drinking or changing our appearance to try and make ourselves feel better. Another problem that an unhealthy mind produces is self-defeating activities. This can be as routine as procrastination over things that we really need or want to do, or as serious as substance abuse, self-harm/neglect and over or under eating. Needing constant distractions in your life, or needing to constantly focus on something or someone may also indicate that your mind is not in a happy, healthy and content place. A healthy mind requires a certain amount of self-reflection and for some people this can be extremely painful or difficult. However, the rewards are well worth the temporary discomfort as they can empower and enlighten us. So first to achieve a healthier mind, you need to increase your self-awareness both physically and mentally. Ask yourself what your body language is communicating to the world around you. Is it defensive and hostile, or is it relaxed and gentle? Increase mental self-awareness through self-reflection of how your words and actions affect those around you. Also ask how your self-talk affects the way you feel about yourself. What does your ‘head-chatter’ say to you and how does it make you feel. Do you sometimes call yourself stupid or useless? If you do, then stop and create more positive words to describe yourself. All these ways will help you increase your emotional intelligence. The right support is also vital. There are many good books out there and psychotherapy tools to use either on your own or with another person. Talking about your thought process and feelings with someone you trust is also an effective way of keeping your mind healthy. Try and select someone that is least likely to be bias or opinionated about your thoughts and feelings. Those that are usually closest to us or more heavily involved in our life, are not always the best people to talk things through with. The person that knows what is best for you is you so trust yourself and your instinct. If you often have arguments inside your head, or with your instinctual feelings then talk them through with an independent other that you can trust will keep your words confidential. Rest, exercise and what we put into our bodies also affects our mind health. Exercise needs to be balanced and not too strenuous as workouts increase cortisol levels. This is called the stress hormone because it does exactly this, cause us increased mental and physical stress. Elevated cortisol levels have also been linked to diseases like cancer and heart disease. Learn what relaxation methods work for you such as taking a bath, breathing exercises, guided visualisation and massage. Foods can also help or hinder our efforts to maintain mental wellbeing. Good foods for the mind include herbs, spices, vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts and seeds. The way these foods are cooked or processed is also important so I’m afraid that chips aren’t good for the mind even though they are made from potatoes! Other foods to avoid for a healthy mind are fizzy drinks, alcohol, coffee, gluten and some diary. And on a final note, if you are one of those people that drinks a glass of wine at the end of a long day to unwind with, then you can be sure that your mind is not in a healthy place. Try some of the above advice and see how you get on. Gabriella Clarke MHS MNCS (ACC). You can contact me for any further ways of keeping your mind healthy here or call 07533988177

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  1. harvey says:

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