Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Stress-Free Mind
The premise of living a stress-free lifestyle is something that most men covet but often, the idea of living stress-free is easier to imagine that it is to do. Your mind is something that is strong and personal to you and with the pressures of managing work and home, it can often feel hard to maintain a healthy, positive lifestyle.
However, we investigated the science behind a healthy, happy mind and achieving stress-free, positivity seems easier, than we may have previously thought! A healthy mind can be maintained by embedding some clever little habits in your life. If you ensure that you leave time to reflect and relax – you will soon start to feel the benefits of practising mindfulness.
One in four people spend more time online, than they do sleeping. In the 21st century, we’re one of the first generations to experience the full impact of living in a digital world. The internet is excellent for communication, information and entertainment – but have we become too reliant on our computers and smartphones? Although, we’re aware of the advantages of using the internet, there are equally as many benefits to having a digital detox.
A digital detox is the term used to refer to a time, where you refrain from social media, the internet and other digital devices. A digital detox is a very healthy thing to do, to reduce stress and focus on interaction in the real world. A digital detox will also minimise emotional effects linked to be ‘online’ or ‘available’ all the time. Consider, putting a time-limit on your digital use or minimising digital interaction on weekends and evenings – to start feeling the benefits of a digital detox.
Believe it or not, multi-tasking is not good for your brain. As humans, we are designed to be mono-taskers – able to concentrate on a single task at once. Statistics have shown that only 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively. Neuroscience has shown that by multi-tasking, we are putting our brains under unnecessary stress and trauma, which can lead to permanent damage. MRI scans performed on people who multi-task most evenings (texting and watching TV) had less brain density and functionality in the area responsible for empathy and emotional control. Get out of the habit of multi-tasking, concentrate on one task at a time and be kind to your mind.
We all know that exercise is good for your body, but it’s also just as essential for your mind. Regular exercise has been proven to improve brain health, memory and thinking skills. Physical exercise stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and increases survival of new brain cells. If you don’t exercise regularly, consider how you can work some exercises into your routine – anything from an evening walk, a regular swim or even pilates to improve brain health.
Sleep is essential to help your brain and body repair. Getting enough sleep is good way to restore your mind and minimise stress-levels. Adults require around 6-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation can affect your mood and mental state, so it is imperative that you are getting enough sleep each night. Consider ways to help support and maintain a good sleep pattern – for example: minimising phone use before bed, exercise daily, ensure your bed and pillows are good quality, practise a bedtime ritual, use essential oils.
Meditation is becoming increasingly more popular. Meditation can be done anywhere that you’re comfortable and content. The act of meditation has been proven to reduce stress related conditions like anxiety and depression. Not only is meditation used to cognitively treat stress-related conditions but it has also been proven to increase stress resilience.
Being creative has been proven to have many emotional health benefits, which include reducing stress and boosting confidence. Taking out some time in your week, to get creative will give you times to experiment, think outside the box and spend a little time outside of the tasks of your everyday. Everyone has the ability to be creative, whether it’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing or decorating – consider it, to help build a happy, healthy mind.
It is often harder than it sounds but getting into the habit of practising optimism, can really help you feel less stressed in the long run. Learning to smile, focus on the positives in a stressful situation and looking for a silver-lining – will really help you harness positive energy and connect with your feelings. Plus – optimism is infectious! If you practise optimism, it will catch on.
Challenge yourself! Everyday! Little challenges like puzzles, testing your recall, learning a new skill or language and embracing fresh opportunities, will help build your brain. Challenges are designed to help your brain produce new brain cells and strengthens the connection between these cells.
You probably hear this a lot, but like exercise, a healthy diet is essential for your body AND your mind. There’s plenty of foods which have been proven to boost brain power – these include fatty fishes, nuts, dark chocolate, wholegrains, blueberries, broccoli and oranges. Foods with lots of omega 3, vitamin c, antioxidants, iron and other essential minerals and vitamins are excellent for keeping your head healthy.
Taking a moment to reflect on your day/week is really good way to keep a happy head. Taking a little ‘zen time’ to reflect, whether it’s having a bath, taking a walk or having a lie-down, is essential to our own personal growth and happiness. When we take time to reflect, we are taking the time to be grateful for how far we have come and can take time to review things that did or did not work for us. No matter what you have to reflect on, reflection is a key part of building our brains and growing.