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Too often, the “health” part of mental health is disregarded. Wellness is not just about your physical health.
If any one of us is out of shape physically, we often seek outside help for it. We go to the doctor, we hire a personal trainer, or we pop some ibuprofen or start eating more veggies. But when we are out of shape mentally, there’s such a disconnect about seeking help.
What’s the difference in seeking out a counselor’s help for anxiety as opposed to a personal trainer’s help with obesity? Why not use an app to practice meditation just the same as you’d download one when you’re ready to start Couch-to-5K?
It took me years to finally seek help for my anxiety, so I know how hard that can be. I want to share with you some of the strategies I’ve learned regarding self care that have made my life much happier and healthier.
- There is too much science on meditation to ignore. Even if you’re not into the spiritual side of the practice, there is a lot of science backing up how good meditation is for our overall well-being.
- One of the biggest helps that comes from meditation is the idea of responding rather than reacting. Reacting is automatic, while responding is calculated. It can only take a moment to determine what the right response is, and meditation can really help you learn how to take that moment and thoughtfully respond instead of automatically reacting without thought.
- And it’s the thoughtless reaction that engenders much more stress and anxiety.
- My favorite meditation app is 10% Happier, but I also very much like Stop, Breathe, Think.
- Recognizing your motivator
- I am motivated by fear, and I react to fear with rage. I get mad. Like “Hulk Smash!” mad when I’m scared of anything.
- Knowing that, I can now be mindful of how I respond to fear (going back to the mindfulness of response versus reaction).
- Stop multitasking
- I know I briefly mentioned this on an episode of the Geek to Geek podcast, but doing more than one thing at once is a recipe for disaster when it comes to anxiety. By being present in the moment and just doing whatever it is that you’re doing, you eliminate a lot of added stress.
- For me, it’s silly stuff like playing Hearthstone while pooping or checking Flipboard and Twitter while eating breakfast. Doing one thing at a time makes you slow down enough to really engage in that activity.
- Take Downtime
- Try leaving your phone at home some time when you go out. Or just don’t take it out of your pocket when you’re waiting in line or at a traffic light. I love my screens as much as anyone, but it’s impossible to do two (or three or four) things at once to anything resembling the best of my ability.
- Taking a little time for yourself during the day where you allow yourself to be disconnected from external stimulus and taking time for just yourself is absurdly important to dealing with anxiety and depression.
The idea of self-care and wellness needs to move out of just being applied to the body. People need to start realizing that taking care of your mind is every bit as important.
Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!
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