Giving your mental health a boost can certainly seem like a massive task when all we’re told to do is to sit down and meditate for 20 to 30 minutes per day. The fact is that we don’t have time for this in the hustle and bustle of daily life and because we end up doing so much, this is why we have to prioritise our mental well-being. But when we’re on the go, how can we do it?
Firstly if you feel like you’re not able to take time out for lunch, at the very least, take five minutes for you to eat and to have what is called a “brain dump” where you get all of your thoughts out onto paper. You can use a digital notebook so you don’t need to carry reams of paper, but whether it’s a traditional journal or a digital note on your phone, expressing yourself can be incredibly cathartic, especially when you feel stressed throughout the day. Take the time, no matter how little it is, to reflect on the more positive aspects of the day because when we’re feeling overwhelmed we can easily forget the good bits and focus on the bad stuff. This is why journaling can provide a lot more mental clarity.
Something that we all do but breathing can actually help to influence the stress response of your body. There is a book called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art that shows just how people have taken control over their nervous systems for thousands of years. The best place to begin is to engage your diaphragm by inhaling slowly through your nose and allowing the abdomen to expand and exhale for longer than you inhaled, which will slow your heart rate down. If you are a chronic mouth breather, learning to breathe through your nose is also another way to filter out impurities in the air.
When we feel overwhelmed, we need to bring our bodies to the present moment. One technique involves engaging your senses where you identify five things you can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste. When we engage the senses, we can become more anchored in the present. Being present is critical because we don’t get anxious about the past or the future.
If there is one approach that could reshape our mindset that over time will contribute to our well-being, positive affirmations are undoubtedly it. Short positive statements that can change your perception of yourself can be a simple tool that you can use during uncertainty or stressful situations. The brain is physically not able to tell the difference between what is real and what we actually imagine. When we create a variety of positive affirmations that directly tackle our inherent weak points, whether it’s depression, lack of resilience, or not feeling capable, we can call upon these when we need a boost.
If we incorporate any of these strategies into our lives while on the go, we can begin to nurture our well-being and foster a more fulfilling life. We also need to remember that these tools are there to be called upon when we need them, but we should also practise them as well. The more you practise, the better you get at something!