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5 Fun Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

5 Fun Ways To Improve Your Mental Health

Too many of us are focused on our physical health without paying much attention to our mental health until it’s too late. Have you found yourself on the breaking point due to stress or sleep deprivation, suffering from depression or anxiety? The traditional answer may be drugs or psychological therapy, but believe it or not, there are fun and inexpensive ways to reduce stress, relieve anxiety, and build a stronger mental foundation.

In this article we’ll give you ideas for games and activities appropriate for any age group or physical ability. Much like your physical health, strong mental health comes from regular maintenance, so finding plenty of time on your schedule for activities like these is essential.

Coloring Books For The Adults

Adult coloring books are flying off the shelves right now, and for good reason, as more of us find ourselves overworked and overstimulated every day. For comfort we seek something nostalgic, rewarding, and most of all, unplugged. Nothing fits the bill better than patiently and precisely coloring between the lines of beautiful images.

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This activity is particularly helpful because it requires a very high focus without being mentally intensive. Coloring allows you to take your mind off negative things, and shift your thoughts instead to pleasant colors and flowing shapes. Better yet, it requires very little intrinsic artistic ability.

Sudoku – The Brain Game

We all know someone who’s always got an open Sudoku book and a pencil (or a pen, if they’re serious!) out on the table during lunch. Have you ever wondered what could make a game so addictive? Games like Sudoku, which take some time to learn and mental acuity to succeed with, have been shown over and over again to stimulate synapses, improve memory, and reduces stress.

Sudoku is technically just a logic game, and there are plenty other options to choose from. Crosswords, mastermind, and even falling block video games are all examples of logic games which encourage abstract thinking to solve problems.

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Bingo – The Game of Luck

Bingo may have a bad reputation with some people as being a boring, “old-people” game, but nothing could be further from the truth. Bingo is relaxing, engaging, and rewarding – the perfect recipe for stress relief.

One of the best approaches to reducing negative mental stress is to focus your attention elsewhere. When there’s a personal or professional problem, it’s often more helpful to engage in something else, letting the stressful thought process “rest” just like you would a rest muscle group while working out.

Bingo meets this requirement with the added benefit of socialization, a factor that keeps Bingo halls full around the world. Whether you play online or in real life, making friends and socializing is a big part of what makes Bingo so fun and rewarding.

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Massage For The Good Feel

Massages feel great, but they’re also good for our mental health as well. Studies have shown that massage can decrease feelings of anxiety and stress, and can restore your body after the effects of stress.

Additionally, massage can help you overcome troubled sleep and even insomnia. Even those with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, heart disease, and cerebral palsy have found solace in massage to help them sleep. Sleep deprivation can be the cause of both mental and physical problems, so getting enough is essential to finding balance in your life.

Aromatherapy – The Good Smell

Believe it or not, something as simple as a pleasant odor can reduce stresses and improves one’s ability to sleep. It may sound like new age quackery at first, but science supports the fact that certain scents can alter our mood, for better and worse.

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The best scents to use when trying to reduce stress (perhaps in addition to one of the other activities on this list) are: ylang ylang, sandalwood, lavender, chamomile, and frankincense.

Time to relax!

Did any of the activities on this list strike your fancy? Everyone should have something to look forward to in their day, whether it’s sitting down with a coloring book or relaxing with friends at the Bingo hall. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Rock Climbing Can Boost Your Mental Health via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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