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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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