Texas Living

Mental Health Minute

By Valirie Morgan 10.10.16

Let’s face it — it’s hard not to get stressed out when work, family, and all your other responsibilities start to pile up. But there are plenty of ways to keep calm, even when there’s a lot on your plate. In honor of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite strategies for improving your emotional well-being. Prepare to feel more balanced, confident, and ready to tackle any challenge!

Address the stress

Don’t just dwell on your problems — find ways to solve them. If you feel like you have too much to do, break everything down into bite-size tasks that are easier to tackle one at a time. Or if the source of your stress is a person, go directly to them and have an open and honest conversation about how you’re feeling overwhelmed. All it takes is a little problem-solving and communication to put your mind at ease. 

Catch some Zs

Stress often impacts your sleep patterns, yet getting a full night’s rest is crucial for living stress-free! If you’re having trouble sleeping, eliminate digital distractions and make your bed a technology-free zone at night. You can also try stretching or yoga, listening to soothing music, and avoiding caffeine and exercise two to three hours before bedtime.

Take a deep breath and straighten up

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Deep breathing is proven to help combat stress by slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Similarly, meditation and visualization give your mind a chance to unwind. And did you know your posture can help you relax? Straightening your spine promotes circulation, increases blood oxygen levels, and reduces muscle tension. 

Write it down

When you’re overwhelmed, your brain can feel like it’s going a mile a minute. Writing your thoughts in a journal allows you to slow down and focus on how you’re feeling — and it can often help you work through any issues you may be dealing with. You can also go the route of a gratitude journal, writing down things you’re thankful for on a daily basis. Emphasizing the good aspects of your life helps to put things in perspective.

Break a sweat

Whether it’s walking around the block or hitting the gym, exercise is one of the most powerful ways to improve your mood and overall health. The endorphins your brain releases during exercise provide an instant pick-me-up! 

Think positively

Staying optimistic can be hard when you’re feeling frazzled, but it makes a huge difference. Set some easy-to-achieve or realistic goals, even if they’re very short-term, and come up with a mantra to motivate yourself throughout the day. When you believe you can do something, it will be a lot easier to accomplish. 

Another great way to de-stress is by spending time doing activities you enjoy. Check out these tips on taking up a new hobby and get more health and wellness tips at TexasHeritageForLiving.com.

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