Friday April 3, 2020

Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health

Steps to improve your mental wellness

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Mental health
Here are some strategic steps to improve your mental health. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Feeling anxious and overwhelmed is not surprising in the 21st century. The year 2020 started under the cynical shadow of political unrest, international security threats, a run of hate crimes and what not. Not to forget about the vile expectations we allow ourselves to go through on a daily basis: become richer, lose weight, be a better person, think positively and more – the urge to meet such expectations, obligations and duties are so high that you often end up crumbling under them.

As Ramon Llamba, Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and the founder of Golden Age Transformation puts it, “The greatest barriers to living a better life are your self-created, overgrown expectations.” She pens down some strategic steps that you should take for a more mental health new year.

Mental health
Self-care is the new empowerment and it is beneficial for your mental health. Pixabay

Give yourself priority

Self-care is the new empowerment. While we grapple with the growing mental health crisis, it is high time that we prioritise self-love and self-compassion. As most of the psychology studies attest self-love along with compassion is the key to strong mental health.

Practising self-love is not about being self-absorbed or being narcissistic, it is like following a subtle way to get in touch with your inner self, your happiness, and your well-being. It is basically the act of looking after yourself, both physically and mentally, so you are able to push through your limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.

So, do yourself a favour, just take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practising the art of self-love.

Take a break (vacation)

No matter how many lists you make or goals you set, things are still going to get stressful and busy. It is scientifically proven that hitting the pause button in your life has some incredible health benefits that far outweigh anything you think you might miss out on.

Trust us, you’ll feel refreshed which will ultimately double your productivity. That said, if you still can’t take time out to fly on a vacation, there are things you can do even in the most jam-packed days, like incorporating mindfulness. Try to absorb the idea of being in the present by taking a break from all the distractions with a kind heart and an open mind. You can incorporate mindfulness in your daily activities by bringing a wave of awareness and compassion to the things that you are already occupied with, such as during your commute or gym-time or even while eating a meal. Devoting a few moments to fully focus on a task at hand (mind you, you have to put all other thoughts away) can work wonders for your mental health.

You can try beginning each day with a five-minute mindfulness meditation session. If you find it helpful and want to go further then you can choose to opt for therapy to unravel a lifelong pattern, hire a personal trainer, or make time for reading.

Mental health
Going for a vacation can help improve your mental health. Pixabay

Exercise

Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re on your downer or feeling overly stressed, but experts agree that exercising is one of the finest yet most powerful ways to boost your mental health. It is imperative to exercise for 15-30 minutes, three days a week in order to manage stress and anxiety.

Sure, working out can be time-consuming, but your chosen form of exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, it can be an emotional and spiritual one too. When people think of exercise, they only consider going to the gym or doing some in-house cardio. Be that as it may, the way to mental wellness is to establish a mind-body connection: be sure to pay attention to your spiritual, mental, and emotional counterparts, too.

Your mental health is dependent on all these four counterparts, together. Try to understand this in the form of trickle-down effect: The physical body is often affected by the sudden play of emotions, our thoughts are directly proportionate to how we feel, and it is our energy level which sways our minds and ultimately our thoughts.

You can fully access the spiritual aspect of your being by maintaining a daily connection with your soul and religion.

Tell yourself something positive

An adjustment to your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and out loud can very well improve your mental health. It may sound trite to you but looking on the bright side of everything really does matter. Instead of always focusing on the negative side, flip your dialogue towards positive outcomes. In addition to keeping up with positive mental health, it will also keep you motivated. For example, rather than saying, “If I bag that job”, switch to, “When I bag that job”. These small changes in your language will do the deal for you and change your mindset to a glass half full instead of glass half empty. Understand this as a fact that when you perceive yourself and your life negatively, you end up viewing experiences, particularly in a way that confirms the very same notion. When you start using positive words instead, you are more likely to promote feelings of self-worth and personal power.

Also Read- 5 Herbs That Will Help you Fight Work Stress

Prioritise mental well-being

So, yes. Mental health awareness is good. It’s important to be aware of something that affects nearly a quarter of the population of this world. Basically, someone experiencing a mental health problem or going through a mental crisis may not even realise this and may need help and assistance to even accept they have an issue that requires dealing with it. There is no shame in seeking professional help in times of need. You can find yourself a therapist who is variably proactive to patiently listen and give you tools that will help. (IANS)

 

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Benefits of Practising Yoga Everyday

Yoga to combat lockdown blues

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Yoga
Here are some common ways yoga can be used to effectively improve wellbeing at this time. Pixabay

The recent lockdown may prove daunting on our physiological and psychological well-being, due to lack of social mingling, outdoor and office routine.

This is when the ancient-old wisdom of Yoga comes to rescue. Yoga and lifestyle coach Grand Master Akshar suggests some common ways yoga can be used to effectively improve wellbeing at this time.

Enhance blood circulation with yoga

Surya Namaskar

As a salutation to Lord Sun, Surya Namaskar always starts with the right side. This is because the Surya Nadi or the Sun channel runs along the right side, so you begin the Surya Namaskar with your right leg. The Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is best practiced early in the morning before sunrise. This will bless you with physical and mental strength, give you command over your body, calm your mind, balance your energies, and bring peace to your consciousness. Surya Namaskar is a powerful technique to make you more mindful. With regular practise, each and every task that you take up will be done consciously and with great care.

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Surya Namaskar – 12 Steps make half the cycle

Yoga
Yoga can be practiced anywhere and at any time. Pixabay

1. Pranam asana (The Prayer pose)
2. Hastha Utanasana (Raised arm pose)
3. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
5. Santholanasana (Plank Pose)
6. Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Eight limbed salutation)
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog pose)
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
10.Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)
11. Hastha Utanasana
12. Pranam asana

Repeat the 12 steps with the Left leg moving in and out second to make 1 complete cycle. Total cycle is made of 24 counts.

How yoga and meditation is beneficial to increase immunity

The practice of Yoga asanas, and meditation provides natural support the immune system. By lowering stress hormones in your body, yoga rescues the immune system from compromise. Apart from this, Yoga conditions the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulates the lymphatic system removing toxins from the body, and ensures the optimal functioning of your organs. Here are a few asanas that can improve your immune system- Paschimottanasana, Halasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, and Padmasana.

The rule of social distancing which has been enforced is also a great opportunity to build your mental strength. Through the practices of Pranayama and Meditation, you can increase your mental and spiritual strength. Practice Anulom Vilom, Kapal Bhati, Khand, and Brahmari pranayama. Include dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, cereals and daily exposure to sunlight before 10AM for your quota of Vitamin D.

How to handle depression and anxiety?

Through social distancing, we are spending more time with our families, and also have time for ourselves. With a pause on our lives, we now have to readjust, refocus and reinvent our schedules. Keep yourself occupied with productive activities, and involve your family too. Practice Surya Namaskar, yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation techniques. Be as helpful as you can at home lending a hand wherever possible with chores. Keep an open mind, be a good listener, practice kindness, and understanding with those who are with you, or around you. Indulge in collective activities with your family members such as playing board games, singing, listening to music, talking, sharing your thoughts etc. Do not overdo news consumption, as this causes paranoia and unnecessary panic. Try to maintain a calm and balanced outlook as you look forward with optimism.

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Mental wellness

Now is the time when you can go deep in your meditation, and in your pranayama practice. Here is a technique that will help you build on your mental health, and resilience. Health is everything, and this time can be used to work on building your mental, and physical health.

Yoga
Yoga and meditation is beneficial to increase immunity. Pixabay

Aakaash Ganga Dhyan: (Galaxy Meditation)

Aakash Gange Dhyan is a type of meditation or visualization where you are required to imagine yourself to be an earthen pot. As you meditate, picture yourself to be a container that is allowing the entire universe to flow into you. Accept these energies as feel them flowing into you.

Benefits:

  • Makes you one with nature/existence
  • Get the power of the galaxy
  • Mind becomes strong
  • Builds memory power
  • Build focus
  • Enhances concentration

Brahmari Pranayama

Method

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Place your thumbs on the ‘Tragus’, the external flap outside on your ear.
  • Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the Medial Canthus and ring finger on the corner of your nostril
  • Inhale and fill your lungs with air
  • As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee, i.e., “mmmmmmm�.”
  • Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound disseminate throughout your body

    Duration: you may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

    Benefits

  • Calms the mind and rejuvenates the body
  • Increases sensitivity to tastes and fragrances
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Makes the voice pleasant and melodious and strengthens the vocal cords
  • Treats throat uneasiness
  • Balances blood pressure
  • Improves concentration

What precautions should be taken in this critical situation, along with social isolation and distancing?

Diet: Along with your yoga, and meditation practice you can modify your diet to add healthier, and natural foods. Work on your immune system by consuming fruits and vegetables that provide you with Vitamin C. Choose fruits such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and capsicums for your dose of Vitamin C.

Include dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals for your quota of Vitamin D. Brown rice, millets dark leafy vegetables are a great source for Vitamin B. Sunlight is also extremely beneficial for you, try to wake up early and get your daily dose of the morning sun to soak up all those numerous health benefits.

Control your news consumption

Avoid going overboard on how often you check the news updates. While it is useful to have awareness, and be in the know, frequent news watching, sharing forwards relating to the pandemic, watching videos, reading social media opinions could cause an imbalance in your emotional state.

Mindfulness tips to cope up with Coronavirus Panic

Pause and celebrate all the positive changes that have already occurred on an unprecedented scale. Calamitous events such as natural disasters and accidents work as a trigger to cause unexpected positive events. They turn our attention toward the things that really matter, but which we usually take for granted. Through social distancing, we are spending more time with our families. The collective process of sharing and caring for each other is what helps us as humans to adapt, survive and thrive despite all odds. The Coronavirus has slowed down life for us, giving us all the much-needed pause. Let our thoughts and prayers go to those who are kept away from their loved ones now.

Easy ways to stay active at work from home during Corona

Regulate your sleeping hours and avoid oversleeping and overeating. Start your day early and put in at least 1 or 2 hours of practice every morning. Surya Namaskar, Chandra Namaskar, and other flows can be done for as many cycles as per your capability. Do not spend long hours sitting in front of the television. Move your body with light stretches once every 2-3 hours, drink plenty of water and follow a disciplined routine.

Yoga
The practice of Yoga asanas, and meditation provides natural support the immune system. Pixabay

How to exercise at home if you don’t have a home gym

Yoga can be practiced anywhere and at any time. Because Yoga does not need any equipment such as weights, or machines etc., it is an ideal choice for those who do not prefer working out at a gym. When you begin the day with Yoga, it keeps you active and energetic.

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Santolanasana

Formation of the posture

  • Lie on your stomach
  • Place your palms under your shoulders and lift your upper body, pelvis and knees up
  • Grip the floor with toes and keep the knees straight
  • Ensure that your knees, pelvis and spine are aligned
  • Your wrists must be exactly below your shoulders with your arms straight
  • Hold the final posture for a while

Vasishtasana

Formation of the posture

  • Begin with Santholanasan (Plank)
  • With your left palm firmly on the ground, remove your right hand off the floor
  • Turn your entire body to face the right side and lift your right leg off the floor and place
  • it over your left leg
  • Raise your right arm above and keep your fingers pointing to the sky
  • Ensure that both your knees, heels and feet are in contact with each other
  • Ensure that both arms and shoulders are in one straight line
  • Turn your head and look up at your right hand
  • Hold the asana for a while
  • Repeat the same on the left side

Naukasana

Also Read- Ways to Prevent Coronavirus to Enter Your Homes

Formation of the Posture

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bring your upper body 45� off the floor.
  • Pivot your body weight on your hips and lift your legs 45� off the floor.
  • Your toes must be aligned with your eyes
  • Try to prevent a bend in the knees.
  • Keep your arms parallel to the ground and pointing forward.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  • Straighten your back. (IANS)