The Mind-Body Connection: Self-Care Strategies
Many people have a fundamental understanding of self-care, seeing it as daily workouts at a gym. While physical activity is very important, it’s critical to be mindful of other aspects of your overall well-being. That means paying attention to your mental health and personal happiness as well as your physical condition, balancing exercise with overall self-care strategies.
Ultimately, what matters is making a mind-body connection and seeking an integrated wholeness that leaves you feeling fulfilled. If you work hard all week but end up wondering what it’s all for come the weekend, your life is out of balance. If you’re truly practicing self-care, you should feel happier, be more productive and, above all, alleviate stress.
Shed the stress
Nothing saps your sense of well-being and satisfaction like stress. It’s a problem of epidemic proportions among many Americans – more than 8 million suffer from some severe form of psychological distress. People under severe stress have excess amounts of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) in their bodies, a problem that contributes to high blood pressure and increases blood sugar. The continuous presence of cortisol takes a considerable toll on the body, negatively affecting your immune system and metabolism. Fortunately, there are a number of self-care strategies that can help mitigate this problem.
Relaxing sleep space
Sleep is one of the most overlooked factors in self-care, a rejuvenating function that impacts nearly every aspect of physical and mental health. Make a point of incorporating relaxation-inducing elements into your room. Make sure your room is completely dark, which may mean adding blackout shades. Consider investing in the Conair Sound Therapy System or a HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation machine, both of which can be purchased for under $25.
Meditation is a mental discipline, a quiet, reflective practice that frees your thoughts from negative obsessions that heighten stress. Meditation can be done anywhere, anytime, but a quiet room is probably the best environment, an ideal space that’s sequestered from other, busier parts of the house where you can incorporate soft light, soothing music, green plants and relaxing artwork.
Stretching is a physical and mental activity that improves your ability to relax and enhances muscle flexibility and strength, a good complement to your workout regimen. When coupled with deep breathing exercises, stretching becomes an effective antidote to stress and makes you feel happier, not unlike yoga. In fact, many people turn to yoga to achieve the much-sought-after mind-body connection through a combination of physical activity and mental focus.
Taking medications for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and pain can provide more side effects than relief. Instead, it’s possible that a more natural product known as CBD oil can help with your self-care regimen. Whether you’re suffering from post-workout soreness or a mental health issue, research has shown that CBD oil may help boost cell receptors found in the body and brain. However, keep in mind that there are many oils on the market, so read an online guide of the best options.
Studies have shown that spending time outside makes you feel better and more motivated. Couple the relaxing effect of time spent among the trees or in green fields and meadows with exercise, and you’ve got an excellent self-care formula for stress relief. It lowers blood pressure and bolsters the digestive and immune systems. Getting out in the fresh air also helps rid your body of toxins and dilates your lungs, supporting your pulmonary system.
Exercising with someone, whether it’s a group of friends, as part of a class, or with a pet, is an excellent way to stay motivated to work out. Take your furry friend along for your daily run or go hiking in the woods together. Consider joining an exercise or yoga class with friends who will support and encourage your efforts.
Self-care is about taking care of your mind and body, and making a healthy connection between the two. You should feel fulfilled and rewarded for all the hard work you do at the office and for your loved ones. Tending to your happiness and sense of well-being is absolutely crucial to feeling good about your life.
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