Mental processes can affect the body in serious ways. Anxiety can raise the heart rate and suppressed anger can elevate blood pressure. According to practitioners of Mind-Body Therapy, the mind can control more subtle processes through effecting biochemical changes in the brain. Simply put, a calm mind lends itself to a healthy body. For many, maintaining a mental center can be a difficult task. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 18 percent of adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Luckily, there several simple things that you can do to calm and recharge your mind.
Take Time for Yourself
If your first reaction to “me time” is that you do not have time for it, that’s your first problem. You have created a daily routine in which your needs come last. Within the last 20 years, a new psychological discipline has risen called positive psychology. According to the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, positive psychology strengthens individuals to thrive. Thriving is a huge paradigm shift from traditional psychology’s idea of fixing what is broken. Create time for yourself, whether with a soothing rose bath or a vigorous jog, as your way of thriving for happiness.
Observe Nature Around You
Researchers have found that looking at nature, even photographs of nature, reduces indicators of stress like heart rate and blood pressure. If you have a view of nature at your disposal then use it. Look out the window often and let the visual stimuli take on its soothing effects. If nature is not nearby, surround yourself with photos of natural landscapes by adding them to your computer desktop and mounting nature photos on your wall. Add live plants to your home and office decor, and treat yourself to a bouquet of roses every so often as a reminder to make your health a priority.
Engage in Restorative Meditation
Rumination is the act of thinking about something over and over. It is a common precursor to depression, especially for women. Rumination is derived from the word ‘ruminate’ which is what cows do when they swallow then bring up their food to chew it again. Relieve your mind of unhealthy perseverative thoughts by practicing meditation. In a quiet space, breathe deeply in and out, concentrating on the flow and rhythm of your breath. When your body feels relaxed, do your best to clear your mind. Let go of stressors and daily to-dos, focusing on the present moment. Early in your meditation practice it’s normal to give in to distractions and find yourself with a wandering mind. However, with practice you’ll be able to curb reoccurring thoughts as they surface in your mind.
Shake up Your Routine
The old axiom states that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you do not like the way your mind and your body are playing together then do something different to shake up the system. Take a brisk walk early in the morning, make love in the middle of the afternoon, or take a spontaneous road trip. Altering your routine with something positive will act as a jolt to your norm, forcing you reprioritize your thoughts and start anew.