Good health means more than a fit and well body. A stable mood and well mind is equally, if not more important. Following are 7 tips to improve your mind and mood which in turn will improve your mental health.
Take a magnesium supplement
The mineral magnesium is relaxing for both mind and muscles. Take a magnesium supplement morning and night, particularly if you have trouble sleeping and or suffer from muscular aches and pains. Add a handful of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to a warm bath to further relax.
The yoga posture known as child’s pose (Balasana) is excellent for stilling the mind. Kneeling on the floor, sit on your heels, knees as wide as your hips. Lay your tummy over your thighs, resting your head on the floor or pillow, arms alongside each leg, palms facing up.
Cocooning is a technique that creates a sense of much needed peace. Gently place both hands either side of your face. Close your eyes and mouth. Rest both little and ring fingers on eyelids, forefingers closing ears, thumbs cradling your jaw. Be still and breathe until cocooned by calm.
Diaphragmatic or belly breathing, switches on the parasympathetic or relaxing nervous system, helping calm mind and mood. On the in-breath allow the belly to rise, on a longer out-breath allow the belly button to fall back towards the spine. Practice this until this is your default breathing style.
The branch of psychology known as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) recommends you question your thoughts in a logical and pragmatic way. Rather than panicking over running late for example, instead ask yourself, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ It’s rarely going to be the end of the world.
Improve your brain chemistry
Mood is determined by neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Low levels of these natural chemicals are the reason for depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Various supplements contain precursor nutrients for these neurotransmitters, including 5-hydroxytryptophan, S-Adenosyl L Methionine (aka SAMe), B6 and folinic acid.
Tap, tap and tap
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping is a technique that combines ancient acupuncture points with affirmations. A simple process of gentle tapping with your fingers, on certain parts of the body that correspond with acupuncture points along various meridians, on top of the head, eyebrows, under eyes and collarbones; in conjunction with positive affirmations addressing problems that concern you.