This guest post is sponsored by BetterHelp. See the full disclosure policy here.
It’s natural to worry. Sometimes there’s a situation you don’t know how to deal with, a challenge you have to face soon, or simply too many things to do. Worry is a natural response and is often a healthy one. It helps us address our problems and motivates us to prepare for difficult situations.
Worry becomes unhelpful when it becomes overwhelming or uncontrollable. When this happens, worry can actually stop you from addressing your problems. If you find yourself getting worried frequently or in situations where it doesn’t make sense, it’s a good idea to examine the roots of your worry and learn some coping strategies. Mental health resources like BetterHelp and mindfulness practices can help you put your mind at ease.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot when we talk about mental health and wellbeing, but what does it really mean?
At its core, mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in your experience and aware of your thoughts and emotions. It is a part of many spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, and prayer.
In a world where life gets busy, and everything happens quickly, mindfulness is a way to slow down. It can help you decrease your stress, get some perspective, and address your worries calmly.
Meditation is a practice of slowing down, calming your mind, and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice can help you get more in tune with your body and what’s going on in your mind.
Practicing meditation might seem intimidating if you’re not used to it, but it is very easy to start. You can start with short guided meditations. These will only last a few minutes, and the meditation leader will guide you through the process of slowing down and observing your thoughts.
As you get more used to meditating, you’ll be able to discover which practices work best for you. You may prefer guided meditations, breathing exercises, or moments of listening to calming music. Don’t be afraid to try new things and switch it up if your practice isn’t meeting your needs.
In order to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, it’s also essential to get in touch with our bodies. Many of us feel a disconnect between the mind and body. Although this may feel natural, it actually makes it more difficult to process thoughts and emotions and take care of your mental and physical health.
Mindful movement is a practice that helps you to get in touch with the way your body feels. Many people get in touch with their bodies through yoga and breathing exercises. While these practices are specifically designed for mindfulness, you can also practice mindful movement in other ways.
If yoga isn’t your thing, try incorporating mindfulness into the way you exercise. Notice how your mind and body feel when you’re working out. Instead of working based on routines and goals, try to follow your body’s intuition, doing movement that feels good. This may be difficult to define at first, but over time, it will become easier to understand how you are feeling and follow your instincts.
Writing in a journal can be a great way to get more in touch with your thoughts and feelings. You may find things easier to understand when you write them down or even discover thoughts and emotions you weren’t aware of. As you practice journaling, you’ll start to develop a relationship with yourself that will boost your self-awareness and personal growth.
Journaling looks different for every person. You can try simply writing your thoughts on the page, responding to journal prompts, or starting an art journal. Many people also like doing more structured journaling practices like gratitude journals, themed journals, or bullet journals.
In order to create a consistent and sustainable journaling practice, try to make it a habit. Try to journal every day, even if you only write one sentence or draw a quick sketch. This will make it easy to reach for your journal when you’re struggling with difficult thoughts or just need to clear your mind.
Getting rid of clutter can be great for your mental health, especially if you do it mindfully. Start with a space you’d like to clean up and an intention. Do you want to get rid of negative feelings? Start a new chapter? Create an area that’s comfortable and pleasant to be in?
When done with intention, decluttering becomes a practice of self-care. It allows you to make your environment more comfortable and free up space for what’s important. As you free up physical space, you’ll also free up your mental energy to focus on the things that matter to you in life.
Decluttering can also be a great step to living a more minimalist lifestyle. This means that you think deliberately about what you let into your life and prioritize what you value. When you’re surrounded by less stuff, it becomes easier to appreciate what you have. It will also improve your well-being, happiness, and mental health.
Making Mindfulness a Habit
Mindfulness is a great way to take care of your mental health, no matter what situation you’re facing. It becomes especially effective when practiced consistently over a long period of time. The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it will become.
Building a consistent practice of mindfulness can have a number of benefits. Mindfulness is a great way to decrease your stress and increase your happiness. It can also help you build healthier eating and exercising habits. As your self-awareness and mental health improve, you’ll also start to see your relationships improve as you become more present and mindful in them.
In order to make a habit of mindfulness, try doing one mindful practice every day. It could be a few minutes of meditation in the morning or just paying more attention while you do your workout. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if you skip a day or can’t focus during meditation, making a consistent effort will allow you to eventually build a habit and practice mindfulness as part of your everyday routine.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.