This year Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May uses the theme of nature to support our wellbeing.
Since emotional wellbeing plays a significant role in positive mental health, we have to feel better in order to have positive mental health and for that we need to change our physiology. Here are my top 5 tips for feeling better.
1. Shake It Off
Firstly we need to move. Even if you can’t get outside in the open air you can open all the windows to change the air in your space and disperse any heavy negative energy. Do that now!
Next stand with your feet hip width apart and bounce up and down on your heels, now begin to shake your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders and hips. This is one of the quickest ways to disperse stress. Keep shaking and bouncing for a minimum of 2 minutes, this will change your physiology and emotional and psychological state.
2. Keep your feet hip width apart. Raise your arms palms up to meet each other and back down 5 times then arms out in front of you and up beside your ears and down beside you again. These two movements involve your cardiovascular and respiratory systems thus changing your physiology.
3. Add music to the above two movements, loud strong beats if you’re prone to depression and slower calming sounds if you’re prone to anxiety. Or better still, dance like no one’s watching to your favourite song.
4. Surround yourself with Blue and Green… in this instance I’m referring to nature. Do your best to get out to your nearest coastline and walk beside the sea whatever the weather. Alternatively immerse yourself in the green of a park, woodland or nearest countryside walk. Spend at least an hour and make sure you take some time to look up, this will without a doubt, leave you feeling calmer and more grounded.
5. Finally sit in garden, park or woodland and soften your gaze as you gently focus on a flower, tree or the general landscape. Aim to stop your eyes from grasping and looking intensely at the scene, instead allow your eyes to softly ‘absorb’ your surroundings. From time to time in this mindfulness exercise be aware of your inhalation and exhalation.
I hope you find this helpful and of course you wont know unless you try! To make it easer I’ve added a short audio clip to help. Listen below: