Ryan Pell – Physical wellness has been a trend for several years already. But what about mental and emotional wellness? Unfortunately, we often overlook its importance.
People invest thousands of dollars annually to remain physically fit. A study, published by MarketWatch, has shown that the average American spends at least $115 monthly on their health and fitness, which is more than a thousand dollars a year. The source also reports that 87% of Americans say spending money on fitness is a high priority for them.
But in this race for perfect bodies, we forget something equally important.
It’s our mental and emotional health.
For a long time, in our society, there was a stigma around mental health issues. People refused to talk about these issues publicly, and people with mental health issues sometimes had to keep their problems a secret because of the fear of being rejected or frowned upon.
Today, we see many influencers publicly take a stand in supporting mental health. Moreover, we see universities’ growing concern with the mental health of their students, collaborating with off-campus mental health resources, and creating on-campus help centers.
So, what’s the cost of taking care of your mental and emotional health?
Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. But the cost of taking care of it isn’t as high as taking care of your physical health. Some things you can do for free in your free time.
What are they?
Let’s take a look.
- Doing Guided Meditations
Many studies have reported that guided meditations help certain conditions associated with physical health, like high blood pressure, and pain.
But meditation is more often perceived as a tool that helps to cope with many mental health issues. CNBC even reports that a few minutes of guided meditation can help you make fewer mistakes and improve cognitive abilities.
Why guided meditation?
- it helps put aside any external or internal irritants, as you’re following step-by-step instructions
- it’s easier to get into the right state of mind
Guided meditations are especially helpful for beginners, who can easily get distracted or lose interest in the process.
There are plenty of guided meditation apps, like Headspace or Calm. However, there are also many free resources. For instance, psychiatrist Steve Hickman uploaded his guided meditation courses to SoundCloud, where everyone can get free access to them.
- Taking Mindful Walks
Walking meditation is also a thing. And it’s even more effective if you approach it with mindfulness.
Mindful walks became popular to help draw our attention to the importance of paying more attention to our surroundings instead of being in a haste all the time. It is a great practice to be more mentally and emotionally fit, as you become more mindful of the things that surround you.
How do you take a mindful walk?
There several different techniques which work equally well. “Our survey has shown that different mindful walk techniques have the same results, and can be interchangeable”, says Claire Simmons, a researcher at Flatfy. Here are some of these techniques:
- observing how your whole body feels during the walk
- switching attention to how certain body parts feel during the walk
- focusing your attention on a certain detail and observing it
- paying attention to smells and tastes (if you’re eating ice cream while walking, for instance)
- focusing on the sense of touch (for instance, when your feet touch the ground) and paying attention to textures
A mindful walk doesn’t have to take a long time. You can do it only for 5-10 minutes on your way to or from work. Ultimately, it’s aimed at helping you focus better, decrease health, and become more mindful of your mental and emotional state.
- Practicing Gratitude
Many of us do the same mistake. We run after the things that we don’t have. As a result, so many of us suffer from stress, anxiety, and even depression.
What we don’t often realize is that all our success and, consequently, our mental and emotional health starts from acknowledging and being grateful for what we already have.
Gratitude is the practice of successful people. In an interview with CNBC, Arianna Huffington said that starting a day with gratitude towards the smallest things determines the mood for the entire day. She also mentioned that she owes her success to practicing gratitude.
How does gratitude benefit mental and emotional health?
- it benefits empathy, and hence, reduces aggression
- it switches our mind from what makes us anxious to what makes us feel calm and peaceful
- it makes us feel happier and more fulfilled
As a result, gratitude makes us feel more confident, thus improving our self-esteem.
Men’s Sana in Corpore Sano
In other words, a sound mind is in a sound body.
On top of all that was already mentioned in this article, it’s crucial to reiterate the importance of being physically active in order to support mental and emotional health. And you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars monthly to stay active. A simple morning run will do the trick.
What are your tips to be more mentally and emotionally fit?
Share them with us!
Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist at https://hu.flatfy.com. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.