Have you ever wondered why stress, anxiety and anger can cause aches, pains and even heart problems? It’s because your thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on your physical health. Taking care of yourself and your well-being includes taking steps toward becoming physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. Here are some simple ways you can incorporate well-being into your daily schedule.
Spend time with those you love. Connecting with others is a basic human need. It is not surprising that your relationships with family and friends are a tremendous part of your emotional health. Talking with those you trust about your worries, stress and success keeps you connected and prevents you from bottling up emotions. A positive social network of any size is a great source of support, caring, understanding and fun.
Get a pet. It is no secret that pets are wonderful companions, but they are also good for your health. Playing with your cat or walking your dog adds exercise to your day. According to the National Institutes of Health, having a pet can actually lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels while enhancing your feelings of emotional well-being.
Take time for yourself each day. Just 15 minutes alone every day, relaxing or doing something you enjoy, can alleviate stress.
Maintain your spiritual and emotional balance. Prayer or meditation can be used for relaxation. When practiced regularly, it gives your brain a workout that improves your long-term mental function. Regardless of your personal beliefs, taking time to clear your mind and control your thoughts leaves you feeling more relaxed, centered and better able to handle life’s challenges.
Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps to keep your mind clear and may help you identify patterns in your emotions and behavior. You may want to share your journal with a loved one.
Keep your mind busy. Consider joining a club or taking a class on a topic that appeals to you. In addition to developing new skills and knowledge, you will meet like-minded people.
Do something creative. You do not need to be an accomplished artist to paint a picture, play music or write a story — the process of creating something is an emotional release. In addition to the arts, other activities, such as decorating, gardening and cooking, provide the chance to discover your creative talents and relieve stress.
Replace bad habits with good ones. If you normally reach for food when you are stressed, try taking a walk, talking to a friend or listening to your favorite music instead.
Get plenty of sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is recommended; making a change in your lifestyle that allows for this amount of sleep may result in a marked improvement in your mood throughout the day. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can rob you of much-needed rest, so talk to your doctor about ways to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.