Have you ever wondered why stress, anxiety and anger can cause aches, pains and even heart problems? Your thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on your physical health. Taking care of your self and well-being includes being 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. Having a connection with others is a basic human need. It’s not surprising that your relationships with family and friends are a tremendous part of your emotional health. Talking to those you trust about your worries, stresses, and successes keeps you connected and prevents you from bottling up your emotions. A positive social network of any size is a great source of caring, understanding and fun.
Get a pet. It’s no secret that pets are wonderful companions, but they’re also good for your health. Playing with your cat or walking your dog adds exercise into your day, and according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 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 of time alone, relaxing or doing something you enjoy, can alleviate stress and make you feel more balanced.
Maintain your spiritual/emotional balance. Prayer and/or meditation can be used for relaxation. When practiced regularly, they give 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 able to handle challenges.
Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps to keep your mind clear, and may help you observe patterns in your emotions and behavior. You may want to share your journal with a loved one, or keep it completely private (and very honest).
Keep your mind busy. Consider joining a club, or taking a class on something that appeals to you. Besides developing new skills and knowledge, you’ll meet like-minded people while you’re learning.
Do something creative. You don’t have 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, decorating, gardening and cooking all give you the chance to discover your creative talents and relieve stress.
Replace bad habits with good ones. If you normally reach for food when you’re stressed, try taking a walk, talking to a friend or listening to your favorite music instead.
Get plenty of sleep! If you aren’t getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, you may notice a marked improvement in your mood by making that one change. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can rob you of your much-needed rest, so talk to your doctor about ways to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.