Great mental health and clarity are easy to take for granted until you’re suffering from their lack. In today’s over-stressed and overstimulated world, far too many people suffer from brain fog, anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other mental and emotional troubles.
However, it truly doesn’t need to be this way! We each hold our own key to mental vitality and a stellar quality of life.
If you already practice yoga, you may be aware of the incredible mental benefits of the practice. But even if you’re new to yoga, you can gain these benefits right away with a simple series of movements called Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations.
This series of postures was developed by ancient yogis in India to warm up both the body and mind, moving the spine in all its directions while preparing the mind for the challenge of meditation.
Sun salutations are ideal to practice in the morning, as a way to awaken your mind and body to sleep and prepare for the day ahead. By moving through the series with one breath per movement, you allow your mind to focus solely on the breath as the body opens up, creating the space for mental energy and clarity through the rest of your day.
Cardio exercise can improve your mood and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, making this an excellent way to gain and maintain mental health and clarity.
Set up an interval workout circuit, with 1 minute each of burpees, squats, lunges, high knees, and bicycle crunches. Take 15 seconds rest in between each exercise, and repeat the circuit three times.
Cardio exercise, and interval workouts in particular, help to pump fresh blood throughout your body and brain, which is essential for both mental and physical health.
Yin yoga is a type of yoga which gets deep into your connective tissues, releasing stuck energy and tension that may be causing you mental and emotional blockages. This type of yoga practice involves holding poses for 5 minutes or longer, really challenging both your body and mind to stay with the posture as it deepens more and more into the area you’ve been holding onto tightness.
After yin yoga practice, you can expect your body and mind to feel open, relaxed, and deeply calm. Most yoga studios offer yin classes, or you can easily find free yin yoga classes on YouTube if you prefer to practice at home.
Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated or stuck and stagnant, then gone outside for a walk and realized that all your issues somehow cleared themselves up?
The combination of fresh outdoor air and movement that helps your body and mind return to a natural state of balance and healing, making this a great practice for maintaining mental clarity and health.
Commit to taking a brisk walk each morning before going to work, when the air is fresh and cool, as a great way to wake up your body and mind for the day. And set up times to go for walks outdoors with friends; combining outdoor movement with positive connections is an even more powerful way to gain the mental and emotional benefits of exercise.
Whatever it is that you love to do — whether that’s working in your garden, learning a language, practicing Zumba or dance, making music, or connecting with people you love — make time for these activities, because they are foundational to your mental health and happiness. Expressing your passion is a great way to make new connections with like-minded people, and the opportunity to learn something new will help your mind expand and grow.
There’s nothing that feels better than taking back control of your own mental health, regaining your energy, clarity, and uplifted mood. These practices are a great way to boost your mental health and set you up for an empowered and creative life!
At Sworkit, we’re all about using holistic practices like fitness and nutrition to stay healthy and happy, so feel free to comment below with other ways you’ve found to boost your mental health!