Uncertainty abounds in today’s world – and the way you cope with it influences your mental health. Events like pandemics, wars, and pending economic and climate catastrophes can leave you feeling powerless.
However, you can significantly benefit your psychological health by reclaiming your agency through the right habits. Here are six healthy daily activities to help you take back control of your life.
The first moments of your day set the tone for the rest of it. Why not harness the power of your waking hours by putting a guided meditation on your playlist to fix your mindset to the positive?
Meditation also comes in handy for stopping racing thoughts when panic strikes. However, it won’t work as effectively if you don’t practice – it can feel as impossible as running a marathon without training. That’s why adding this healthy daily activity to your first-thing-in-the-morning routine is critical to building the skills you need to draw upon this resource when you need it.
Did a discouraging morning at the office leave you tense, perhaps with a touch of the blues? You can ease aches from muscle tension and prompt your brain to produce the happy neurotransmitter serotonin, boosting your mood.
You don’t have to do a sun salutation or a full yoga routine. There are plenty of stretches you can do right at your desk. However, standing up if you sit for long periods will benefit you. Prolonged inactivity increases your blood clot risk and may contribute to insulin resistance.
According to the World Health Organization, adults between 18 and 65 need 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity each week to maintain optimal health. Walking is a form of exercise that most people can do, and it’s free. Taking a 20- to 30-minute stroll after lunch and dinner fulfills your requirement.
You can also use this time to bond with others. Instead of joining your co-workers at the smoking bench, invite a like-minded colleague to take a walk with you. Take the family along on a post-dinner walk – you might even succeed in getting your kids to open up about their days. The atmosphere feels more comfortable and freeing than the dinner table.
Many famous people cite journaling as one of the tools that fuel their success. This process lets you reflect on your day, analyze your thoughts and behaviors, and remind yourself of all you have for which to be thankful.
Any old notebook will do, but why not formalize your practice by investing in a pretty Moleskine book for penning your private thoughts? You can jot down a gratitude list on dark days for an instant mood boost. Work through pressing problems by filling your pages with freewriting, getting out all your concerns, or making a pros and cons chart.
Volunteering seems to be about helping others, at least on the surface. However, you also reap significant benefits. Performing acts of kindness set off a flood of positive neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin that increase your feelings of well-being.
Helping others also promotes your sense of agency, the feeling that you can make a difference in your world through your actions. If you’re down because you feel powerless to influence world events, stop to share a pleasant chat and share some cash with someone holding up a sign on a street corner. It’s like the starfish story – you might not save everyone, but you can make a difference to one person.
Ending your day on a positive note helps you ease into sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. A natural way to wind down is by practicing a few yoga postures.
You don’t have to whip out your mat – a sweaty Ashtanga session is no way to cool down for the evening. You can perform many stretches right in bed, then tuck yourself in for a peaceful night’s rest.
Sometimes, world events can leave you feeling powerless. However, you can reclaim your sense of agency through your daily habits. Try these six healthy daily activities to help you take back control of your life. You have the power of choice – so use it to make the world brighter.
Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM. Access early to hear Panache's monologue - around 8:30 AM.
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