With winter coming to an end (hopefully!) and spring approaching, what better way to ‘Spring Forward’ than incorporating more movement and exercise into our daily routines. Why is exercise really the ‘best’ medicine and why does my doctor keep recommending that I exercise more? Is there really a correlation between exercise and mental health? Absolutely!
In general, consistent exercise has proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Improve sleep
- Boost self-esteem
- Prevent feelings of anxiety and depression
When was the last time you enjoyed a quiet mind? Have you found yourself attached to an emotion or thought? Have you noticed that often thoughts and emotions produce physical symptoms? In order to improve the well-being of an individual, we need to view them from a mind-body-soul perspective.
We often have heard “just try taking a deep breath” when stressed. Why? We know that when we take a deep breath it signals to our brain to relax. Focusing on breathing has been found to have positive results on well-being. One way that psychologists teach this technique is through the use of biofeedback. Biofeedback is a form of treatment that teaches individuals to use signals from their body to improve their health. This leads to an awareness into how their minds and bodies work together in response to stress and anxiety. Learning about one’s heart and breathing rates when stressed is an example of how this awareness is achieved. Biofeedback can help many different conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Before we begin, think about these questions in regards to self-care:
- What is one thing you do in the morning for self-care?
- What is one thing you do after work/school for self-care?
- What is one thing you want to do for self-care, but you never get around to it?
Holiday times remind us of special significance and meaning. Thanksgiving is an American tradition. It’s about being thankful for all that we have. Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and holidays at this time of year also have special meanings. Of course, New Year’s is a celebration of the ending of the year, with all the excitement about ushering in a New Year and making resolutions.
Have you ever laid in bed awake because of racing thoughts, worries, or endless to-do lists? Has your Fitbit recorded dozens of restless or awake moments throughout the night? These may be signs of insomnia-a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.