By Elma B.
"You are a living magnet. What you attract into your life is in harmony with your dominant thoughts."
Too often do wear hear about the importance of physical fitness and seldom do we hear about the importance of emotional fitness. Well-being is not just about being physically fit and looking your best on the outside but it is also about nurturing your mind.
We experience the ordinary wear and tear as we proceed on this journey called life. We have expectations that are often not met, experience unfairness, and therefore our enthusiasm for life quickly wanes down. The key question remains how do we nurture our mind/our spirit to maintain a healthy level of optimism and energy? Interestingly, there is not as much literature on grooming our mental hygiene to keep us in a healthy and happy state of mind. Here are my suggestions...
5 Golden Rules for Nurturing Your Mental Health:
1. Meditate. Meditate for at least 10 minutes out of your day to relax and calm your thoughts. Go to a place that is truly serene and helps bring your busy day to a full stop. (Here's why 10 minutes of meditation will change your day.)
2. Heal with nature. Spend time outdoors. There is an extraordinary soothing effect we receive from the wind brushing-up against our cheek, or from our eyes feasting on the vibrant colors of the green pastures or a garden filled with a myriad of colors.
3. Shift your focus. Your mind is very potent if you know how to send it in the right direction. You have an unbelievable ability to stop your own thoughts from proceeding in the negative direction; every time you catch your thoughts drifting in a downward spiral, you have the power to stop them and turn them in whatever direction you desire. You are the gate keeper to your mind's focus.
4. Help others. Everyone knows the cliche, "the secret to living is giving." However, not many think to apply it to their daily lives. I know that small acts of kindness can change my day (For instance, while running in Central Park, I stopped to take many photos of complete strangers and really made an effort to take excellent shots. Seeing the smiles on the faces of these complete strangers filled me with utter joy and exalted my spirit). Helping others can truly be fulfilling because you see how your efforts can make a positive impact in someone else's life.
5. Keep a gratitude journal. Often we are so focused on achieving our goals that we forget to take a moment to feel greatful for everything else we are blessed with. We think that our problems are the largest and just spiral downwards in our own heads. I was inspired and moved by a blind young lady I saw jogging in Central Park with a cane in her hand and a companion by her side. She was jogging along with everyone else on the runner's path in Central Park. Instantly, when I saw her, I was moved; I was moved by her battle and will to move forward in life. Many like her, with disabilities that have forever permeated their bodies or chronic illnesses (e.g., Stephen Hawking), fight with every cell in their body to be here with us.
Like physical fitness, achieving mental fitness takes time. It is not something we practice once in a while but practice consistently. I suggest applying these tactics to your life to keep your core healthy. After all, everything that surrounds you is a projection of what lies within you. Until next time, xoxo.
(For the fashionistas, outfit dissected: fish earrings from Zara; jumpsuit from Forever 21; shoes from Fendi; lipstick by 100% vegan and cruelty-free Lip Tar.)