TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A lot of our New Years Resolutions focus on physical health, but our mental health is just as important.
âWhen your mental health is poor, you will also start to feel more pain,â says Susan Holland, LSCSW, a licensed clinical social worker with Stormont Vail Behavioral Health in Topeka.
She came up with five positive habits people could try to adopt to make 2022 more positive and less stressful.
1. Set a health goal – and write it down!
âWrite down your intentions. How can I achieve this? I’m writing how I’m going to do it, âHolland said. âWhen you write it, you are more responsible. “
For example, you might want to lose 10 pounds in six months. Plan specific steps to reach this goal and realize that it will take time to reach it.
2. Add healthy food to your diet.
Holland suggests a colorful fruit or vegetable – and that’s just one.
âStart small, because if we tell you to eat three servings of fruits and vegetables, people are less likely to do that,â Holland said. âStart with one. Once you see, âOh! I see a change in my body, but also in my energy ‘, I will most likely add another on the road. “
3. Make time for calm and peace.
Holland says to set aside some time for yourself. You can meditate, read, journal, or go for a walk.
âJust take 10 minutes, no sounds, no electronics,â she said. âIt actually helps soothe and relax the system, not just the mind but the whole body, so that we can be present in the moment. “
4. Breathe mindfully
âWhen you do the conscious breathing, I pay attention to my stomach opening up to let air in and then blow it out,â she said. âIt really helps your body calm down. It slows down the heart rate. It also helps lower blood pressure.
Holland says you can practice conscious breathing in your quiet time or take a moment before reacting to a stressful situation. The more you practice, the more routine it will become.
âTaking a step back, taking that good, deep breath, then helps me recognize what to react to, what is my best step and my best course of action,â she said.
5. Practice gratitude
Holland says we should find something every day that we are grateful for and use gratitude in our daily practices.
âUsing grateful language, making sure I tell people how much I appreciate them, saying thank you to someone,â she said. “Being grateful for the things every day helps us recognize that we don’t really need all of those other things that we are chasing all the time.”
Holland says she uses a “gratitude jar”. Every day she writes something that she is grateful for and puts it in the jar. At the end of the month, she takes them out and reads them, which brings new feelings of gratitude.
To keep all the habits going, Holland offers to take on a 30-day challenge. Practice a healthy habit for 30 days and write down each day that you have done it. At the end of the month, consider its impact on your life.
Experts say it can take 30 days for a change to become part of your regular routine.
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