Most of us go throughout our day thinking several thoughts, allowing our minds to take over our ability to be aware. A person could be generally happy but spend most of the day stressing over life, or constantly thinking ahead to the future and then wonder why they don’t feel so good. When we allow our thoughts to take over, we don’t allow our mind to be aware, at peace and happy. To make your mind happy, is to be healthy in soul and spirit.
If you would like to start to give your mind a break and “live in the moment” as they say, read our tips for mindful happy bliss:
Meditate – “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
You are never too young or too old to start meditating. Meditation will help to clear your mind and calm you down. There have been several studies proving how meditation is the single most effective way to live happier! A recent study published in the neuroscience journal Brain Research Bulletin showed how the brains of people who meditated had elevated alpha rhythms. The alpha is part of five different wave frequencies that occur in the brain, and most of us are usually in the beta state, where we are very alert but “too much time spent in the beta state can lead to excess stress, worry, and anxiety.” When we meditate and turn on the alpha state, studies have shown we can experience extreme focus, relaxation, learning, creativity, and peak performance.
Exercise – Even if you only have ten minutes, a walk can do much to relax your mind and body at the same time. Take in long, slow breaths and look at everything around you. If you can’t get outside, get out your headphones and put on some classical music as you walk (or anything soothing, preferably without words). If you’re a savvy boomer and have a Smartphone, make sure you know how to you turn off ALL notifications from your phone, including incoming calls, text messages, FaceTime from the grandkids or social media.
Sleep – “Many people are surprised to learn that researchers have discovered a single treatment that improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents.” It’s free and it’s called sleep. Sleep researchers and doctors say that getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night can greatly impact health and happiness. Getting enough sleep is not only refreshing; it can also help you to deal better with negative situations, making you less likely to overwork the mind by sending stress signals to the brain.
Eat – Choose foods wisely! Many people do not think about the foods they put in their mouths and how food affects our bodies and emotions. Processed, packaged, sugar or foods with hormones do not supply enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Choose mood-boosting foods to help keep your mind happy. Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor (with Tyler Graham) The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body says: “The moment you make a better food choice you are instantly building a better brain.” When in doubt, make sure you are drinking enough water and then reach for leafy greens, bright fruits, lean protein or organic fair-trade dark chocolate!
Create – “Positive emotions and creativity make us feel interested in the world around us.” You can take your mind off of just about anything if you start a creative project. Creativity can come from writing, cooking, baking, gardening, drawing, painting, photography, dancing, singing, playing music, or making things like furniture or jewelry. If you have grandchildren or any friends of whom you like to spend time with, find a fun craft or project you can do together.
Socialize – Put away your computer and phone and set up a date with friends or family. Ask everyone at the table to put their phones away and take advantage of your time together by keeping the digital distractions at bay. Go out for a healthy dinner, on a hike or play an outdoor sport. Your mind will be connected, stimulated and most of all, happy.
And our last tip? SMILE! Smiling triggers activity in your brain and the act of smiling can actually make you feel happy even when you’re not happy at all. When you’re happy, your body releases endorphin’s, or brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system, allowing us to feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.
For more tips on a happy mind, visit us at MD Home Health, until then take a deep breath into mindful bliss.