Stress, anxiety and depression can really take their toll on a person. They become a constant drain your mental and emotional energy and leave you feeling lifeless -- or even worse. They can rob you of the happiness and joy that you should be experiencing. But you can fight back!
If you suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, there are things you can do every day to feel better. In this blog, I am going to talk about two such things.
Despite the artificial lives we lead with climate-controlled indoor spaces, and artificial light, stale air, we are from nature. We are animals. We need a connection to the outdoors.
So many of us barely go outside, particularly in fall and winter. If we do go outside, often it is to get into the car to drive somewhere, or to catch a bus, street car, or subway -- only to go to another artificial indoor space. This disconnection from nature is a disharmony that creates additional stress on our mind and body.
Take a walk outside every day. The duration should be a minimum of 30 minutes. If possible for you, take that walk in a park or outside of the city. But even a 30 minute walk on the city streets will help.
During that 30 minutes, you get your heart pumping. You get fresh air into your lungs. Your eyes get a change of scenery. Your mind clears. You re-energize. Your body will release endorphins that will improve your mood.
Take that 30 minute walk every day. If it is cold out, bundle up. If it's raining, take an umbrella or wear a rain coat. Walking in a storm (within reason, of course!) can be exhilarating.
Meditate every day.
Now, I am a science kind-of-guy, and it took a rather large leap of faith for me to try meditation.
Wikipedia defines meditation as:
"Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Meditation may be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. It may be done while sitting, repeating a mantra, and closing the eyes in a quiet environment."
I will be honest with you. What you read above is easier said than done. But with some practice, you can learn to meditate.
There's a helpful course on Udemy. Meditation Made Easy, Step by Step Guide. by Karl Jeffery. This course provides step-by-step instructions to help you find your way to a meditative state.
The first time I succeeded, I could not believe how great I felt afterwards. There are now words sufficient to describe how I felt during meditation and afterwards.
If you are battling anxiety, stress, or depression, the calmness that meditation provides is a huge boon to feeling better. This calmness can last for many hours after your meditate.
If we are being 100% honest with ourselves, we know that we don't always do our best when it comes to taking care of ourselves. The irony is, when fighting mental illness such as anxiety or depression, we absolutely have to take the best care that we can.
Take the 7 Day Challenge. Walk for at least 30 minutes every day, and meditate for at least 10 minutes every day (preferably 20), for 7 straight days.
Let me know how you did and how you feel after the challenge in the comments below!
Information provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional, individual advice from a doctor or other health care provider. Use this information at your own discretion and risk. Always consult a physician before beginning any exercise program or lifestyle change.
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