Today I would like to take some time to talk about your mental and spiritual health. Often we minimize our mental and spiritual health over the health of our bodies. We think, I’m tired, my body aches, my head hurts, I can’t sleep, I’m sick, I don’t feel good, my stomach aches…the list goes on and on. However, we hardly take the time to analyze what is going on with our mental health and how to avoid falling down in that area in order to avoid health problems physically. Mental and spiritual health have been tied to physical health for years. You might be thinking, “What the hell does this crazy woman mean “spiritual” health? I’m not religious! I don’t have to go to church.”
THAT’S OK!! You don’t have to go to church! Here is a list of things that you can do to help maintain your mental and spiritual health so that you can feel better about yourself and your life all the time.
1. Avoid worry. Don’t get me wrong. You’re still going to worry about things sometimes. The key here is figuring out what you should and should not worry about. Your anxiety levels rest upon your ability to either maximize or minimize your worry. Some things are worth worrying about, for at least a little while, like if you see your kid near a light socket with a spoon. Don’t just worry at that point…act. But worrying about what your husband is doing 24 hours a day is not going to change what he is doing. Worrying about how your mother-in-law feels about you and whether or not she likes you isn’t going to change her mind. Let it go…move on.
2. Find a hobby. For me that was roller derby. I also like to record videos of myself on YouTube singing with my family. Or reading. There are tons of hobbies out there. If you find one, and the best ones involve other people, you will find that you are happier in general because you are doing something for yourself.
(If you wanna watch some of these videos here is the link http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi0u1LDfTvNM_Brn_cyLeRQ)
3. Cultivate positive relationships. The happiest people are people who are able to say that they have positive relationships in their lives. People who believe in you, give you help, laugh with you, cry with you, support your dreams, tell you how awesome you are…these are the people that you should cultivate relationships with.
4. End negative relationships. If you have people who are a part of your life who are constantly bringing you down, find a way to cut off that leg and cauterize it. It’s only killing you slowly (or sometimes quickly). These are the people who are always negative. Like, if you lose 10 pounds they offer you a tray of brownies. Or if you do something amazing they minimize it. Or they always have something to say about what you should’ve could’ve would’ve done. CUT IT OFF!!
5. Find time to exercise. I know, I know. What a pain in the ass. Literally. But physicality is intrinsically linked with happiness. When we exercise, we release endorphins, automatically making us happier. Not only that, but it WILL help you be healthier physically. I don’t mean that you need to get out there and run a marathon today. Baby steps for some of you. Take a walk! Go to the park and get off the phone and actually play with your kids. Do something that you enjoyed as a kid…join a flag football team, play softball, or even just take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Look for your purpose. This is where the spirituality part comes in. When I say spirituality I’m not talking about having to be religious. Please don’t confuse spirituality with religiousity. What I’m talking about is your sense of “why am I here?” Help someone else!! It will absolutely make you feel better about yourself. Take time out of your day to go feed the homeless, foster a homeless puppy, read to the elderly in a senior center, take teddy bears down to the sick children’s ward at the hospital. Volunteer at the library. Go to church (if you want). Pray, meditate, do yoga, feel connected to something bigger than yourself.
Life is meant to have meaning folks, and we don’t find that meaning in buying a better car, or having more than the neighbors, or by having the coolest clothes. We ARE interconnected, and America has lost sight of that. As we get more and more stuff our nation feels worse and worse mentally and spiritually. Stop complaining about what you don’t have and focus on what you DO have. And then go buy a coffee for the lady behind you in line. It’s a pretty cool feeling. You can’t put a price on that.