If we said that it’s essential to take good care of your physical health and wellbeing, we dare say not a single person would disagree with us – in fact, most of us actively try to look after ourselves and would encourage others to do the same. So, why is it that we don’t assign the same degree of importance to mental health, given that any disruption in the latter can cause real problems for the former?
Stress and a poor mental state can actually cause some significant issues for our bodies, ranging from insomnia and sleep disturbance all the way through to gastrointestinal problems, strokes and even heart disease. This is why we need to be proactive in taking the time to address such troubles before they spiral. With this in mind, here are three simple ways to improve your mood and boost your mental state the next time you’re feeling down.
Remember to breathe
You might be thinking it would be pretty hard to forget to do this but we’re talking about taking some time to really focus on breathing and relaxing your body. It doesn’t matter if you only have five minutes free out of your day – even this is enough. As psychologist Judith Tutin explains: “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure.” All you need to do is find a quiet place and sit up straight, with your eyes closed and a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, concentrating on the movement of air into your body and all the way down to your abdomen. Reverse the process as you exhale and you’ll soon feel a sense of zen descend. It really is that simple.
Play a game
Another thing that can lift your mood and focus your brain is playing a game. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, so don’t worry if a multiplayer Monopoly tournament is off the cards in the instant. Instead, think about doing something a little simpler, whether it’s setting up a game of solitaire, downloading an app and doing a crossword on your phone, or trying some online casino games. While the latter example might sound like it involves spending money (something that’s bound to set off the old stress receptors), many casinos offer ‘try before you buy’ promotions in the form of free spins or deposit bonuses. Party Casino, for instance, is giving out 120 free spins on Melon Madness here.
So long as it requires enough concentration to occupy your mind and gives you small but satisfying goals to work toward, it should soon help to recalibrate your mood and make you feel that bit better about life. Case in point: this Yale study of older Americans, which took our example of gambling and found that it could actually be really beneficial. It certainly makes for some interesting reading!
Physical activity is another easy way to help yourself feel better, and numerous research studies indicate that exercise – from walking all the way through to high-intensity interval training – can ease stress, anxiety, and even medically diagnosed depression. It does this in a simple but effective way: by stimulating the brain to release feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. This means that just walking up a flight or two of stairs or putting on an exercise video at home could be all it takes to shake off your bad mood after a hard day at work.
Follow our three simple tips today to make stress a thing of the past.