Today, as we observe World Mental Health Day, it is essential to acknowledge the difficulties and challenges many of us face. Whether it’s the pressures of our fast-paced lives, personal challenges, or the uncertainties of the world around us, the strain on our mental well-being is there.
Taking a moment to relax can be a small yet helpful step towards better mental health.
Relaxation isn’t just about physical rest, where we sit or do nothing. It’s also about giving our minds a break, some time and space.
Below are some simple ways to relax:
Deep Breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths can have an almost immediate calming effect on the nervous system. It can be as simple as inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four.
Nature Walks: Being in nature, away from the busyness of daily life, can have a grounding effect. The sights, sounds, touch and smells of being in nature makes a difference.
Digital Detox: Setting aside a specific time of the day when you are free from screens can reduce anxiety and stress levels. This break can help in resetting and refreshing your mind.
Living Mindfully: Doing activities that make us more mindful, like colouring, painting, cooking, or knitting, can help. They help by being the anchor to bring our mind to the present moment.
Loving Kindness Meditation:
Loving Kindness, or ‘Metta’ meditation, is a practice rooted in the Buddhist tradition, on love towards oneself and others.
I’m sharing a short Loving Kindness meditation you can practice:
Please start by finding a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Focus on yourself first. Silently repeat these phrases, or any other phrases that you would like to say.
“May I be happy.”
“May I be healthy.”
“May I be safe.”
“May I be well.”
“May I be at peace.”
We begin by doing this practice to ourselves, and then bring to mind someone you care about.
Then think of others around you and extend the same well wishes to them.
Every small act, every moment of self-care, counts.