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Mental Health Resolutions For A Better You in 2017

Eating more fresh fruits and veggies, following a healthier lifestyle, exercising more and sleeping better probably figure in many people’s resolutions for a better, healthier 2017. But is that all we can do to achieve a healthier, happier, better year ahead?

Maybe there are other things we can add to these good basics.

1. Rewire the basics

Are you happy with what you do? Most of us work, have a career. And even if at 52 or 64 you cannot hope to become a neurosurgeon or make it to the top as a ballerina, you can still help out cancer patients as a volunteer in local clinics and learn to do ballet, yes, even much later in life.

How many of us are really happy with what we do? 

Even if we cannot rewire the entire process or rethink our lives from A to Z, we can certainly start small and work our way up. We can do small tweaks here and there to make our everyday lives better. At work, you can ask for the type of work that motivates you and gives you a reason to turn up at work. At home or social circumstances you can stand up for yourself and put up with or not put up with things that bother you. 

When you realize that it all starts with you, then you can calm your mind to a more energized, happier and calmer you.


2. Mother Nature Knows Best 

Have you ever wondered why when we walk along beautiful countrysides and look at nature’s bounty we feel restored. There is definitely a serene kind of calmness and relaxation that comes over us when we take some time off and spend time in nature.

It can be anything. From fishing, walking, swimming, just relaxing next to some water or hiking. As long as you disconnect for at least a little while from everyday pressures, modern technology, and the claims on your time, and take some time by yourself in the calm of nature.

Looking at, contemplating greenery and nature can help calm us down. Communicating with nature brings us full circle. No matter how advanced our technology becomes, we do come from nature. We are physical, biological beings connected to the elements around us. No wonder spending calm moments in a natural environment gives us a fresher perspective to face challenges ahead.


3. Don’t Be Always In A Rush 

We lead such a fast paced life. Whether in a big city or even a smaller town we do have our lives regimented by schedules, work, routines, social obligations, family to name just a few. It can be overwhelming at times, when we are constantly looking at the clock, to get somewhere, get something done, pick someone up or drop something.

Running errands, doing chores, even getting dressed to go to work, our mind is being constantly bombarded with mini-deadlines. It can be exhausting. Give yourself some time to go slower now and then. Yes, take the time to put on your clothes and finish applying the second coat of paint. Noting everything needs to be done in a hurry or a rush. Take a few days off now and then to do absolutely nothing, or do something with no time deadline as a compulsory element to be respected.

It is ok, in fact, it is necessary for your mental well-being to take a breather now and then.


4. It Is All In Your Mind

Our minds are such a curious factor. What we think we become. If you look at a particular situation and think this is it, this is the worst, or I am doomed, then you actually give yourself permission to think the worst of any situation.

Instead, if you told yourself that ok, this situation is bad, but wait a minute, you are not without resources, help, support or means. You can handle this, no matter how tough the going may get. Train your mind to try and see even a glimmer of hope or something positive however slight that may be, which can change even a little bit of how you handle the event. It may not be easy in the beginning especially if you are prone to emotional highs and lows, but with time you can exercise more restraint over your reactions to events beyond your control.

Even the very act of mentally telling yourself, yes, I can handle this, I will find the strength to handle this, can help no matter how small, to ride through the rough patches with a calmer mind.


5. Reorganize And Declutter Your Closet And Home 

Most of us have too many things in our homes. Objects, furniture, things we do not use or have not used for ages. This goes double for our clothes and personal belongings. Especially clothes and personal items.

It can be a very powerful feeling to declutter, throw out unused or old things from our closet. It can give us a tremendous sense of accomplishment for having thrown out old, faded, unused clothes or even better when we give them away to the Salvation Army or Red Cross. Decluttering closets and homes declutters our minds. While throwing out a lot and living a minimal lifestyle is not for everyone, almost anyone who organizes their clothes and homes to reflect a tidier lifestyle almost always feels a sense of calm and renewed sense of purpose.


6. Reach Out To Others

How many times do we see the same cashier at the checkout counter or the person who goes to the same gym but we never really reach out to them to have a meaningful conversation. What stops us from reaching out to others and asking them about themselves, their lives and their opinions. Naturally, if you decided to do this, try to do this in a pleasant non-threatening way.

Reaching out to strangers makes us connect with new people, and we get to learn from others not necessarily in our family or social circles. We can learn about their lives, their challenges, their experiences. Others, especially when they are not from the same background or situation as ours can help us open our eyes. They can be like surrogate teachers pushing us to question our bias or long held opinions, motivating us to see the world through a different perspective. 

What is more startling than learning to see the world from another person’s point of view? Might even make us more grateful for our own problems and issues. Mindfulness and practicing gratefulness can easily become second nature when we reach out and connect more regularly with others.

By rewiring the basics, spending time in nature, reaching out to others, taking some time off, calming our mind and by slowing our daily routines whenever possible, we can look forward to a healthier, calmer and happier 2017.

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