NOURISH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
+ ways to balance your mood and reduce tension, stress and anxiety
April showers bring May flowers! Happy May, you tea lovers! This month we are focusing on nourishing our mental health and balancing our moods. That's why we want to share some simple and easy ways to reduce stress and anxiety that you can start today.
Here are a few ways to control your stress & nourish your mental health.
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Calming the mind is key.
- Meditate: This is easier than it seems! You might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow, deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being in the moment. Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.
- Practice guided imagery: Guided imagery is like transporting your mind to somewhere you find peace, or to your "happy place." Simply close your eyes for a minute and walk yourself through a peaceful scene like a beach or in the mountains. Think about all the sensory experiences you'd engage in and allow yourself to feel as though you're really there. After a few minutes, open your eyes and return to the present moment.
Bring your body out of panic mode.
Anxiety is a natural psychological, physiological, and behavioral state intended to help us respond to threats. When experiencing anxiety, your body is literally in panic mode and ready to fight for survival because it doesn't know the difference between different types of threats. To your body, a threat is a threat no matter what. But there are ways to relax yourself almost instantly! Try these ideas out:
- Try progressive muscular relaxation: Start by tightening each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes. Then relax each muscle group in the same pattern. Try it right now! Did you notice your jaw loosened and your tongue relaxed from the roof of your mouth? With practice, you'll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you'll be able to relax more easily.
- Stretch for 5 minutes. Of course prioritizing exercise has been shown to reduce stress, but if you can't workout every day try stretching every day. Stress can cause muscles to become tense, which in turn causes muscles to tighten, leading to discomfort and chronic pain. Stretching has also been shown to increase serotonin levels!
Try this stretch out now: From a standing position, fold your waist forward, pointing your nose to your knees. Let your arms fall towards your toes and point your gaze toward your shins. Slowly nod your hanging head forwards for a couple times, the side to side. You will feel your upper back and neck muscles being stretched.
Go on a "weird break" to reboot and refocus.
Sometimes stress and anxiety mentally lock us up and we can’t focus on what is right is front of us! If you find yourself at a mental block or if you are feeling overwhelmed and your mind just wants to shut down, try going on a "weird break" to let your mind focus on something else.
- Snack on something crunchy: Baby carrots, celery, and snap peas provide the satisfying "crunch" that we often associate with stressed-out snacking. Plus, eating these crunchy foods actually helps release tension in the jaw and neck.
- Switch everything on your desk or workplace from one side to the other. Changing your perspective can really feel refreshing.
- Find a unique object on a walk break and keep it on your desk, or anywhere that you experience stress or anxiety. Every time you see it, you will feel more calm because it reminds you that there are more important things in life than taking stress too seriously!
Here are some stress relieving & mood boosting teas:
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