How To Maintain a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul
The first month into the new year, you might feel like a ‘new year, new me’ hasn’t been what you have been expecting and as a result, you can be hard on yourself. It’s important to give yourself some slack and consider things like the fact that the days are shorter, the weather isn’t the best and starting new healthy habits can be hard this time of year. Therefore, it is important to start slowly and build up towards the long-term goal of a healthy mind, body and soul.
If you are ready to start this journey, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and evaluate your mental health. Note all the little changes you can begin to make and what things will bring you joy in your life.
What Do I Mean by Mind, Body, and Soul?
The phrase itself refers to the connection and relationship you have with your mind, body and soul. For example, you might be really attentive to your body’s health but ignore or avoid looking after your mind or soul. They all need to work hand in hand to understand your whole self and how to nurture it.
Your mind is the little voice in your head, both conscious and unconscious, that is responsible for all your thoughts, beliefs and motivations. You might have a happy, positive voice or a nervous, stressed-out voice; this can vary but can contribute to your overall health.
Your body is the physical aspect of yourself that you see in the mirror. This allows you to experience and feel the world around you. Your body is your vessel and home to this physical world.
Your soul or spirit, I like to believe, is your divine self and is an intangible part of you. If you are a spiritual person, whether you are religious or enjoy things like yoga and meditation to help with aligning your chakras. Try to think of your soul as a part of your nervous system.
To understand how to nurture and become your best self this year, here are some details but first let’s go into some more detail.
The body corresponds to your gut and brain connection. A healthy body can contribute to your overall health by contributing to strength and energy and improving your day-to-day life. Not to mention, it can give you an extra bit of edge when it comes to modern-day challenges, like the hyperconnectivity with today’s generations. Physical health is something you carry into old age to make the most of your youth, carry with you throughout the ages and keep you in tune with your body.
Starting with something like your physical body can pave the way to becoming connected with your mind and soul and have amazing influences on your emotional well-being. For example, if you want to focus on yoga, this can be the channel for both spirituality and mental health.
The soul represents the heart-brain connection. A healthy soul allows you to feel positive emotions such as:
- Happiness, joy, gratitude and calmness
- Emotional strength
- Compassion and kindness
- A sense of purpose and feeling in tune and a part of the community
The mind is the voice in your skull and how you essentially communicate with yourself, whether it’s a voice of reason or something that contributes to feelings of negativity and worry. Having a healthy mind can bring clarity to your life.
There is much research that says that a negative mindset can contribute to sickness throughout the body and potentially cause a spiral of issues within your life. For example, constantly having negative thoughts or opinions about your body might create feelings of insecurity and contribute to emotional eating and even depression.
Our mind is responsible for our:
- Decision-making skills
- Emotional regulation
- Focus, memory, and concentration
How to Maintain a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul
These are healthy habits you can slowly adopt into your routine to contribute to a healthy mind.
You can try meditating for 10 minutes a day, whether it is in the morning or just before bed and slowly build up as you become more comfortable with your preferred type of meditation.
This practice has been a well-respected method of mindfulness for centuries and has proven to help reduce stress and increase your awareness of any patterns of negativity, self-doubt or triggers. This is a perfect way to get in touch with yourself and understand what you need for a happier mind.
It’s important to note that there isn’t one right way to meditate; you can do so with things such as dancing, drawing, sitting still in a dark room or anything that brings you peace.
Finding a new hobby that stimulates your brain can do wonders for your mental health; it can give you something to look forward to but also give you a sense of purpose while being insanely rewarding at the same time.
Whether you download an app to learn sign language or start a new fitness class, anything that you think will benefit you and strengthen your neural connection will keep you active.
One of the most important things your body, mind and soul need is plenty of good sleep. Sleep can help your whole body heal itself and eventually set the reset button.
When it comes to your body’s overall health, here are some ways to be kind to your physical form.
I bet you knew this one was coming, but moving your body is so important; it also helps with your mind and heals your soul. Opting for things like Pilates, yoga and meditation that require minimal equipment to start your exercise and fitness journey.
Starting a brand new fitness regime can be hard for people, but starting slowly and more of a build-up rather than jumping in deep and getting put off by week two. Be easy on yourself. Starting a new routine like a leg workout or HIIT workout during times when it’s cold, dark and rainy can be hard, so to ensure you maintain it, start slow.
Eat Well and Cut Out Bad Habits
As cliche as it sounds, eating a balanced diet is what everyone needs. You could try to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, limit your consumption of sugar and red meat and try new healthy recipes when you can.
It’s all well and good to have a healthy exercise routine and a good diet but you are making it pointless to an extent if you are keeping bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking going. You could start slow and try alternatives like nicopods or drinking only two weekends a month. Any changes in the right direction will have many benefits.
Last but definitely not least, is how to maintain a healthy soul.
While this might seem hard in certain situations, you can try and take it like finding silver linings in situations where you could spiral with negative thoughts. Some things that we get worked up about tend to be trivial.
Taking the steps to recognise when you are having negative thoughts and stopping them is a process. Expressing gratitude is a nice way to replace that behaviour, but it can take time.
Be In Nature
Research has shown that spending time in nature can have a vast amount of positive effects on your mind, body and soul. This is a good way to centre yourself and reconnect with the world. A simple 30-minute stroll a day is the best way to start.