EASY Everyday Mind Exercises to Improve Emotional Health


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Mental/emotional health seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Many feel the need to improve their mental health but are confused about where to start. It’s often best to start implementing easy mind practices to enjoy the improvements in your mental/emotional health faster.

There are easy mind practices that can improve emotional health such as positive thinking, cultivating compassion, writing in a gratitude journal, and talk therapy. While there are more extensive mind practices, starting off with easy mind practices is going to enable you to progress gradually.

Improving your emotional health doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Let’s delve into easy mind practices you can start implementing immediately.

How to Change Negative Thoughts Into Positive Thoughts

Many of us struggle every day with challenges plus we may also be carrying on our shoulders the heavy burden of trauma or a difficult childhood. These things can negatively affect our thinking so much that it becomes the norm for us and we become stuck in a negative thinking pattern. Be assured that if this has happened to you, none of it is your fault, and you are not alone.

If you’ve ever taken a hike in the woods, it probably became very apparent to you that someone has been here before. You can see the difference between the green and wooded areas that show no sign of wear and tear and the clear path that many if not hundreds of people have walked on before. Our neuropathways behave similarly. Negative thoughts come and go for everyone but if we have unprocessed emotions from past events then these pathways for negative thoughts become more and more concrete. It becomes easier and easier for the brain to create and send thoughts down this negative thought highway.

The good news is this can change and you are the one who has the power to change it. Admittedly, at first, it’s not easy. However, in time, you can create a neuro pathway for positive thoughts that becomes the go-to information highway that your brain prefers. Making the negative thought pathway less preferred and less apparent than it previously was.

In order to start replacing your negative thoughts with positive thoughts you have to become more aware of your emotions when they come up. Every emotion is born from thought. If you have a negative emotion come up try to be your own detective and find out where that emotion came from. What thought was behind that emotion?

Once you’ve identified the negative thought behind that emotion you can start to reframe the thought. It may feel unnatural at first to counter a negative thought. We may really feel like it’s true but if you start observing the truthfulness of the thought with more perspective, you may find out it wasn’t necessarily as true as you once believed. Question your thoughts and emotions. Replace them with positive thoughts and a different narrative.

Negative Example: “I don’t know why my boss gave me such an important project! I always screw everything up! I can’t do anything right.

Positive Replacement:My boss must have reason to show so much confidence in me to give me such an important project. I feel that I haven’t always lived up to my potential but I’m going to do my best and be open to constructive criticism.”

Learn to Show Compassion (Including to Yourself)

Compassion is very much lacking in the world today. People have become very hypercritical and blaming. It’s as if no one really genuinely makes a mistake these days. As if people only do things because of being evil-inclined. Lack of compassion can be very draining of energy both mental and physical.

Usually showing a lack of compassion toward others means that we also show a lack of compassion toward ourselves. This can further feed a negative mindset of ourselves and of the world as a whole. Missing out on this quality leads to poorer mental health outcomes since we have an innate need for compassion.

So how does one improve upon the quality of compassion? Stop assuming the worst of yourself and others and start assuming the best. Make allowances. Getting a better perspective of an individual by getting to know them and their background can further enable you to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they do the things they do.

Being Uncompassionate to Yourself: “I should have gotten that project done by now. I’m not doing very well managing my time and I’m just a slacker.” This is a very narrow-minded statement and probably doesn’t allow for much compassion.

Being Compassionate to Yourself: “I should have gotten that project done by now but I have had my plate very full with many responsibilities that I have accomplished pretty well. I’ll either extend my deadline or abandon the project until another time when I can get it done.” You see how we incorporated self-compassion by looking at the whole picture and making allowances.

Being Uncompassionate to Others: “I can’t believe that person just cut in front of me on the highway and they’re driving like a crazy person. They don’t care about the welfare of others!” Once again, this thinking is very narrow-minded and doesn’t make allowances.

Being Compassionate to Others: “Whoa….that person must really be in a hurry to get to where they’re going. I bet they have had an emergency in the family. They must be having such a bad day. I hope they get home safe.” This type of thinking creates a narrative for the person even when we cannot fully get to know them, such as on the road. It makes allowances and doesn’t blame the person for doing something bad because they wanted to.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

If you’ve ever heard it’s important to count your blessings then you have heard a sound piece of advice. Those who practice gratitude journaling find that they feel happier and more optimistic overall. It only requires a few minutes to think and write down some things you feel grateful for.

You may be thinking ‘can’t I just think about the things I’m grateful for?’…Yes, of course, it’s your mind, your choice. However, when you put it down in writing it allows you to extract these thoughts out of the multitude of thoughts you think each day and focus on them, making them more prominent and meaningful.

To start with, try writing down 3 things you’re grateful for each day. You can choose any time of the day. As you continue this practice and it becomes more habitual you can slowly increase the number of things you’re grateful for that you wish to write down. Want to beef it up? Answer WHY you feel grateful for those things.

Some people feel like they just don’t have the time to devote to practicing simple mental exercises regularly. It could be that you don’t realize the impact that these exercises can have on your mind and your productivity. Or maybe you don’t feel like you deserve to take the time out of doing things for others to give to yourself.

Talk Out Your Feelings

If you are more private or shy it can feel very intimidating to express your feelings to someone else. Even if you are outgoing and talkative you may find yourself not expressing your feelings to others because of fear. However, if we keep our feelings bottled up, they can eventually start bubbling out or even exploding, causing chaos in our lives.

This is why talk therapy is so effective. It’s healthy to freely express our feelings to a trusted confidant. Make sure this person is someone you trust and feel safe sharing your most personal feelings with, whether it’s a friend, family member, or therapist.

As humans, we have a need to communicate and feel heard. If there is no one that you feel you can share these feelings with then try praying. Whether you are convinced anyone is there listening or not, it’s therapeutic to even just say your feelings out loud. Bottling up your feelings only leads to mental, emotional, and physical problems.

Try a few or all of these mental practices for better emotional health. Commit yourself to at least try one. You most likely will start reaping the fruits of good emotional health sooner than you realize. If you feel like you could use some guidance in putting mind exercises into practice, I recommend you check out HeadSpace and get a 30-day free trial with my referral link. It’s an app that has an extensive library of mental exercises that help to improve the health of the mind. I love using the guided breathing exercises and the timed focus music to help me to get more done without distractions.

With practice, these mental exercises will help you to start feeling more in control of your emotions. Your outlook on life may just become a little more positive and optimistic. You will be in a better emotional situation to guard yourself from the negative emotions of others and express your own emotions in a healthy way!

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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The content in this article is for informational, entertainment, and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a trained qualified physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Galeano Massage nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, or supplements or those diagnosed with a medical illness should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program

Sarah

I've been practicing Massage Therapy since 2014. I'm a health and wellness enthusiast. I'm always learning and experimenting with different techniques, recipes, and healing modalities. I believe that we need to approach health and wellness from a WHOLE-listic point of view and understand that it will constantly be changing and is never stagnant. We are all unique and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. As I grow, change, and experiment I will share what I have learned as it may help someone else in need.

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