To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha
I’m sure you have all heard the saying as titled, its very much a tautology; your body is your temple. A temple filled with complex organs, DNA and biology – it’s a representation of evolutionary science and when we fail to care for it through lifestyle and diet it will let us know it’s unhappy and requires nourishment.
For example, have you ever eaten an unhealthy meal and felt extremely tired and weighed down afterwards?
Many people seem to think it’s normal to be tired after a meal and want to have a little nap. But in fact it’s a reflection of what you’re putting into your body and the true value of what it has for your body and energy levels. Eating foods with contain high levels of sugar and refined carbs will increase our blood sugar levels which causes us to crash into low energy levels.
We all love to indulge in the things that aren’t good for us, finding a balance will maintain your healthiness both in body and mind. Just as eating a healthy heart diet will benefit your heart’s held and less likely to cause issues, the same goes for your brain.
I’m not saying ‘if you eat your vegetables you’re going to heal your mental illness’ I’m saying your body is a temple, each and every organ requires its nutrition levels to be met and nurtured; just like a flower must be watered we must think about what we place into our bodies and how it may affect our minds too.
This is also true of our daily lifestyle choices; our bad habits, our sleeping patterns a wide variety of things. Our body is our temple. It must be looked after and cared for in order for us to care for our minds too.
Many of us almost don’t like hearing it but of course exercise is important and I’m sure you already know why. Regular exercise keeps out bodies fit and contributes positively to our minds better mental health; releasing endorphins and helping with any stress management.
If you don’t have time to go for a run or to the gym every day; try walking instead of driving, if possible, try taking the stairs instead of lifts, try going for more long walks in scenic places – you get where I’m going with this.
I also try yoga and meditation I admit I do not do it as much as I should, this is why I’m writing the post – in telling you I’m reminding myself.
Smoking and Drinking
If you find yourself turning to a drink or a cigarette as a way to ease your high anxiety levels or increasing low mood – you’re only making it worse. Alcohol is a depressant, cigarettes reap no health benefits whatsoever – they may be a temporary solution to an ongoing problem but replacing mental illness with addiction only causes your mental illness to worsen.
I know first-hand that when I feel depression or extreme high anxiety, my sleeping pattern becomes frantic and easily changed. I either wish to sleep too much, making me very tired as I’ve overslept. Or I cannot sleep very well due to bad dreams, night sweats and my heart beating out my chest consciously as I cannot switch my negative thoughts off.
Being so run down and tired will affect your mood. What I find helps is avoiding phone screen time for about 30 minutes before bedtime, ensuring the room is comfortable and the lighting is how you wish to sleep in and playing some meditation music you can find many on Spotify or YouTube. Play this. Lie in bed. Focusing on your breathing, the softness of the sheets on your skin, listen to the gentle music and meditate yourself into a sleep; try counting down from 100 out loud or in your head.
I’m getting better at sleeping now and it’s truly thanks to this.
As well as this, the amount of sleep is just as important as the schedule of sleep; ensure you’re waking up and going to sleep around the same time in order for your mind and body to truly benefit from your sleeping habits.
‘You are the company you keep’
As social creatures, company is important, but if you find yourself around toxic people then your mental health and happiness will be affected. And sometimes you may meet people in unstable relationships or with bad friends who are in fact in denial of this. Avoid people who are bad for your mental health; especially if it involves any kind of abuse and violence – there is plenty of support around for people of all situations who are currently being affected by toxic relationships and violence. You cannot feel happier in yourself so long as you’re around people who are truly bad for you.
Furthermore if you are suffering with ill mental health, this may create issues in your personal relationships thus also affecting your mental health; cresting yet another cycle. While it’s true that a relationship won’t cure anything, research is increasingly showing that a healthy romantic relationship can make a big difference in mental health (Psychology Today)
So if you are in a relationship and suffering with your mental health, understand the benefits of working on your relationship as it can form an avenue for better mental health; find a balance between simply only ever talking about your emotions, and talking about them when the time is right.
Understand that constantly pushing your worries and insecurities can only cause them to actually come true. Rather than letting them pass as most worries only really remain in the mind.
Our lives and minds are very complex. In order for us to retain as much balance as possible, we much ensure we look after ourselves internally and externally. Our body is our temple and our temple must be explored and nurtured in life.