It’s been quite the year. Unprecedented events, times and circumstances have effected millions of people around the globe. The amount of stress, depression and anxiety that has flooded humanity this year is rising. So what can we do to manage and mitigate this stress? Stick around for a quick guide to a few small steps we can take to help center our minds for higher cognitive function, allowing us greater capacity to deal with life.
1. Breath, Think, Plan & Execute
Theres a ton of things running through our minds right now. things that have already gone wrong and things that could go wrong. Taking a few moments through your day to sit in your own mind with no phones, TVs, or distractions is a necessity. Studies show that meditating can help increase attention, memory and overall cognitive function. By allowing yourself the time to think about absolutely nothing you are able to center your thoughts from complete chaos to momentary bliss. What you do in the moments following this bliss should be to plan the exit strategy for what has caused the chaos. Doing so in this state of mind will give you better judgment and increase your ability to think outside the box.
Not to mention that centering yourself will give you the emotional capacity to make sure that the ones around you are also ok, we can often get tunnel vision when in states of anxiety but we must not forget that we cant help others until we help ourselves.
2. Healthy Eating Routine
Nutrition is directly linked to cognitive function! We feel our bodies give in to sluggishness and low motor function when we eat junk food. Allowing your body to use proper foods as an energy source will give you the capacity to do more. Productivity and attention increases exponentially when on a healthy eating routine. So what can this do in times like these? Simply put it can increase your capacity to endure more, giving you a better foundation to deal with stress and unpredictable times. While it may be easier to feed into the junk foods that give us instant gratification, it is detrimental to pay attention to the foods we consume and what they offer us in the long run.
3. Exercise…Anything Will Do.
A simple walk, a simple hike or quick body weight work out. Anything will do, the goal is simply to trigger some endorphins to fire. You don’t need a state of the art gym to accomplish this, there are thousands of workouts you can find online with a simple google search. Most of us have at least 20-30 minutes per day that we can delegate to something that will trigger our bodies feel good senses. Finding this time for ourselves is a huge game changer. It lets your relive some stress and tire yourself out for bed, giving you the perfect recipe for a good nights sleep, bringing us to our next point.
4. Quality Sleep
Low quality sleep is a leading cause for stress and anxiety. We need REM sleep! REM sleep is a deep state of sleep that fulfills our rest-fullness once we wake up. Have any of you ever gotten your 8 hours of sleep and then woke up still tired? Thats likely due to your body not falling into a deep state of sleep. REM sleep allows your body the chance to fully shut down and rest the mind for another day full of tasks.
So how do we achieve REM sleep (deep sleep)?
The points listed above all contribute to achieving this. The meditating contributes to putting your mind at ease before bed so you don’t have a million thoughts running through your head right before bed while also leveling your heart rate. A healthy eating regimen will help promote the increase of melatonin and hormones that regulate sleep, thus giving your body the fair opportunity to rest. Lastly a consistent exercise routine will help you relive any left over stress and energy. Leaving you tired and ready to sleep.
It’s Quick & Easy To Do, You Just Have To Do It
Health and fitness are often associated with a super strict and disciplined life. Leading us to think that it will take up a ton of effort just to achieve 1 of these listed points. Do not be fooled, our bodies and minds are made for the above points to be achieved. Accomplishing even 1 of these points is already a step in the right direction, give yourself the best opportunity to deal with stress that life throws at us.