Music boosts wellbeing, and together, music and wellbeing empower. With music, we can change our mood, for the brain responds to sounds and rhythms. Need to destress and reduce anxiety? Listen to soothing, calming music. Looking for a way to lift a low mood? Peppy, inspirational music can do that. Need energy? You guessed it. Music invigorates. Listening to music enhances our wellbeing. Playing music yourself empowers you to take charge of your wellbeing. You become the conductor of the most complex symphony in the world: your brain.
We’re over two months into the New Year. How are your New Year’s resolutions, the goals, intentions, and promises you made to yourself? Have you lost sight of them? Many people make health-related resolutions; whether it’s to make better-eating choices, exercise more, or quit smoking, many people look to the new year to better their wellbeing. However, more than half of people that set resolutions for themselves usually don’t stick to them. Studies have shown that focusing on smaller, more attainable goals can help you achieve a larger goal by the end of the year. Now that it’s March, I’m here to help you stay on track this year with smaller ideas to keep you motivated in the next few months!
Wellbeing is a lifestyle, a way of being in your life and with yourself. Researchers from a variety of disciplines continue to discover how the brain and body work and what we can do to optimize our functioning to enhance the wellbeing within us. This information is quite helpful as we work to move past difficulties and create a quality life. However, sometimes it can feel like information overload and be overwhelming. If you’ve ever felt that no matter what you do, it’s not enough, read on. There’s a way past these crushing thoughts and feelings.
The mind-body connection is the intimate dance that occurs from head to toe and weaves around and through systems and cells. At its essence, the link between mental and physical is “you.” The mind-body connection is more than the sum of its parts. It transcends them to become your self. Use your self as the ultimate tool to create, boost, and maintain mental health and wellbeing.
Practice acceptance of mental health challenges and life problems–stress, jobs, relationships, school, money…the list is long and in our faces day and night, night and day. This is a terrible list. Why would anyone want to accept these things? Accepting them actually reduces their hold on you. As counterintuitive as it may seem, accepting struggles helps you distance yourself from them.
Do more of what helps your wellbeing and mental health. It’s a wise and effective approach to overcoming struggles like anxiety, depression, stress, and a host of other challenges. By embracing the strategy of finding what improves the quality of our lives and intentionally doing more of those things, we make at least two things happen: We shift our thoughts by choosing our focus from what is wrong to what is right, and we empower ourselves to do something to move past what’s negatively impacting wellbeing. This is sometimes easier said than done, however. Yes, doing something that works to propel us forward is helpful, but when we’re stuck, trying to think of what to do can seem nearly impossible. These five ideas can help you discover what increase your mental health and wellbeing.
Much is written about happiness. Books. Articles. Songs. Videos. Happiness seems to be a universal pursuit and one that has existed through ages; indeed, it was a frequent topic among philosophers from the ancient worlds of West and East and has been pursued without pause since then. No one has yet to discover a single answer to how to find happiness. Russ Harris, a important leader in acceptance and commitment therapy, wrote a book entitled The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living. Is happiness attainable, or is it a trap, a sham?
Don’t Move on to 2019 Without Doing This
Pausing for mindful reflection on your year can help you end 2018 well, content in the now, which will carry you into 2019. In the wake of holiday stress, many people begin thinking of resolutions for the new year. That’s a great practice to make the new year yours, as it gives you a sense of control over over what your year will be like. This reduces anxiety, powers through depression, and gives us the upper hand in our relationship with mental health. So don’t discard the ritual of creating resolutions, but don’t start them quite yet. There’s still time to finish 2018 off strong.
It’s difficult to create inner peace when circumstances around us cause or contribute to stress, anxiety, negative thoughts and emotions, and cognitive dissonance (an uncomfortable feeling that develops when your actions and values don’t match up). Sometimes, to be at peace and decrease the experiences we don’t need, we need to walk away. However, doing so is often easier said than done. Knowing what it involves and how to do it will move you in the direction of wellbeing and inner peace.