Stress is a virus, in many senses. Once it starts, a vicious spiral begins. One small worry leads to another, your worries affect your mental and physical health, and this eventually leads to other problems in your daily routine and your relationship with others. It’s hard to break out of this downward spiral (or repeating cycle, depending on how you look at it). The key to overcoming stress, anxiety, depression, or even the simple feeling of being “stuck” in a rut is to take a step back so that your brain can recover.
Of course, “being happy” is easier said than done. You can’t just flick a switch and turn off your worries. We’d all do that if we could. Who wants to be stressed out about things? Still, whilst it may not be something that can be immediately achieved, there are changes you can make to your life to start to move your mental health back towards a stable state. If you’re desperate to put an end to your destructive stress spiral then here are some lifestyle and mental health tips that can help you reboot your brain to feel happy again.
It’s important to clarify, before we go any further, that all happiness stems from the inner self. If you want to be happy then you shouldn’t try to find peace through actions and life-changes that please others. At the end of the day, happiness starts and ends with your personal feelings. It can’t be forced, so you don’t always have to take other people’s suggestions on board if they’re doing nothing to improve your level of happiness. Remember, you have to be a little selfish when it comes to your mental health; in a sense, it’s also selfless to do so because the stress and worry you feel has an effect on your loved ones.
The best thing you can do to make yourself happy is to look inwards and get to the source of your problems. Hopefully, the rest of the advice in this article will help you in that regard if you’re still struggling to find the root of the problem. Or, even if you know why you’re stressed, perhaps you’re simply struggling to find the appropriate solution to the problem. The mind is a strange thing but there’s always a way to improve your mental health.
Something you should definitely try, to pull yourself out of the endless stress spiral, is meditation. Think of it as a mental workout. You exercise the body to keep it healthy, and you should do the same for the mind. Close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Meditative techniques involve honing in on your existence in the present moment. Rather than worrying about things that have happened in the past or things that might happen in the future, you focus simply on the present moment; you focus on your breathing and the way your body feels.
Meditation relies on allowing the brain to quieten down in terms of internal chatter. You simply appreciate “now” rather than thinking of “yesterday” or “tomorrow”. If you’re struggling to grasp what meditation is about and how to practice it then you should watch some tutorials on YouTube to get a better idea. Do a little research and see if there are some techniques that work for you. Give it a chance and commit to it; this is all about working on the mind, so your mind needs to be up for it (if that makes sense).
See the world.
We’ve discussed the power of vacations on this site before: taking a break to recoup and relax is a brilliant way to give your brain the time it needs to recharge. Of course, seeing the world takes a vacation one step further. It’s about more than relaxing on a sun lounger, shutting your eyes, and waiting for stress to dissipate; traveling from place to place and really experiencing things could be the adventure needed to help your brain reboot. When you learn things about other cultures and see places that differ from your own little patch on this earth, it can help to put things into perspective.
Where to begin on this journey? See a place about which you know nothing (or, at least, a place about which you know very little). Seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Big Ben in London would both be lovely trips but you want to take this journey beyond a mere dose of sightseeing. You could visit a unique city such as Singapore and find a hdb flat for rent whilst you’re there because you really want to give yourself a few days (or even weeks) to soak up a new city or place when traveling. Singapore’s combination of historic Asian culture and contemporary entertainment areas such as The Marina Bay is certainly unique. Of course, other Asian cities such as Beijing, home to the Great Wall and many wondrous temples, are also well worth the visit. The point is that soaking up all these unique sights will give you a brand new view of the world which could help to shake up your perspective on your own life when you return home.
Ditch the temporary fix.
We’re all guilty of it. You feel stressed after a long day at work so you return home and crack open a bottle of wine, have a cigarette, or binge-eat junk food. Perhaps you partake in all three of those things. In fact, you might not even wait until you get home; perhaps you use treats as a route to happiness throughout the day too. It’s so important that you don’t use a treat as a temporary fix to your mental health because that’s all it is; a temporary solution. Maybe you use one of the aforementioned solutions for a quick high or maybe there’s something else that makes you happy for a few short minutes but the fact is that such behavior verges on the border of addiction. Stopping the stress spiral depends on a permanent solution.
As discussed throughout this article, there’s a strong link between the mental and physical sides of your body. If you really want to improve your mental health then you need to focus on improving your physical health. Exercise is one of the best ways to boost mental energy. It could really help you to break out of your negative stress cycle. Start exercising and your mental state will become more positive and energized; in turn, this will help you feel more motivated and determined to exercise in the future. It’s hard to make that initial step and start exercising but you’ll start to notice the positive effects on your mind once you do.
Without being corny, a small group of friends can really do a lot to help you find happiness. Your worries and problems shouldn’t be burdens that you bear alone. You need people with whom you can share your life experiences and that means the good along with the bad. Of course, the most important thing is that you’re close to these friends. Quantity is definitely not more important than quality. It’s better to have a chosen few people in your life with whom you have a deep connection rather than many acquaintances. The point is that relationships play a key part in overall life happiness, so make sure you do all you can to maintain that bond with the people who matter in your life; don’t let friendships fade.