Happiness Hacks for Better Mental Health
I heard a very peculiar phrase just the other day which sparked some further thoughts. I had been directed to ‘wash my mind’. It’s a pretty strange concept, but I was curious to consider what it might mean. And with the theme of World Mental Health Day 2020 being ‘mental health for all’ I hoped we might share some thoughts.
Can you really ‘wash’ your mind?
Consider your personal hygeine – how many ways do you cleanse your self? Think of your face, hair, body and hands – all scrubbed, brushed, bathed and showered, using an array of gels, shampoos, foams and soaps. There are so many ways to get clean; and after a lifetime of encouragement, you probably wash your body every day (and never forget behind your ears!)
Now take a moment and think about the last time you were encouraged to wash your mind.
It’s actually a pretty strange concept. But if you become grubby on the outside just from being exposed to your modern-day environment, why isn’t it the same for your mind? Don’t your daily interactions and experiences leave some sort of residue, which can build up over time and affect how you think and feel?
That’s what really got me thinking.
Is there an in-built process to sweep out the debris, grime and clutter? Or, just as you make an effort to wash your body and maintain your personal hygeine, do you have to put in some extra effort if you want to achieve a ‘clean’ state of mind?
Is a ‘clean’ mind a key factor in health?
Actually, I think some effort is required to wash away the remnants of the previous day and find a way to connect with the here and now. This brings you to the spiritual side of life, with daily practices of: gratitude, meditation, reflection, visualisation, intention setting and inspirational reading.
I think that with their ability to ground you in the present, rather than being adrift in the remembered past or imagined future, it could be fitting to think of them as your Happiness Hacks. (Well, as is often quoted “Happiness is here and now”).
This whole idea of spirituality may be completely alien, or even irritating to you. Or it could be something you have always wanted to explore. If you have a spare 20 minutes, I found this brilliant TedTalk, where Tony Robbins takes a break-neck tour of the 6 basic needs that makes us who we are.
Nutrients to feed your brain
I’m pretty certain that these more spiritual Happiness Hacks – the regular reframing, resetting and cleansing of the mind – ties in to your physical and mental wellbeing. Of course, I also believe that appropriate changes to your diet and general nutrition can be used to support your mental health.
I’ve discussed some of the foods and nutrients in a previous blog (like the omega-3 DHA, turmeric and phosphatidylcholine ) so if your interest is piqued, I suggest you head to 6 Nutrients to Boost Your Brain.
With the many health, emotional, physical and environmental challenges we’ve all faced in 2020, this topic might be very much on your mind. For further resources, guidance or help after World Mental Health Day, you may like to refer to the Mental Health Foundation at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk.