There's no doubt that travel impacts our mental health. Travel can have many mental health benefits, but it can also be a source of stress. Recently, I traveled abroad and experienced the mental health advantages and challenges brought about by travel. In retrospect, there are a few things I wish I would have known before my trip. Next time I travel, I will keep in mind how travel impacts mental health so I can be better prepared.
Living a Blissful Life
I frequently find myself in situations where environmental stressors affect my mental health, so I try to plan ahead by bringing along a mental health travel kit. While these situations may not be related to actual travel, any unfamiliar environment can come with extra stressors.
We often practice receiving constructive criticism appropriately, but many people don’t learn how to give feedback to others. Feedback makes our romantic and working relationships stronger, so giving that constructive criticism can truly change our lives for the better.
Can we rewire our brains to think more positively and reduce self-criticism? There is fascinating research out there that says yes. You may have heard of neuroplasticity, which is the brain's amazing ability to create new neural connections that change the way it functions. For those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or low self-worth, we can harness the power of neuroplasticity to rewire our brain.
Are you new to meditation? If so, perhaps you’re looking for meditation tips because you can’t find a good jumping-off point. As meditation’s slowly lost the stigma as an "out-there" practice for hippies and religious devotees, meditation's benefits have been studied and touted as important for mental health self-care. Perhaps you’ve become aware of these benefits of meditation, but feel frustrated after trying it a few times. These three meditation tips will help get you off to a great start.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy technique initially developed to treat trauma. There's been a lot of research conducted on this treatment modality over the last several decades. In addition to effectively resolving traumatic experiences, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing has shown to be useful in helping people overcome addictions, change negative core beliefs, and reduce emotional distress. But what exactly is EMDR?
Most people have hobbies they conditionally participate in, but striving toward full participation in a new hobby can provide a different sense of fulfillment. For many of us, our hobbies have just ‘ended up’ in our lives. We experience them as routine, no longer providing joy. This is potentially because we no longer fully participate.
It is difficult to avoid burnout because it's difficult to know if our stress levels are typical or problematic. The emphasis on success and achievement in our culture encourages us to push to our breaking points in the name of productivity. If you value your mental health as much as I do, you might struggle with the conflict between meeting expectations at work and maintaining a healthy personal life. I've found there are ways I can avoid burnout with good self-care practices.
Income and health, especially mental health, often correlate; a side gig could potentially increase your levels of both health and income. According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, a high majority of respondents stated that money issues like debt made their mental illnesses worse. While chipping away at debt won’t necessarily change your life, the research supports the conclusion that a side gig may help with health and income at the same time.
Long before modern-day medicine existed, Eastern approaches to health and wellness recognized the power of the mind/body connection. Meditation, acupuncture, and self-compassion were a regular part of caring for the mind and body. Today, both medical and mental health professionals understand more about the scientific connection between our physical and mental wellbeing. Recently, I've been doing some research on the power of the mind/body connection and was surprised to learn how deeply rooted they are with one another.