Research shows that your mental state can influence your health incredibly. Negative feelings like stress can actually suppress your immune system. When you’re looking to improve your health, don’t ignore how your brain could be affecting the rest of your body.
Here are some ways to make that easier:
- Write it down. Research suggests that writing down our thoughts and emotions can reduce day-to-day stress. If they’re tough memories, writing them down can lessen their hold. If they’re positive, documenting them can make you feel more grateful. So break out that Moleskine!
- Hit the shower before bed. A warm shower before bedtime can lower body temperature, slowing down metabolic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. It can even help you sleep thanks to a drop in body temperature.
- Have some dark chocolate or chewing gum. Dark chocolate helps regulate the stress hormone cortisol and stabilize your metabolism. Shewing gum can also reduce cortisol levels. Just thinking about these makes me happier!
- Spend time outside (or at least look at pictures of nature). Besides the sunlight exposure (which has all sorts of benefits), stepping outside for 15 minutes a day has been linked to better mental health.
- Meditate.It’s super simple to start with popular apps like Headspace and Calm.com. And then, when it’s time, there are also tons of unexpected ways to go deeper.