The 7 pillars of mental health and physical wellness provide tips for being fully present
Greece-based One Breath Mindfulness Center's mission is to help people reach their fullest potential through mind, body, and soul connection with the pillars of mental health and physical wellness.
Finding happiness depends on daily habits and the commitment you make to yourself to be awake, fully present, and vibrantly participating in the dance of life. To perform to your maximum potential, you need to take care of yourself by knowing what nourishes your body, mind, and soul and offering it with care, vigor, and a light touch. One Breath Mindfulness Center in Greece is dedicated to helping people cultivate awareness, resilience, and compassion while connecting communities through the seven pillars of mental health and physical wellness.
While your daily habits may vary depending on your needs and life circumstances, certain practices are good for everyone. Follow the seven most important pillars of mental health and physical wellness to spark your creativity, unite your body and mind, and enjoy life.
1. Moving and exercising
Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive effect on anxiety and stress. Moving your body increases the brain's sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine—the hormones that relieve feelings of depression. An exercise regimen also improves memory and the quality and duration of sleep while enhancing your overall mood.
Research shows that even short periods of exercise can make a positive impact on human psychology. Regardless of your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to address mental health issues, boost your energy and outlook, and make the most of what life has to offer.
Experts suggest moving your body for at least 20 minutes every day, and that includes getting creative and incorporating informal movement into daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to work versus driving. With the help of wearable devices and smartphone apps, tracking your number of steps in a day has never been easier. Plus, it provides powerful motivation and incentive to move more.
2. Getting sufficient sleep
Up to one-third of the global population experiences insomnia (lack of sleep or poor quality sleep) or other sleep disorders. These can affect your mood, energy and concentration levels, relationships, and ability to stay awake and function effectively at work or in your daytime commitments.
On top of that, poor sleep affects a specific area of the brain associated with regulating negative emotional responses, particularly for people with anxiety and depression, limiting their ability to see things positively.
But adequate sleep isn't just about the total hours slept. It's important to get good quality sleep on a regular schedule to feel well rested. Most adults need seven to eight hours of good quality sleep to be productive during the day. Remember that sleep and health are closely linked—poor sleep can lead to health problems, and health problems can cause sleep disturbances.
3. Practicing mindfulness
Mindfulness is a scientifically based practice that, according to research, improves mental and physical well-being. Acting mindfully makes it easier to enjoy the pleasures in life as they happen, helps you fully engage in activities, and creates a greater capacity to cope with adverse events.
By focusing on the present moment, many people who practice mindfulness find they're less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past. They're also less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem and are more capable of creating deep relationships with others.
Mindfulness has been shown to support both physical and mental well-being. It helps lower blood pressure and inflammation, reduce pain, manage stress and anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, and boost the immune system. It also helps increase self-worth, focus, and effectiveness, and helps cultivate gratitude. By raising your awareness, you become more conscious about the choices you make in every area of life, whether it's the food you eat, the people you connect with, or the way you relate to your mind about life's struggles and joys.
4. Connecting with loved ones
Surveys show that building stronger, broader social connections in your life helps you feel happier and more fulfilled. Strong relationships with family and friends allow you to share your feelings and know that there are people who understand and support you.
5. Eating a balanced diet
A balanced diet provides the nutrients your body needs to function effectively. Without a balanced diet, you become more prone to illness, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. Furthermore, a healthy, well-balanced diet can help you think clearer throughout the day and be more efficient in carrying out responsibilities by improving concentration and attention.
Conversely, an inadequate diet can lead to weakness and impaired decision-making and reaction time. So, make sure to eat enough vegetables, protein, and healthy fats while avoiding sugar and processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to ensure the food you eat is found in nature in the same form, without further processing.
6. Being one with nature
When out in nature, you may feel positive emotions such as joy, elation, and calm. Connecting with nature is one of the main pillars of mental health because it can relieve depression and anxiety symptoms while boosting concentration and creativity.
Whether you take a leisurely walk in a city or park or spend a relaxing day at the beach, nature boasts many health and wellness benefits, so it's wise to make it part of your well-being routine.
7. Focusing on personal development
The more you continue to evolve, learn, and invest in self-development, the more active your brain remains and the more fulfilled you feel in life. Personal development can mean something different for everyone. Perhaps it's reading or acquiring a new skill such as learning a foreign language. Or it may be attending seminars, taking up new hobbies, or anything else that pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to experience anxiety, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you outside can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Plus, group activities like team sports improve your communication skills and relationships with those around you. So, think about how you'd like to evolve and grow as a person and what gives you joy, and choose activities that support your future vision for yourself.