Here at Living Valley, we are all about your overall health, including your mental health and wellbeing. We so often compartmentalise our health but really, we are the one being and we need to look after our minds as much as we need to take care of our bodies. Our Clinical Psychologist, Ric Collen and a team of experienced naturopathic doctors and multi-skilled therapists are well-versed in helping people out with a wide range of conditions. They are here to lend a hand when it comes to your mental wellbeing, especially when dealing with such things as:

  • addiction
  • depression
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders

When you shut the door on the hectic outside world and join us on a rejuvenating retreat at Living Valley for whatever reason – be it to get away from it all, to seek a natural remedy for an ailment, or to simply reboot and kickstart your life back into gear, our team is here to support you every step of the way.
Here are three easy ways to help you maintain mental and emotional well-being:

 

1. Let’s get physical!

Regular exercise is an excellent way of keeping the mind sharp and alert, as well as lightening your mood. Exercise doesn’t need to be intense, in fact, research has continually demonstrated that consistent achievable amounts of exercise are more valuable to your body and mind than intense exercise that lasts a few weeks before fading off. So, you don’t need to push yourself to your limits, find something you enjoy and it’s more likely to remain a consistent part of your life. Kicking the ball with the kids in the backyard, a gentle cycle through your neighbourhood or even just a stroll to the shops can be enough to get things looking up – the key is consistency.

But how does exercise actually help our mind? It’s a combination of factors really. According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, exercising causes the brain to release feel-good chemicals that deliver a happy high – these are known as endorphins. What’s more, the feeling of achievement when you get when you track your improvements over time, along with increased self-confidence that comes with taking pride in your appearance and the knowledge that you’re exercising self-care – combine together as reasons why exercise is an indispensable tool to promote mental wellbeing. And it’s Free! 

 

2. Connect four … or five, or six!

By connecting with people around you, you are fulfilling a basic human need for social interaction. You can connect with anyone – family, friends, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. These relationships can form the bedrock of your continuing good mental health, as you’ll create new pillars to lean on and people to speak to in times of strife. Many of us have underlying beliefs, resentment about the past or fears that can get in the way of us really connecting with others, and rob us of the fulfilment this can bring. By venturing beyond these roadblocks and taking a just a small step towards connecting with someone, even if it’s simply a telephone call to talk to an old friend, you begin to work towards a greater sense of purpose and self-worth.

 

3. It’s better to give than receive

Did you know that every single healthy cell in your body exists to give to other cells in your body? This is directly relatable to ourselves. Contributing to the people around you is just as vital to our wellbeing as air and water. Giving in any form to others helps us to see past the bog of our own negative thoughts and feelings to find value in what we can do for others. The only cell in the body that is exempt to this rule of giving is a cancer cell that does not give anything to the environment around it, but only takes what it needs to grow and take over the body. The same can be said for us when we seek only to take from others around, we become toxic to ourselves.

Giving to others can provide a spark change inside your mind and the way you see yourself, and ultimately can make you feel more satisfied in life. These acts of random kindness don’t have to be huge shows of generosity – they can be anything from a beaming smile at a stranger, helping an elderly person carry their shopping, or having a friend over for dinner.

As we begin to look outward at what we can give, we are less stuck in the ‘what’s not going right in our life’ story that our minds may tell. Additionally, aiding other people can also help build relationships with them, which goes hand-in-hand with the benefits of connecting.

 

In short, real happiness goes beyond just a pleasant feeling. It’s more than the accumulation of the things you have, how large your house is, having relaxing holidays, how fast your car can go, or how much you earn. These things are told to bring us happiness and sure they can bring transient feelings of enjoyment, but I’m yet to meet the client who tells me that having any of these things brings true fulfilment. Your commitment to look after your body, connecting with others and your willingness to contribute to the needs of others has far more of a positive impact on your mental well-being than any of these! Remember, start small, entire mountains can be built by moving one stone at a time.

 

What next?

Why not get in touch with Living Valley and see what we can do to help you? Take a look at our Mental Health Program that we offer, each of which is designed to get to the core, to deal with the blockages and to set you free to focus on the things that really matter.

Ric Elysee-Collen

Author Ric Elysee-Collen

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