The following article is on how to prioritize keeping your mental well-being in tip-top shape. Also, if you’re a parent, we invite you to attend the upcoming free webinar “Teaching Your Kids How to Care for Their Mental Health” this March 30, 2021 at 3PM (GMT+8) hosted by Search Inside Yourself certified teacher Komal Chopra Jodha, in partnership with the British International School of Kuala Lumpur. RSVP here.

Fact: by now, stress has become an unquestionable aspect of our everyday lives. So much so that somehow, we’ve internalized the idea that stress comes part and parcel with the hustle and is necessary in our quests to achieve success (and thus, happiness).

But is it, though? Harvard-awarded positive psychology teacher Shawn Achor believes otherwise. 

“Ninety percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes your world,” he says in a 2011 TED talk. “We’re finding that it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”

It seems then that the true key to success and fulfillment lies in your mental health. Your brain is the lens through which you see the world. If sufficiently cared for, you’ll be equipped with a positive outlook on life and a drive to thrive. 

Thankfully, caring for your mind is as simple as starting a few new daily habits. Here are five to get you started!

Make your bed first thing.
At the risk of sounding like your mother, folding your blankets and fluffing your pillows first thing in the morning can really put you in an empowered mindset for the rest of the day. Experts theorize that the simple act of fixing your bed covers gives you a sense of accomplishment, crosses one thing off your to-do list, and sets your day up for success.

For as little as five or ten minutes a day, adopting meditation as a daily habit can do wonders in clearing out your mind and improving your mindfulness and self-awareness. In fact, studies show that regular meditation can decrease anxiety and depression symptoms and reduce stress-induced inflammation. The best part? Nowadays, meditating can be as easy and convenient as opening an app.

Consider journaling.
Stress may be inextricable from your regular day-to-day, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep it simmering inside. There’s a need to find a healthy outlet for all your worries, and if you have a knack for words, keeping a journal might just do the trick. Regularly updating your morning pages can boost your self-awareness and also help you manage stress, anxiety, and depression.

Get enough shut-eye.
Sleep plays an important role in repairing not just your body, but your mind. Each stage of the sleep cycle has a part in boosting your mind’s ability to learn and retain information. Moreover, studies have shown that getting enough sleep enables your brain to process emotional information properly and effectively. Although it might take a lot of discipline at first, make it a point to get at least seven hours of quality shut-eye each night!

Reach out to your friends.
As cliche as the phrase goes, no man is an island. We are all social creatures, and our minds are wired to interact with each other. Studies show that regular socializing decreases feelings of loneliness and even sharpens your memory and cognitive skills. Even just a quick weekly FaceTime session with your best buds can greatly improve your mood and keep you from feeling alone.

Don’t forget, parents! If you want to teach your child the basics on mental health, attend our upcoming free webinar “Teaching Your Kids How to Care for Their Mental Health” this March 30, 2021 at 3PM (GMT+8) hosted by mental health coach Komal Chopra Jodha, in partnership with the British International School of Kuala Lumpur. RSVP here.

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