Wellness: Rest, Positive Thinking and Purpose
Updated: May 13, 2020
During this Pandemic, some continue to fill their days with forms of busyness without planning rest time. It’s okay to be proactive, but we shouldn’t overlook the inherent benefits of isolation. Rest resets the body. Getting the correct amount of quality sleep is essential to your ability to learn and process memories. Additionally, sleep helps restore your body’s energy, repair muscle tissue and triggers the release of hormones that affect growth and appetite
Deep relaxation, like meditation and deep breathing, when practiced regularly, not only relieves stress and anxiety but also is shown to improve mood. Deep relaxation has many other potential benefits as well—it can decrease blood pressure, relieve pain, and strengthen your immune and cardiovascular systems.
During your time of rest, the fog dissipates, and clarity informs. It is during this time solutions become apparent, and creativity is restored. You can uncover problems you’ve been avoiding. However, if we substitute one form or busyness for another, then this time of isolation would have been wasted.
Practice Positive Thinking:
Positive thinking is about changing automatic negative thoughts to improve your mental health. Thoughts are potent drivers of health!
The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits include: • Increased life span • Lower rates of depression • Lower levels of distress • Higher resistance to the common cold • Better psychological and physical well-being • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Identifying Negative Thinking Some common forms of negative self-talk include: • Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. • Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself • Catastrophising. You automatically anticipate the worst. • Polarising. You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground.
Focusing On Positive Thoughts
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave more positively and optimistically:
1. Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you usually think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute, or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach more positively.
2. Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop, and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
3. Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
Purpose is Highly Correlated to Mental Well-being It’s time to go back to basics. Find meaning in who you are and your relationships. What is my mission as a father, mother, wife, husband, friend, worker, minister, etc.? We got too busy making a living, and forgot the whys of life. Find purpose will help reaffirm your mission.
Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often find that they have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle. For example, after a tragedy or hardship, people have reported better relationships and a greater sense of strength.
Help others. Whether you volunteer to help in an organization or support a friend in his or her own time of need, you can garner a sense of purpose, foster self-worth, connect with other people and tangibly help others, all of which can empower you to grow in resilience.
Be proactive. It’s helpful to acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, but it’s also essential to help you foster self-discovery by asking yourself, “What can I do about this moment of my life?” If the problems seem too big to tackle, break them down into manageable pieces.
Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals and do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward the things you want to accomplish.