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10 Tips for a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body - Swanwick Sleep

10 Tips for a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body

by | Apr 3, 2019 | Wellness

No matter how old you are, it’s always a good idea to evaluate your health and find effective hacks to keep it in top shape. We all know healthy minded people tend to have a rich, more satisfying life.

How often have you asked yourself this question: “What am I doing with my life?”

If you’re not sure what to answer, chances are this article can give you a few good hacks to get you back on track and start working towards achieving a healthy lifestyle.

A whole lot changed ever since I began to pay attention to my mental and physical health. It not only saved my life but it also shifted my entire mindset. So I thought I’d share a few must-have habits and tips for a healthy mind, to help you revamp your mind and keep your body sharp.

Does that sound like something you want to achieve? Great! Let’s get into it then.

Here are 10 key points on how to have a healthy mindset:

  1. Mindfulness with a purpose
  2. Meditate your way to a healthy mind
  3. Develop a healthy bedtime routine
  4. Keep a journal
  5. Maintain a healthy diet
  6. Drink lots of water
  7. Create a regular physical exercise routine
  8. Reserve a mental exercise routine
  9. Challenge your brain
  10. Adopt a minimalist lifestyle

Now let’s look at each key point in-depth.

Tip #1: Mindfulness with a purpose

Have you heard the word “mindfulness”? It’s almost a lifestyle trend now. Well, there’s a reason it has become such a buzzword these days. Let’s have look at what it means first and then, how being mindful can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.

To be mindful is to counterbalance the automatic pilot mode that inhabits our minds most of the time. Have you ever stopped your car and wondered how you made it in one piece because you can’t remember anything about the trip? Yep, we all experience this from time to time. Our minds take flight, we lose touch, and soon, we’re absorbed by obsessive thoughts and worries. And that makes us anxious.

If you’re like me, prone to suffer from anxiety, it’s important to cultivate a healthy mind by purposefully keeping your attention in the present moment.

Meaning of mindfulness - Swanwick Sleep

If you truly want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. We all experience it differently.

A mindful life can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle by:

KEY POINT:

Learn how to pay attention and focus on the here and now. Be more aware of your physical and emotional conditions.

Tip #2: Meditate your way to a healthy mind

Now this one might scare you because you might be thinking: “Who has time to spend 30 minutes or an hour every day doing nothing?” I get it, most days I don’t have that time either. Or you may be running from the idea of the well-known cross-legged position because you simply can’t maneuver your legs that way.

But did you know this is actually a widespread misconception? The truth is, you don’t have to sit cross-legged if you don’t want to. Heck, you don’t even have to sit at all. There are a few misconceptions about meditation that might be holding you back, but hear me out: everyone can do it on their own terms.

There are a few great ways to incorporate meditation practices into your busy schedule and still reap all the benefits.

5-minute meditation practices - Swanwick Sleep

KEY POINT:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by including at least a 5-10 minute meditation practice every day. It will help you find peace, balance, serenity, and clarity.

Tip #3: Develop a healthy bedtime routine

Adopting a good bed-time routine that maximizes your quality of sleep is one of the most effective healthy lifestyle tips.

Have you noticed that you function better when you form habits and routines around your life? The same is true when we create a healthy bedtime routine to optimize our shut-eye. When you sleep better your whole life becomes better.

List of necessities for a healthy bedtime routine - Swanwick Sleep

You might also be interested in: 10 Tips To Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

WARNING: Try to stay away from electronic devices before bed. Yep, I know it’s easier said than done, especially when you can’t resist scrolling through your Instagram’s endless timeline. But trust me, your eyes will thank you for it later!

Here’s why blue light is a “sleep enemy”:

The blue light emitted from your digital screens and bedroom lights manipulate your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, suppressing melatonin production. A hormone that is responsible to help you fall asleep.

A study revealed that blue light profoundly suppresses melatonin levels and shortens the body’s internal representation of night duration. This can potentially impact your sleep, thermoregulation, blood pressure, and glucose homeostasis.

Yep, blue light has a dark side.

If you have no other choice, then you’d better get yourself a pair of Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses. These glasses can improve your sleep and promote your health by filtering out the harmful artificial blue light. How cool is that? I think it’s brilliant!

Swannies also prevent:

Here are a few other tips for a healthy mind and better sleep:

  • Experiment with Aromatherapy. Essential oils have been known to contain a multitude of medicinal properties that aid almost any physical ailment. The vaporizing action of an Aromatherapy Diffuser will interact with your brain and ultimately improve your mood, sleep, and your overall health.

You might also be interested in: Your Essential Oil Diffuser Can Help You Get A Good Night’s Sleep

  • Sleep in total darkness. In order to fall asleep, we need melatonin, therefore we need darkness, otherwise, our bodies won’t produce enough of this much-needed hormone.

KEY POINT:

Be mindful that your brain needs time to slow down. And we need quality sleep to maintain a healthy mind.

Tip #4: Keep a journal

I know what you might be thinking. “Writing a few words every day may be healthy for me, but so is eating lentils. So why even bother?”

Keep a journal - Swanwick Sleep

What’s more, to write in your journal allows you to track changes, patterns, and growth over time. When your current circumstances seem hopeless, you will have the luxury to look back on previous predicaments that have been resolved.

How to get started?

  • Find a journaling type that works best for your personality and lifestyle
  • Make a commitment to write every day
  • Write for yourself, not for others
  • Don’t worry about the length of your daily written piece
  • Be sure to keep your journal private
  • Write from the heart

KEY POINT:

Keeping a journal helps you be more intentional in your life pursuits. It provides a safe outlet for your emotions and helps you delve deep into your affections to find inspiration beyond the obvious.

Tip #5: Maintain a healthy diet

This one might be pretty obvious for some of you, but most people don’t realize how much your diet affects your brain’s performance. What you put into your body will ultimately reflect both inward and outward.

It’s important to be mindful of your choices of food. Let’s look at a few nutritional tips for a healthy mind and a healthy body:

  • Breakfast first

Breakfast is considered the most important meal for the day and the best meal for a healthy mind, as long as you add in healthy, nutritional ingredients.

  • Fruits and vegetables

Including a generous amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily meal plan will only be beneficial for you. Here’s why:

Most fruits and veggies contain these sources of essential nutrients for your body to perform at an optimal level:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Dietary fiber
  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Fish

Fish has a reputation for being the ultimate brain food. Include fish in your diet a few times a week for a healthy mind. Try to avoid fish that contains mercury such as the swordfish. Opt-in for salmon instead.

List of nutrients in fish - Swanwick Sleep

And here are a few good reasons to include fish in your diet:

  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Improves skin and hair
  • Eases depression
  • Boost brain development
  • A healthy dose of vitamin D
  • Whole grains

Foods such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers form an essential part of a healthy diet.

Here’s why:

  • It contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits
  • It abounds with heart-healthy fiber that controls appetite
  • It helps with the regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol levels

IN FACT: A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet rich in whole grains significantly decreased the risk of heart disease.

  • Superfoods

Superfoods are mostly plant-based foods considered to be nutritionally dense; exactly what we need for a healthy mind.

These are some nutrients that certain superfoods contain:

  • Antioxidants to ward off cancer
  • Healthy fats thought to prevent heart disease
  • Fiber thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems
  • Phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants that can have numerous health benefits

When I found out about all the benefits superfoods bring to the table, I just had to investigate further. This was certainly one of those “Aha” moments for me. It prompted me to have a good look at my diet plan. And trust me, there’s a reason why these foods have garnered the “Superfood” label.

Here’s a list of Superfoods to include in your diet:

  • Blueberries
  • Kiwifruits
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Sweet potato
  • Leafy greens
  • Olive oil
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Beans and seeds
  • Lots of avos

This popular fruit has a very unique nutritional profile. Avocado contains lots of fiber, and are rich in vitamins and minerals that are all essential for a healthy mind. These include B-vitamins, potassium, copper, vitamin K, E, and C.

My diet simply feels incomplete without avos.

Remember: There are a few things you should consider staying clear of if you want to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. When I made the courageous decision to cut out non-nutritional foods and drinks, that contributed to major health issues, I noticed a major improvement in my general well-being. And so will you!

List of foods to stay clear of - Swanwick Sleep

KEY POINT:

Educate yourself on the importance of a healthy mind and how nutrient-rich foods can help you on this journey. Be open to experiment and have patience during the process of finding what works for you.

Tip #6: Drink lots of water

We both know water consumption is crucial to stay hydrated. Even if you’re only sitting at your desk, your body still perspires. If you don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, your physical performance can be compromised. This is particularly important during a hot day or when you perform physical exercise.

If you struggle to remember to drink water regularly, set a few alarms throughout the day, or put up a note in bold letters to help you remember. Depriving your body of water can cause numerous health issues. One of which is dehydration. Yes, this is a major one. So listen up!

Dehydration can lead to:

  • Reduced motivation
  • Increased fatigue
  • Altered body temperature control
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Altered mood and concentration

Now take a minute, and think about this. To prevent the above all you have to do is drink water. Yep! That’s it. How difficult can it be? So go ahead, set your alarm, create a routine, follow through, and keep your body hydrated. Your brain will be very pleased!

And here are a few overlooked health benefits of drinking water to motivate you:

  • Increases brain power
  • Boosts energy
  • Promotes healthy weight management
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Prevents headaches
  • Improves your complexion
  • Prevents cramps and sprains
  • Improves your heart health
  • Helps to regulate your body temperature
  • Prevents bad breath
  • Promotes a better mood

KEY POINT:

A study suggests that even mild dehydration can hinder your mood and energy levels. This can lead to a major reduction in memory and brain performance.

Tip #7: Create a regular physical exercise routine

Do you constantly feel sluggish, tired and generally unmotivated? There are a bunch of reasons why you might feel this way, one of which is your brain may be deprived of oxygen. Yep, it’s that simple!

Exercise increases blood-flow and enriches your brain with oxygen. This is vital for a healthy mind and a healthy lifestyle. I know it can be hard to maintain a regular physical exercise routine, but I have found that when I do something that resonates with my soul, I tend to feel a lot more motivated.

Tip: Find a physical activity that you love, and that will keep you from being a couch potato. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gardening

Simply spending 5-10 minutes in your garden, pulling out weeds, or picking up dead leaves are considered physical exercise. Especially for those that are unable to hit the gym, or perform intense physical activities. Not only will you get moving, but you will also get that much-needed sunlight. And what’s more, your plants will be doing their happy dance! Win, win.

Aside from the physical exercise you gain from gardening, you can also enjoy other health benefits from plants; specifically indoor plants. Not only are plants the wizards of relaxation, but it has also been proven that they can enhance your mood, ease stress, and remove toxins from the air in your room. This means you’ll have more oxygen and less harmful chemicals to breathe in at night. I think plants can be pretty awesome roommates!

Remember: It’s essential to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or more when you go outside for longer than 15 minutes during the hottest time.

“Walking is the best medicine.” ~ Hippocrates

I try to visit nearby nature hiking trails at least 2-3 times a week. This way I can take a solid break from my desk life, and step into a few minutes of harmony. In fact, a study suggests that mental health issues can be reduced by spending some time in nature, especially when it’s combined with exercise.

If you have limited time or don’t have nearby hiking trails, go for a quick walk in the neighborhood, or in your garden.

Walking is a great activity to ensure you’ll have a healthy mind and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle in general. Just a few minutes a day can be beneficial for you and the best thing is, it’s absolutely free! It doesn’t require any special equipment or training.

Animation of Top Athlete Natasha Hastings wearing Swannies glassesThese benefits include:

  • An increase in cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Reduction in excess body fat
  • A boost in muscle power and endurance

Walking can also reduce your risk of developing these conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Some types of cancer
  • Heart disease

So get up and move! It’s that simple. No fancy equipment, no membership fees, just you and the earth to help you gain all these amazing benefits.

Take up a sports activity

The mental and physical stimulation of a sports activity will not only help keep your brain healthy but also foster various other health benefits that are beneficial for you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some of the health benefits of adopting a sports activity:

  • Helps your body reduce fat or controls your body weight
  • Gain satisfaction in developing your fitness and skills
  • Can help fight anxiety and depression
  • Allows you to challenge yourself and set goals
  • Helps to strengthen your bones
  • Help aid coordination, flexibility, and balance
  • Can help improve stamina and concentration
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Relieves stress
  • Lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
  • Lowers risk of certain types of cancer
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Improves your sleep

Whatever gets you moving, will count! Here’s a cool infographic to prove it.

Practice yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the mind and the body. Studies show that yoga not only has therapeutic effects but also the ability to increase your quality of life. This is what we ultimately want to achieve, right? Quality of life.

I want to share a few unexpected benefits of yoga that will help you maintain a healthy mind. Check this out!

How yoga can improve your strength and well-being - Swanwick Sleep

I particularly found this study interesting because we all know that everyone has experienced some trauma in their lifetime. It suggests that yoga may reduce symptoms of PTSD in people by helping them increase emotional awareness and tolerance.

It doesn’t matter how severe your symptoms are, you can bring relief to your mind just by setting aside 5-10 minutes each day.

So dust of your yoga mat, breathe, and let go!

KEY POINT: Physical exercise helps to:

  • Reduce your stress
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve your mood and focus
  • Boost creativity
  • Promote normal growth and development
  • Manage your weight
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of various chronic diseases
  • Improve your sleep

Tip #8: Reserve a mental exercise routine

It is equally important to retain a mental exercise routine to keep your mind fit and healthy. You deserve to live the best possible life you can. And yes, anyone can do this. We just need to prioritize and realize that our health is an investment and not an expense.

These are some mental exercises I’ve included in my life that has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle:

Use your brain

There are so many tools out there that can help us get things done faster, but it may also make us lazy. Not that I don’t advocate for helpful tools and devices; on the contrary, technological advancement intrigues me. But having to rely on these tools alone, cannot be good for our brains.

You can exercise your brain by finding solutions or answers to problems on your own. For example, try to avoid a calculator; practicing arithmetic is a great way to exercise your mind.

Play challenging puzzle games

The problem-solving skills of working out puzzles help keep your mind in tiptop shape. Plus, it can be so much fun. There are loads of puzzle games to play either in person or online.

Here’s a short list to get you started:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Scrabble
  • Crosswords
  • Sudoku
  • FreeCell

You can even broaden your horizon and play board games with a group of friends or family members. Not only will you exercise your brain, but also have fun while bonding with the special people in your life. There’s so much to offer here.

Read thought-provoking material

It’s great to have some light reading set aside but be sure to dive into some in-depth reading material. Reading will keep your mind open and informed. Grab anything that you enjoy learning about or something that you’ve always wanted to know more about. It’s always good to be curious.

Participate in reading clubs to get into the groove, or develop a bedtime reading routine. Anything that’ll keep your mind pumping!

Start a new hobby

This is probably one of the easiest healthy lifestyle tips out there. We can all agree that most people already have some sort of hobby keeping them busy or perhaps a dormant one. Whatever it may be, it will get your creative juices flowing.

There’s endless information out there that can help you become a master at anything you want. Who knows, this thing you love doing the most might just transform into a full-time career. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Yep, I thought so!

Tip: Give your hobby some much-needed attention and maintain a healthy mind at the same time!

KEY POINT:

Caring for your mind is as important as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.

Tip #9: Challenge your brain

It’s important to get out of your comfort zone, expose your brain to fresh experiences, and learn new things. In doing so, you’ll give your mind a chance to expand to a whole new dimension.

Healthy lifestyle tips to keep your brain active - Swanwick Sleep

I have found that when I continuously challenge myself to do better, learn, grow, and live actively, I feel healthier and happier.

Be Warned: It takes a lot of courage, patience and time to reach the quality of life you desire. But you can do it!

As a motivator, let’s explore the benefits of challenging yourself:

  • It will give your mind the opportunity to expand
  • It will help you establish your priorities
  • It will motivate you
  • It will help you identify both your personal and professional goals
  • It will trigger your creativity
  • It will expand your social growth
  • You will lose the fear of the unknown
  • You will get rid of boredom and unhappiness
  • It will help you achieve your dream goals, one small challenge at a time

KEY POINT:

Take one small step at a time. Don’t rush anything. Be mindful in everything that you do. As the famous productivity coach Kevin Kruse says, “Aim for 1% changes you can make to improve daily.”

Tip #10: Adopt a minimalist lifestyle

Embracing the liberty that comes with wanting and needing less, forms a huge part of the importance of a healthy mindset. There are a few wonderful things that simplicity has given me, such as balance, freedom, and joy. Yes, you can also have this.

Today I want to share why it’s important to have a minimalist life. It may help you achieve a more balanced and healthy lifestyle:

  • Remove non-essential possessions from your life.
  • Release yourself from commitments that don’t align with your greatest values.
  • Reduce the number of life goals for the moment. Add 1 or 2 as you achieve your goals.
  • Take responsibility for your mind. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow! Reduce your debt starting now.
  • Be mindful of your words. Be honest and meaningful. Avoid gossip!
  • Minimize your consumption of artificial ingredients.
  • Limit your screen time. Yep! We’ve dealt with this one before.
  • Stop multitasking. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And move on when it’s done.
  • Be mindful of your connection with others.

KEY POINT:

When you actively start to declutter your life, perhaps you long for some space, relief from the chaos, some kind of peace… whatever it may be, you are heading in the right direction. You long to lead a more intentional, beautiful life.

 


 

Something magical starts to happen when we actively dive into improving every aspect of our lives. From practicing mindfulness and meditation to developing a healthy diet and bed routine, managing a regular mental and physical exercise, challenging your brain, and finally adopting a minimalist lifestyle. With all of these things in place, you will harvest nothing other than a healthy mind, and as a natural consequence, a healthy body.

Give these healthy lifestyle tips a try! And let me know how it changed your life. Feel free to share your own tried-and-true tips for a healthy mind, we can all use some new health tips and personal development hacks.

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About the Author

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Celeste Polley | WORDSMITH | MOMENT CAPTURER

Celeste is Swanwick’s priceless content writer from South Africa. She’s a musician, nature enthusiast, and even an achieved photographer with her own side hustle that keeps picking up steam! (Check her out here www.celestepolley.com.) She makes it her responsibility to encourage others to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and she focuses on the importance of good sleep habits. As a busy entrepreneur, she knows how beneficial it is to spend quality time with your pillow.

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