Mental fitness. It’s more important than you might think. Just ask Kela Price, Executive Director of Let’s Get Mentally Fit, Inc. Kela struggled with postpartum depression after she had her son, and because of what she went through, she knows just how important taking charge of your health can be.
Today on Indy Style, Kela and Tanisha Neely, Yoga Instructor at Santosha School, talk to Amber about HOW we can “get better” and feel like ourselves again, along with showing us a quick, but powerful meditation technique called alternate nostril breathing. It harmonizes the left and right hemispheres of the brain; calming and centering the mind by bringing our awareness to the present moment. It quickly reduces stress in the body and leaves you with a sense of peace and clarity. Essential for those living with anxiety or someone experiencing insomnia.
Kela’s 10 mental fitness makeover tips:
Get moving: exercise releases endorphins which, over time, help you feel better.
Endorphins begin improving mood at about 5 minutes into exercise, so the positive reinforcement is immediate!
Get quiet: sometimes you need to take a little bit of time to quiet the chaos in your mind by meditating or practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety, even in those who have never meditated before.
Be aware: Always be aware of maximal and basal. What do you need to get back to your best self when you get off your mental fitness track?
The brain lets you know when you have exceeded maximal functioning by causing thinking, feeling, behavioral and physical symptoms.
Build a great mental fitness tribe: Support while on your mental fitness journey is crucial. Be sure to actively build a great support system by being transparent with people you trust and laughing and enjoying them as much as possible.
There is research to suggest laughter improves cardiovascular functioning, burns calories and improves quality of life.
Help others: When I’m struggling, it always helps to reach out and help. It takes the sole focus off of me and helps build that tribal community I was talking about.
Social disconnectedness and perceived isolation are associated with poorer physical and mental health.
Avoid comparing yourself to others: One of the worst things you can do while on your mental fitness journey is compare yourself to others.
Self-critical thoughts lead to negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and hopelessness.
Eat right: There is a connection between food and mood.
A well-balanced diet provides your brain the building blocks it needs to manufacture Serotonin, the molecule responsible for helping us feel at ease and fulfilled.
Get an adequate amount of sleep: I can’t operate off of little sleep. I’m more agitated and anxious and don’t have the energy to do the other tips I mentioned.
Lack of sleep reduces the ability of the thinking part of the brain to combat negative feelings that arise in the emotional part of the brain.
Find an outlet: It’s important to find an outlet, any outlet. It can be writing, photography, painting, and there’s even adult coloring that make you feel better.
In longitudinal studies of older people regular engagement with meaningful activities has been linked to greater life satisfaction and a healthier and longer life.
Get help: This is probably the most important tip. If you need help, please, please reach out and get it. There are numerous people and organizations who can provide you with help or help you get to the right person or organization.
Although about 1 in 4 Americans could benefit from mental health treatment each year, more than half of those do not receive treatment.
Don’t forget about the annual fundraising event called Style Therapy, on Sept. 15.
Date: Thursday, September 15th
Time: Doors open at 7pm
Location: The Sanctuary on Penn 701 N. Pennsylvania
Cost: $15 in advance and $25 at the door