Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet alongside regular exercise is, of course, a good way to promote optimal health. When you do so you are filling your body with goodness, as well as working to burn fat and build strength and stamina. However, if you are neglecting other areas of your life then you may be damaging both your physical and mental health.


So what else should you be doing in order to be the healthiest version of yourself? The following activities can be practiced every day in order to promote relaxation, eradicate stress and bring a sense of balance into your life. All of these things contribute towards your optimal health and will perfectly accompany a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime. Although none of these things require any physical exertion, the results for your over-all health are not to be ignored!


Paying attention to your breathing and practicing mindful breathing is a great way to focus your mind and create a place of calm during a hectic day. We are all breathing all of the time, but how many of us actually pay attention to this act? Taking a moment to yourself at regular intervals throughout the day to breathe deeply can quickly force stressful thoughts out of your mind. Not only will this refresh your focus but it can also help you to avoid damaging cyclic thought processes. When you are having a busy day full of challenges, your mind can often go into over-drive which leads to stress, anxiety and a low-mood. Regular breathing exercises help to break this cycle and keep your positivity on track.


Regularly meditating is a great way to make sense of your thoughts and balance your mind. Even just taking a few minutes a day to clear your mind in this way can do wonders for your attitude and outlook on life. Meditation is an effective tool for finding clarity in situations that you might find conflicting as well as helping you to overcome ongoing negative thoughts about an incident or relationship. As well as reducing stress and encouraging better sleep, mediation can actually help to lower your blood pressure which is something that many of us could benefit from! Meditation can also mean the body learns to produce lower levels of certain stress hormones that can be responsible for heightened levels of anxiety.


Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to eradicate negativity from your mind and from your life. There is no quicker fix to overcoming a negative thought or feeling than by replacing it with a positive one. For instance, when you suddenly find yourself feeling low or having a damaging thought about yourself or your life, thinking or saying a chosen positive affirmation will quickly divert this train of thought. Having a list of positive affirmations to choose from, that are applicable to a range of things that you often struggle with, is useful for making the most of this concept. For example, if you are aware that you have many confidence issues, then write a list of positive affirmations that relate to this. Then you will never fail to summon one to mind when you need it.


Expecting perfect health from exercise and your diet alone will likely lead to unsatisfying results which can leave you feeling frustrated. Your mental health needs to align with your physical health if you are to avoid a range of ill-health issues. You can accomplish this by combining regular exercise and a healthy diet with the three activities I have mentioned. When you do so, you will soon notice that your happiness, health and well-being all increase. This is not only great for you but can also inspire those around you to live happier, more well-balanced lives too.

words by Julie Montagu. Discover her latest book, Eat Real Food here!

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