There has been a notable surge in the number of women who wish to improve their physical well-being, and it seems that exercise is the top method for doing so. Reports even state that in 2020 alone, there was a 45% increase in women's fitness activities. However, while awareness of the role of physical well-being is increasing, many still seem to overlook that fitness is complex and influenced by many external factors outside of exercise.
One such element is mental health. People tend to credit mental satisfaction to fitness, but many forget that the opposite is also true. In fact, gymgoers cite happiness as a significant motivator for staying fit. Thus, maintaining a healthy mental state is essential to any fitness journey.
For young women who wish to improve their physical well-being, here are four mental health habits that can help.
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We are our worst critics, but many young women don’t notice how critical they are of themselves and often get disheartened rather than motivated. On the flip side, positive reinforcement is scientifically proven to increase the chances of achieving objectives. In terms of fitness, self-compassion strengthens your fortitude and serves as a good motivation for weight loss and overall wellness, which are two health issues many people struggle with. Being compassionate towards yourself will allow you to overcome hurdles and push you to keep moving forward. To develop self-compassion, imagine talking to yourself like you would speak to a friend. This will stop you from being too harsh, and you’re more likely to offer words of encouragement.
Start a journal
When facing difficult situations and stress, especially in relation to your body, it can all feel like it’s too much. As such, an outlet is essential. Writing in a journal has been proven to be a therapeutic tool that alleviates negative feelings and promotes focus. Additionally, a journal can be used for any goals you want to track. Goal-setting tends to be more powerful when written down, as you get to note your progress and plan your next move. By releasing negative sentiments into a journal and focusing on what you can do to improve, you’re in the best state to pursue your fitness targets. To be consistent, try setting a daily journaling routine for around five to ten minutes. Take this time to reflect on your past entries and write how to proceed further in becoming fit.
Try some breathing exercises
Wellness can stem from being mindful. Mindfulness practices like breathing exercises allow people to be present in the moment and relieve the tension they unknowingly keep in their lives. By promoting peace of mind, focusing on breathing has been observed as a mood booster. Furthermore, breathwork also has physical benefits for fitness, as it strengthens lung capacity and improves blood flow. This demonstrates that a simple mindfulness practice such as this can heal both internally and externally. An easy breathing exercise you can try anywhere is pursed lip breathing. Begin by sitting up straight and inhaling slowly while keeping your mouth closed for two seconds. Purse your lips as if about to whistle, and let the air out through your lips for four seconds. By making you focus on your breathing, it clears your mind and livens up your body.
Go to sleep early
Far too often sleep is rarely the priority for any busy young woman. Evidently, 6 out of 10 women consistently get less than the recommended amount of sleep. This should be avoided at all costs, as researchers have confirmed a link between sleep schedules and mood disorders. Sleep-deprived people are more likely to experience intense mood swings and negative ideation. Moreover, it impacts many facets of your health, such as metabolism and the immune system. As shown, lack of sleep tends to be more damaging than people realize. To combat this, set a sleep schedule that you can follow. By assigning a certain hour as your rest time, it’ll be easier to fall asleep and achieve the recommended eight hours of sleep, leading to a happier and healthier version of yourself.