5 Smart Tips For Every Fitness Freak To Get A Toned Body

A toned body is a dream of every fitness enthusiast. It requires extra effort to achieve a perfect body. You need to follow a strict diet and a proper exercise regimen to lose the desired weight. To enhance the weight loss process you can follow a few steps apart from following a diet and exercise. Some smart tips can help you tone your body in a perfect way. If you are also trying to lose weight and striving to achieve a toned body, then read on to know some tips for better results.

Tips to achieve a toned body

1. Choose the right exercise

Spending hours at the gym and practicing the right exercise cannot result in a toned body. You need to choose the right workout according to your body type. You can choose a high-intensity workout for a toned body. It will help you lose complete bodyweight. If you want to build muscles then strength training along with the right diet is better for you. If you want to lose fat from any specific area then you must choose the right exercises which can put stress on that body part. So, keep your plan fitness goal clear and plan your workout regimen accordingly.

2. Know the triggers well

Apart from diet and exercise, there are other factors as well which you need to keep in mind. You should know all the factors which can contribute to the deposition of fat very well like inadequate sleep. Inadequate sleep can also lead to increased body weight as it triggers the hunger hormone which makes you eat more. Similarly, stress is another factor that can increase hunger and contribute to more calorie consumption in a day.

3. Keep your metabolism high

Better metabolism means better weight loss. It will help you burn more calories. You should keep your metabolism strong to speed up the weight loss process. Focus on factors that can help you boost your metabolism. Some ways to improve metabolism may include high-intensity workout, protein intake, weight lifting, enough water intake, and many more.

4. Choose the right diet

Just like the workout you should choose the right diet according to your body type. Some diet may work very well for someone whereas it may not give the same result for you. So you need to check the diet which works best for you and how it can help you lose weight.

5. Count the calories

To tone your body you need to consume burn more calories than you consume. When you eat fewer calories and burn more, it results in weight loss. Count the number of calories you are consuming wisely. Reduce or increase the number of calories according to your need and how much you want to lose.

Don’t Have the Time to Work Out? Try Mindful Thinking!

We are the only living creatures who have managed not to die out while being sedentary. After all, all animals need to move to be able to survive. Humans developed knowledge on how to thrive without having to physically move-but that has brought us a whole new set of problems.

While we no longer necessarily need to do physical actions to survive, our survival has been directly linked to being sedentary in order to do our jobs and earn money. And so we survive by paying for food, education, and shelter.

As a result, fitness is no longer the focus for most of us

Daily regular movement and exercise have gone from being part and parcel of our lives to being a commodity that we need to take time out for-then be it going to the gym or a park or exercising at home.

Another consequence of modernity is that we are spending much more time at our place of work than people did ever before. This gives us much less time to do everything else we enjoy, like being with family and friends and socializing. Needless to say, the most common reason for people not to exercise is the lack of time. By the time we are done working, commuting, and being with friends and family the day is gone.

People who consider fitness a high priority manage to fulfill their need for fitness either at the cost of socializing or their circle of friends enjoys fitness as much as they do-so it becomes a part of the overall social experience as well.

But you can get fit even with the busy lifestyle that you lead

Before we get to that, let me share a secret with you that may change your approach to working out: your body recognizes movement.

Your body doesn’t know whether you are in the gym, at home, or in the office. It just recognizes movement-which can be anything from house chores and shopping spree to getting water from the office water fountain and carrying your kids around. The second part of the secret is that mindful movement will help you achieve much more than moving mindlessly.

Growing body of research is showing a direct correlation between the mindful process in changing both the biochemistry, as well as the muscular structure of the body.

Simply put, by thinking about happiness, love, and compassion you can rewire your brain which will start firing neurons. So over a period of time, you will become more loving, empathetic, and more compassionate.

At the same time, by consciously engaging your mind in the fitness process you will become fitter. Some years ago, a statement like this would have provoked derision among ‘experts’. Interestingly enough, many ancient texts have always stressed on the reality which is created by our mind. It is only now that science is being able to truly explain the process.

But what does this mean practically?

It means that by starting your day regardless of how busy your schedule might be, by setting an intention towards all the positive changes you wish to have more of in your life and using every short break you get to remind yourself of health, peace, fitness, and the experience you wish to feel in your body- your body will realign to fulfill and execute the intention set by your mind.

At the same time, you will start creating small pockets of time to do something good for yourself. With the power of intention and understanding that your body recognizes movement and not the place where the movement you can make every single movement count and get fitter.

5 Ways to Start Journaling Effectively to Boost Your Mental Health

Blame it on my reasonably-long stint as a writer or simply on my immense love for writing, I have always heavily relied on journaling to boost my mental health and to clear any emotional/mental blocks.

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the practice of maintaining a record of news/events/personal feelings in a diary of sorts; but I call it the perfect, safest way to keep all your secrets and maintain sound mental health too.

In fact, several studies including the one conducted at the Harvard Medical School found journaling to be a super-effective way of easing stress, trauma, and anxiety. Another study conducted at the University of Chicago touted this practice as the perfect way to vent out your feelings, minus the fear of the world knowing about it ever.

If, by now you’re convinced about beginning to pen down your feelings in your own secret diary for the sake of your mental health, here’s how you can take the plunge and do it effectively:

1. Don’t play by the rules

Let’s not forget that the real idea behind writing your feelings is to vent out in a healthy way. So, don’t pressurize yourself to write something in your diary every day.

I mean, you really don’t want to dig yourself deeper unnecessarily, even when you’re in a good mood-just for the sake of writing something in that diary, right? Do it when you feel like and do it only if it makes you feel any better.

2. Writing is not the only way

If unlike me, writing doesn’t excite you, you can count on voice recorders to speak about your feelings and record them or simply draw out your emotions on the digital screen or a scrapbook.

Come on! We live in the age of technology, which is also a part of the reason our mental health is deteriorating. So, why not use it to our advantage, now? Just don’t forget to put up an app lock if you wish for those voice recordings to be a secret.

3. Keep your journal handy

Turning to your journal in times of need can really stop you from making an impulsive decision that you might regret later. Hence, keeping a journal in your bag/near your desk/in your bedside drawer/close to you always can help you count on it easily when you need to vent out.

Easy accessibility to the journal might even help you form a habit of penning down your feelings regularly.

4. Use them as a means to convey those unexpressed feelings

We all have someone in our lives, we wish to say so much to, but just can’t muster up the courage, owing to the circumstances. However, keeping those unsaid words inside will only make you more frustrated and thus, you can use your journal to write a letter to the person you wish to say things to.

Sending or not sending it is totally your call. But the unsent letters will also make you feel way better.

5. Don’t forget to review your journal too

If you’re particularly stressed, anxious, or depressed, writing about your feelings when these problems are at their peak and reading that record later when you’re in a better mood and state of mind can help you reflect on your feelings, identify your triggers, and enable you to manage your emotions better. After all, reading about the past can help you plan a better future, right?

So, try these ways and let us know how they worked out for you in the comments below.

Take This Vitamin to Boost Vision and Keep Eyes Healthy

Eye health is extremely important – if you fail to look after them you risk losing your sight. Smoking and not protecting your eyes from the sun can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Diet has been found to play a big part in maintaining eye health, in particular, vitamin A. Not only does vitamin A promote general health, but it also helps protect the eyes and it might help slow the progress of more serious eye conditions, advises Holland and Barrett, express.co.uk reported.

It explained: “Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea), by lubricating the cells which is why vitamin A is often added to eye drops.”

Alongside eye health, vitamin A can also benefit bone growth, skin health, and the immune system.

Luckily the vitamin can easily be obtained through diet. It’s derived from two sources – animal (known as retinol) and from fruits and vegetables (known as provitamin A carotenoids).

1). Animal sources of vitamin A include:

  • Liver from any animal
  • Cod liver oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream

2). Fruit and vegetable sources of vitamin A include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Kale
  • Carrot
  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Swiss chad

Vitamin A is also available in supplement form.

The high street health store adds: “Researchers at the National Eye Institute in the US discovered that taking high levels of a combination of nutrients (including beta-carotene which your body converts into vitamin A) and zinc can reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by around 25 percent over a six-year period.”

Nutritionist for Water for Health, Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, said vitamin D can also help boost eye health.

She said: “It can help to reduce painful dry eye symptoms, and some research has demonstrated the ability of vitamin D to help improve vision and reduce inflammation of the retina.

“Many of us don’t get enough vitamin D, particularly in the winter, so it’s vital to supplement with a good quality vitamin D3 once summer is over. Public Health England recommends adults and children over the age of one take a daily 10mcg dose of vitamin D.

“If you have any chronic health conditions that require medication, please speak to your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.”

Zinc, omega-3, and lutein can also be beneficial for booking vision.

These 5 Expert-recommended Exercises Will Boost Your Heart Health

There’s no denying the fact that the heart that makes your fall in love also almost single-handedly keeps you alive. That is exactly why you’ve got to treat it like the extra-special body organ that it is.

“You can make your heart healthier by increasing your heart rate and bringing it close to at least 80% of its maximum potential,” says Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, fitness expert, founder, and CEO, Xtraliving, Hyderabad.

This can be achieved through high-intensity exercises and workout routines that make your heart pump blood at the speed of light, or so to say. Check out some of the best routines recommended by Kumar:

1. Burpees: Begin by standing straight, move into a squat position with your hands touching the ground, kick your feet back to land on your toes while taking the push-up position. Hold for a second and return to the squatting position first to finally stand back up. Burpees, if done quickly, can boost your heart rate and heart health like nothing else will.

2. Sprinting: This one’s no rocket science, actually. Mark a short distance, say 100 meters, and run as fast as you possibly can to-and-fro through the marked area. Take a break and get back to business. This can up your heart rate and promote blood circulation as well.

3. Hurdle jumps: As the name suggests, you can place hurdles like dumbbells, boxes, etc of different heights on the running track or the less-crowded area of your gym. The aim is to run through the distance while jumping over every hurdle to make your heart beat faster and also burn more calories in the process.

3. Jumping jacks: Start by standing straight with your palms facing your thighs. Jump up and widen your feet broader than your hip-width while bringing your arms above your head and palms nearly touching. Jump again while lowering your arms and bringing your legs together. Return to your starting position and repeat.

5. Thrusting: Stand with your knees wide apart and hands gripping a weighted bar or dumbbells shoulder-width apart. Now, lift this weight raising your elbows as high as you can, and then bring the weight back down slowly while squatting simultaneously. At this point, your thighs should be almost parallel to the ground. Raise your heels off the ground using strength from your quadriceps and glutes. Push the bar over your head till your arms are straight up and locked. Finally, bring the bar back down to the starting position and repeat until you’re pounding for breath.

Precautions that one needs to keep in mind while exercising to boost heart health.

In most of the exercises, you must do a good warm-up and increase your overall body temperature. An improper warm-up can lead to injury. Warm-up exercises like a dynamic stretch, jog, high knees, and jumping jacks at a low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes can be effective.”

Keep your heart healthy and beating well with these exercises!

These 6 Powerful Nuts Can Give Your Immunity a Much-needed Boost

Filling and delicious, nuts make for great munchies. From desserts to beverages, they can add a dash to flavour to everything. That’s why you’ll find that they’re an integral part of most cuisines.

But, that’s not it when it comes to the benefits of nuts.

They also possess a variety of vitamins and minerals which are linked with various health benefits such as better cholesterol levels, stronger immune systems, and improved heart health. Moreover, they can also help in weight loss while improving your skin and hair.

So, in order to keep healthy and fit, ‘going nuts’ seems to be a wise option. Here are some of the nuts you must add to your diet.

1. Almonds: Ever wondered why your parents recommend a daily dose of almonds? Well, almonds regulate the production of a hormone called dopamine in the brain and sharpen your memory. They are also loaded with antioxidants like vitamin E that save you from inflammation, cancer threats, and slow down the signs of ageing.

2. Cashews: Cashews are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which make them good for your heart. It helps to prevent the onset of coronary heart diseases and also lowers the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Not only that! They contain the key minerals to bone health. Providers of good fat, cashews are the brain food you need in your daily diet and hence, they are also known as natural antidepressants.

3. Chestnuts: Known for their sweet taste and omnipresence in all kinds of desserts, chestnuts help in healing your capillaries and blood vessels. They also aid in the eradication of respiratory ailments.

4. Peanuts: Peanuts are bearers of good fat that take care of your skin by maintaining its youthful elasticity. Peanuts are also known for controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining and raising the level of good cholesterol as well as lowering the number of triglycerides found in your blood.

5. Pistachios: According to a review of studies of pistachios, published in Nutrition Today, a wealth of research suggests that consuming pistachios may support heart health by raising ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and lowering ‘bad’ LDL. In addition, pistachio consumption appears to lower blood pressure which also positively affects cardiovascular health. In fact, pistachios are also said to keep blood glucose levels in check and thus, prove to be beneficial for those with diabetes.

6. Walnuts: Walnuts are loaded with essential fatty acids and minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. These help in boosting your body’s metabolism. It also contains a number of polyphenolic compounds and phytochemical substances which act as anti-inflammatory agents. The presence of melatonin in walnuts can also help you get a good night’s sleep and the omega-3 fatty acid component acts as a natural stress relief.

Shaped like a human brain, these nuts are actually great for your brain health. But they also look after your heart health, blood sugar levels, skin, bone health and are great immunity boosters.

So, people, go nuts with these nuts which can ensure that you always stay healthy!

Having a Bad Mental Health Day? Here Are 5 Ways to Deal With It

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that all of us have experienced a bad mental health day at least once during recent times if not more.

No matter what we do, it is only human to go through certain emotions on certain days. It could be because of specific circumstances or something you need to figure out the reason for-but the bottom line is that bad mental health days are real. And it is extremely important to manage them correctly to make sure that they don’t push you into a dark space.

So, we talked to Kamna Chibber, a clinical psychologist and head at the Department of Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute to understand how to deal with such days in a healthy manner.

Here she suggests five ways to help manage a bad mental health day:

1. Talk it out: Yes, we really underestimate the importance of community care. If you’re having a bad mental health day, make sure that you vent your feelings to friends and family. This will help you unburden yourself mentally. In fact, Kamna says that “it acts as a stimulus to stop the negative thought process.”

2. Stick to your routine: According to her, “It is extremely important to push yourself to follow your daily routine even on a bad mental health day. This maintains a sense of normalcy.”

No matter how tough it feels, following a routine will help you feel in control and contribute towards managing a bad mental health day better.

3. Indulge in your hobbies: “What would be a good distraction is indulging in an activity you like. Be it art, reading, or music-everything works,” says Kamna.

The main aim is to distract yourself from the negative thoughts and do something of your liking which will help you be positive.

4. Don’t forget to exercise: You read it right! Working out isn’t just beneficial for your physical health but also works wonders for your mental health. In fact, according to a study by Michigan State University, working out can help elevate your bad mood.

5. Sleep well:  A lot of times, a bad mental health day comes from a disturbed night. But, it is extremely important to sleep well for the complete rest of not just the body but also the mind.

To tackle this, Kamna suggests: ‘It would be a good idea to keep the phone aside and read a book to allow yourself to feel sleepy because the negative thoughts can get bad at night.”

We all have our days. It is how we tackle them that ensures they don’t have any power over us. With just a few simple steps, you can get through the toughest days.

5 Power Yoga Poses Which Burn More Calories Than Running on a Treadmill

When we think of yoga and weight loss, power yoga instantly comes to mind. Endorsed by celebrities the world over-from Malaika Arora Khan to Jennifer Aniston-it’s a wonderful practice for those who want to shed kilos without hitting the gym.

Power yoga is dynamic in nature, flowing from one posture to another. When you practice it, your muscles warm up quickly which helps to burn calories. Not to mention, the postures build muscle and develop strength.

Did you know that there are certain power yoga poses that can help you burn more calories than running on a treadmill. Yes, you read that right.

Here are five that you can start your power yoga practice with:

1. Chaturanga dandasana or plank pose

  • Start with balasana (child’s pose) with arms extended forward.
  • Lift your hips up so that your shoulders come in a straight line with your palms, and your knees are placed below the pelvic bone.
  • Look down, but the back of your neck and head should be parallel to the ground. Make sure that your shoulders are pushed away from your ears and your tailbone is tucked in with the contraction of abdominal muscles.
  • Now without changing the position of the upper body, stretch your right leg back, followed by your left leg, and tuck in your toes.
  • Your body should be in a straight line starting from your shoulders till your heels.
  • Now challenge your body strength by bending your arms at the elbows keeping your body in a straight line. The trick is to push your body weight forward and turn your elbows closer towards the torso.
  • The body should be two inches above the floor. Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds with normal breathing.

2. Vashishthasana or side plank pose

  • Start with a full plank pose.
  • Now place the right palm in line with your right foot by coming on to the right edge of the right foot. Now you will be facing towards the left side of your body in a side plank.
  • Push your right shoulder away from your right ear keeping it in line with your right palm.
  • Place your left foot above your right foot or across depending on your comfort level.
  • Extend your heels as much as possible and lift your hips up by contracting the external obliques on the right side of the torso.
  • Your body should be in a straight line from your head to heels.
  • Hold the pose with normal breathing for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

3. Ardha pincha mayurasana or dolphin pose

  • Come in ardha-mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog).
  • Bend your arms at the elbows by placing your forearms on the mat. Make sure your elbows are placed below your shoulders.
  • Push your shoulders away from your ears and relax your head, but keep it at least an inch above the mat.
  • Keep working on pushing your chest out and heels down. Hold the pose with normal breathing for at least 10 seconds.

4. Sirsasana or headstand

  • Sit in vajrasana and grab your elbows with opposite palms.
  • Extend your elbows forward. Now lift your hips up and interlock the fingers of both palms for the head support.
  • You will see a tripod formed between the forearms where the elbows are placed below the shoulders.
  • Now place the back of the head within the support of the palms and the top of the head on the mat.
  • Tuck the toes in and lift your hips up.
  • Keep pushing the shoulders away from the mat and tippy-toe towards your head till your hips are placed above the shoulders. Keep the spine and back of your neck straight.
  • Focus on deep breathing and try to balance using your core strength.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your feet up whenever you are ready. Hold the pose for at least a minute with deep breathing.
  • This pose should be followed by balasana (child’s pose).

Note: If you’re trying this pose for the first, please use the support of a wall to create balance and avoid injuries.

5. Virabhadrasana or warrior pose

  • Stand straight and stretch your feet apart as much as possible so that they are parallel towards each other. Your heels should be in one straight line.
  • Lift your arms parallel to the ground with your palms facing down. Look towards your right and turn your right foot at a 90-degree angle.
  • Now bend your right leg at the knee so that your knee is placed above your ankle and your thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Keep stretching your right knee towards your right, keeping the weight of your body on the right thigh. At the same time keep the left leg straight and strong.
  • Squeeze your glutes and push your pelvis towards the left side of your body.
  • Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds with normal breathing. Repeat on the other side.

Note: If you’re a beginner, please perform these asanas only under the guidance of a seasoned yoga practitioner. 

7 Steps to Building a Better Mental Health for Yourself According to a Psychologist

Society has always given physical health priority with an understanding that if you are physically fit, then you can deal with anything that comes your way.

We do everything to improve physical condition-diet, exercise, medication, and even doctor visits. But until recent times, people barely acknowledged mental issues as important or even existing, leave alone speaking about it. They feared doing so might make them appear weak. But now, more people are acknowledging and discussing mental wellbeing.

So what exactly is mental health?

It refers to the state of our social, emotional, and psychological well-being. In other words, mental health affects how we think, feel, and act in certain situations. It affects our everyday state of being, and not managing it can lead to medical problems.

Mental health impacts every element of our life-from our relationships to our performance at work. It is important to prioritize your mental health even if you are not diagnosed with any concerns.

Here are some ways with which you can improve your mental health

1. Social Connectivity

Try and spend time face to face with loved ones. Don’t rely only on technology. It’s easy to get into the habit of texting to connect. Humans are social beings with emotional needs for relationships and positive connections. Good relationships are important for mental wellbeing. It helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth.

2. Being active

Physical activity releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that lift your mood and provide added energy. Regular activity can have a major impact on your emotional and mental health. It relieves stress, helps you to sleep better, and improves self-esteem. This doesn’t mean spending more time in the gym. Find activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your daily routine.

3. Practising gratitude

Many times we focus on the negative-thoughts and events. One way to combat negativity is practising gratitude. Be thankful! Maintain a journal. Spend 10 or 15 minutes journaling about what you’re thankful for. Make a list anywhere from five to 10 things. Explore small and big things equally. Beautiful weather, compliments from the team, having a home, job, or good health. It helps in being more empathetic and reduces aggression.

4. Be kind to yourself

Ask yourself-would you speak to someone else the way you speak to yourself? Don’t beat yourself up for making a mistake or judge yourself harshly for being imperfect. Being kind means taking care of yourself.

For some, self-care might be taking time to rest each week, spending time with friends, or going for a vacation. Start by investing in yourself. Spend 15 – 30 minutes each day doing something that uplifts you. This can bring about a positive change in improving the relationship you have with yourself.

5. Find a meaningful goal

Challenge yourself. Even if you think you’re at a good place in life and most of your goals have been achieved, there are always areas for growth and learning new things. Stagnation is counter productive to positivity and self-love.

6. Prioritise sleep

Good quality sleep isn’t just about getting your eight hours. It’s about getting the sleep that is restful and energizes you. If you are having difficulty getting restful sleep, try to incorporate practices that will help you achieve better sleep, like exercise daily, avoid caffeine intake close to bedtime, don’t check e-mails, and social media an hour before bedtime.

7. Pay attention to the present

Being mindful about the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. It includes your thoughts and feelings, your body, and the world around you. Live in the moment and enjoy it.

When you have tried all means and made consistent efforts to improve your emotional and mental health and even then find it difficult to function optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.

8 Tell-tale Signs That Your Mental Health is in Good Shape

There is no dearth of people who promote a healthy way of living through regular exercise and good eating habits. But there’s something most of them end up missing while talking about this healthy lifestyle and that is the importance of mental health.

As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of people who are facing mental health problems that may have been caused due to the chaos around or have simply been triggered by it. Now, there’s a lot of talks around staying healthy mentally but how do we know that our constant effort towards strengthening our mind and emotions is being fruitful.

Well, Sneha George, consultant psychologist at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai, mentions the following signs that indicate that your efforts might be working and that your mental health is in a good shape:

1. You understand that the fluctuations in your mental health are natural
Good mental health does not mean that you’ll always feel pleasant, or that sadness or mental health issues such as anxiety and depression won’t surface. It simply means that you, over the course of time, become resilient, and know that these negative emotions are just waves that will pass to make way for good times.

It is also characterized by the awareness that negative emotions are a part and parcel of life. In the end, it’s really about overcoming them instead of letting them become a pattern. Not to mention, it also involves not resisting help from loved ones or a professional counsellor if need be because we all need people, we love to get us through the tough times.

2. You feel good: If you have good mental health, you tend to feel good and satisfied overall. You will experience the emotions of happiness, love, joy, and compassion while preferring to avoid being sucked into negative emotions or patterns.

“You feel good about yourself; you choose to see different perspectives in a situation; you don’t always blame yourself; and you know when to take responsibility for your actions,” mentions George.

3. There’s a sense of belonging: According to George, you are also likely to feel like you belong to a community and are contributing to society when your mental health is in good shape. You might have a sense of spiritual well-being, such as feeling connected to a higher power, a sense of meaning or purpose, or feelings of peace or transcendence.

4. You cope up with your circumstances well: We all face challenges in life. But George says that people who have good mental health are more likely to be able to cope with the ups and downs as well as the normal stresses of life while managing to work productively, realize their potential, and contribute to the community.

5. You do say ‘no’ to people: Mentally strong people know when to say ‘no’. If you’re mentally strong, you know where your emotional responsibility ends and another person’s begins, and vice versa.

You feel comfortable standing up for yourself and have learned that saying ‘no’ to boundary violations, aggression, and unjust behavior benefits you in the end. You don’t feel shame or guilt about expressing your emotions and conveying your displeasure, and instead, feel liberated and free while doing so.

6. You have healthy relationships: If your mental health is in good shape, you’re more likely to treat others fairly which means you love and respect those who are worthy of it and don’t waste your resources (time, money, energy) on toxic people or tolerate their disturbing behavior.

If you come across something that seems toxic or unhealthy, you make a decision about it instead of reacting emotionally or passively accepting it. You reevaluate your relationships with others on a regular basis and come to conclusions that will help maintain your boundaries as well as mental peace.

7. You don’t try to please everyone: The truth is that no matter who you are and what you do, there will be people who dislike you. You do not like everybody, so it is only natural that not everybody will like you. Mentally strong people do not aggress against or mistreat others but also accept that social rejection is unavoidable and understand that it is alright.

8. You’ve got a healthy self-focus: “Instead of concentrating on what you can’t control or having unrealistic or disturbing goals, you simply live life as healthfully and as consciously as possible if your mental health is in good shape. You have your circle of people who truly care about you and whom you love deeply. You actively create a better life for yourself without aggressing against others and constantly work on improving yourself and your immediate environment,” says George.

But, what can you do to boost your mental health?

George recommends some activities and intentions to include in your routines for better mental health.

1. Talk about your feelings: Expressing your feelings can help you stay healthy mentally and deal with difficult times better. It is not a sign of weakness, but it is a part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. Talking can be a great way to cope with a problem you have been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being heard can help you feel supported and less lonely. It works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.

2. Stay active: Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercising doesn’t just mean practicing a sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening, or housework can also help keep you active. Try to include an enjoyable physical activity to your day.

3. Handle one task at a time: While multitasking has become a very common and the accepted method of working, juggling with so many things at once can cause a serious blow to our mental health. Multitasking has been linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to a mental health issue. Instead of multitasking, prioritize your tasks and get to them one at a time. You will find that you can focus better on each task, and your mood will improve as well.

4. Maintain a journal: You probably kept a journal or diary during your teenage years, but it is a habit that’s worth picking up again as an adult. Writing down how you are feeling has been proven to benefit your mental health and help you keep a track of your moods. It allows you to take account of your worries and fears. It also helps you to identify possible triggers and patterns of behavior. Try to get into the habit of writing once a day, even if it’s just a bullet point list.

5. Indulge in more activities that bring you joy: Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you are good at it and achieving something can boost your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby like gardening or the crossword can help you forget your worries for a while and change your mood. It can be good to have an interest where you are not seen as someone’s mum or dad,
partner, or employee. You’re just you!

6. Take enough breaks: A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-an-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring a new place. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. Taking a break may mean being very active or may mean not doing very much at all. It could also just be putting your feet up, taking a deep breath, and relaxing. Listen to your body. If you’re tired, give yourself time to sleep. Sometimes the world can wait.

If you’re making an effort towards your mental health, it will surely show results!