mental health

Guided Meditation for Mental Health

Improving your mental health can be a transformative experience in your healing. After all, when our brains feed us negative thoughts, give us low energy, or make us feel bad about ourselves, it’s only natural that we want to fix that. Unfortunately, you can’t escape your brain or the thoughts that circle in your head. However, you can make changes to your life to quiet the thoughts in your head and to live more peacefully. A guided meditation for mental health is a great place to start, but we’ll share other ways to improve your mental health so that you can try multiple things to manage your mental health more effectively.

It is possible to experience good mental health naturally. But there are a lot of lifestyle changes you’ll need to make to ensure your mental health stays at its peak.

What Is Meditation for Mental Health?

A guided meditation for mental health is one in which you can regulate your mind to better manage the stresses of your mental illness. While meditation can’t cure mental illness, it can make symptoms more manageable.

For example, if you have a thinking disorder, you’ll be able to learn how to let go of thoughts through a daily meditation practice which will allow you to calm your mind so you can be productive and happy in your life.

Meditation pairs well with mental health as it doesn’t cause any conflicts with medications. An important thing to note is that meditation is not about being in your head with your thoughts, it’s about witnessing how they enter and exit your mind to help you realize that you are not your thoughts. Thus, making it easier for you to detach yourself from the thinking that goes on in your head.

Guided Meditations for Mental Health

You can try the 10-minute guided meditations for mental health below when you’re struggling with symptoms of mental illness.

Find more practices like this one in our free guided meditation app Declutter The Mind.

How Meditation Improves Mental Health

Meditation can improve your mental health in so many wonderful ways. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can improve how your brain works through meditation.

Meditation can help you regulate your emotions. Studies show that people who meditate have better control over their emotions. For example, if you tend to be angry often, a 20 minute meditation session can help ensure you have better control over your anger. That’s because a daily meditation practice actually does make positive changes to your brain, which makes it easier for you to better control your emotions.

A meditation for mental health can also help you reduce your stress. With busy jobs, family lives, and a desperate need for a break, so many of us always live on the edge of burning out. You don’t need to meditate for a long period of time. If you’re feeling anxious, a five or ten minute meditation session can help you slow your heart rate down, ease your breathing, and help you feel a sense of calm.

How to Meditate for Mental Health

When it comes to learning how to meditate for mental health, the goal is to create a quiet and relaxing environment or space. This might be your bedroom after your kids have gone to sleep. Or in your home office during a stressful moment at work.

Then, once you’ve found that quiet spot. You’ll want to sit in a chair, crossed legged on the floor, or lying down on your back depending on where you are. Choose a position that feels comfortable to you as you won’t want to be squirming around during your practice.

You’ll want to open your Declutter The Mind app and choose a meditation for mental health to listen to. You can choose from a general one, an anxiety one, one for depression, or one for being more compassionate to yourself and others.

As you listen to the soothing voice, notice your thoughts float on by. Let go of thoughts leaving you stuck, frustrated, or sad. It’s okay if your mental health isn’t at its best today. We all have days like that. But build the confidence to let thoughts go instead of following them down the rabbit hole. Don’t ruminate on them.

Feel your breathing get deeper as you take in more oxygen. Shallow breathing isn’t as helpful as deep breathing when meditating. But you don’t need to exaggerate your breathing. Breathe comfortably.

As you continue meditating, notice when thoughts start to go off in all directions again. Instead, let them exit your mind. Don’t give them more energy than they need.

As you start feeling a bit better, you can end your meditation for mental health. However, if you find you need an extra five or ten minutes of meditation, you can try a different meditation or a longer one to help you manage the thoughts you’re overthinking and the emotions you’re feeling.

The Mental Health Epidemic

About 970 million people globally suffer from mental illness. The most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depression. People with lower incomes are more likely to report issues with mental health. Men tend to have higher rates of substance abuse whereas women tend to have higher rates of anxiety or mood disorders.

People can experience mental illness at varying points in their life. About half of people will experience it by the time they’re 40. Life factors such as death of a family member, work stress, job loss, divorce, severe stress, trauma, loneliness, and more can worsen a person’s mental health.

Other Ways to Improve Mental Health

1. Connect with others

While sometimes people might be the reason why we’re struggling with mental health, they’re also often the solution to our problems. Sometimes, you just need to find an ally or mentor with a good listening ear who knows how to show compassion and care at the moment you need it most. This person could be a friend, family member, coworker, and sometimes a complete stranger.

2. Get active

When feeling anxious, going for a run or a power walk can help get the anxiety out of our system in the short term. Lifting weights can also help you feel stronger mentally and physically. Or you could always dance to shake off those bad feelings. The fight or flight response is common in people suffering from anxiety disorders, so doing activities, such as jogging or martial arts can be a healthy way to combat difficult problems. Many people experience epiphanies when outdoors on a walk, sometimes you just need to clear your head to manage your mental health.

3. Eat a balanced diet

Diets that are high in processed food or sugars can leave us feeling groggier than we’d like to admit. When we eat a diet of nutrient-dense foods, we have more energy overall. It’ll be easier to get out of bed in the morning, simpler to manage problems throughout the day, and you’ll have more energy to tackle your to-do list. While not true for all people, some people can find the solution to their mental health problems in their diet. The food you eat can have a positive or negative effect on your brain. The best brain food is healthy fats, such as avocado, fish, almonds, eggs, olive oil, and more. Fuel your brain with the right foods and you’ll be able to operate at a much higher level.

4. Do relaxing activities

You can pair a guided meditation for mental health with relaxing activities to help you manage your mental health. For example, you might spend a day at a thermal spa where you sit in warm pools, float in salt caves, or have some peace and quiet in a massive sauna. Alternatively, you might start planning your next vacation or staycation to help you get some rest and relaxation from work. If you’re looking for simpler activities to do, you might try going for a walk on a nice day, a couple’s massage, listening to music on the couch, taking a green tea bubble bath, or sitting by the fireplace reading a fun book.

5. Focus on solutions

Sometimes when our mental health is bad, we can’t do anything to relax. We’re so obsessed with what’s happening to us, a good run or chat with a friend isn’t enough. If the problem that’s keeping you up at night is that big, consider making a list of solutions and getting to work fixing the problem. For example, if work stress is burning you out, fixing up your resume and cover letter while applying to jobs might be where you focus your energy. No matter what the problem that’s disrupting your mental health is, there are solutions that are positive that you can take to get more peace of mind. You can share your list with a professional to help you ensure you make the best decision for yourself without adding more chaos into your life.

6. Get a good night’s rest

We all have bad days now and then, sometimes taking a midday nap or going to bed just a couple of hours earlier is all we need to recharge our mental health. A bad sleep can create a bad next day. People who struggle with mental health will realize very quickly how much sleep can either make or break them. If you find you feel groggy every morning, you know you have to go to sleep a bit earlier than you’re used to. People who experience psychosis will clearly see the difference a good night’s sleep can give their mind. The brain needs rest. It can’t operate well when all you do is go, go, go during the day and have a racing mind all night.

7. Connect with a therapist

You can find a therapist to help you manage your mental health. The secret to a therapist isn’t to have someone to talk to once a month or so about your problems. People who treat therapy like that will often find they never reach a resolution. Your therapist will often give you homework or tasks to do during your session. Doing those tasks are what will help you solve your problems. Therapy isn’t a permanent activity, it’s there to have someone give you a balanced perspective when you’re struggling, but you’ve got to do the work to improve your mental health.

8. Develop new hobbies

People who fill up their days with activities that enrich them will feel better about themselves and manage mental health symptoms better. People who spend their time alone, doomscrolling on social media, or snacking while watching television are more likely to take longer to manage their mental health. Having hobbies where you learn something new, build something cool, meet new people, or engage in exciting activities will help you manage the lows of life.

9. Show kindness to others

When our mental health is bad, we’re more likely to spread the negative thoughts in our head and speak them out loud. We may unintentionally hurt people we care about, which will only magnify our world of problems. When struggling with mental health, we need to be more intentional about the kindness we show to others while still ensuring we’re compassionate and kind to ourselves.

10. Write in a gratitude journal

Alongside a guided meditation for mental health, we should consider writing in a gratitude journal. Writing a gratitude list of things you’re grateful for can help you better appreciate the things that are still going well in your life. Rewiring our brain to focus on gratitude, especially during low points in our lives will make it easier for us to eliminate unwanted negative thoughts. Even on our worst days, there are still things we can appreciate and that still go well for us. Shifting our thinking to be more optimistic can help us improve our mental health.

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