The teens and 20s are among the most stressful periods in any person’s life. This is when you transition from being a kid who is completely supported by your parents to being a self-sustaining adult.
In addition, you also start taking a lot more responsibility – both at home and at work. These can be incredibly stressful.
Let us now take a look at how you can take care of your mental and physical health during these tough and uncertain years of your life.
Yes, I can probably guess what you are thinking. Ah right, here we go about spirituality and all that preacher stuff.
That’s where you are completely wrong.
Meditation has nothing to do with God or spirituality. It is just a form of exercise – an exercise to control your wandering mind and bring it under your control.
Think about it for a minute. What causes you stress and anxiety?
Is it an actual event? Or is it just your mind thinking and overthinking about the past and also the uncertainty of the future?
Well, I’m sure it’s the latter.
That’s what meditation helps with. Through meditation, you learn to stop this cycle of thinking and overthinking and stay focussed on the present.
This is called ‘mindfulness’ and is a proven way to reduce stress, increase happiness and lead better lives.
Wondering where to start learning how to meditate? I recommend trying out the Medio App. It’s free and has simple and easy-to-follow guided meditation lessons.
When it comes to taking care of your physical health, the easiest form of exercise that you can take up is running.
Afterall, it is something our hunter gatherer ancestors have been doing for thousands of years and is therefore embedded in our genes.
All you need to get started is a pair of good running shoes. As youngsters, I know that spare cash can be hard to come by, but running shoes aren’t all that expensive.
I’m sure you’ll find a variety of good running shoes within your budget here.
Running helps release endorphins which have been proven to reduce stress as well! Now that’s a double bonus, ain’t it? Taking care of mental and physical health in one go!
Reading this article, I’m sure you’ll get all pumped up and decide to start meditation, running, and the like from tomorrow.
However, the human brain is lazy by default and I’m sure tomorrow morning, it’ll tell you to not bother about these and sleep for another couple of hours.
That’s the biggest tragedy of our lives.
We have great ideas and plans for improvement, but never get around to executing them.
That’s where the taking action step comes into the picture. Use our natural reward mechanism to your advantage. Create rules for yourself that include rewards.
Something along the lines of – ‘If I meditate everyday throughout this week, I’ll treat myself to an ice cream on Sunday’. Countless studies have shown that such a reward mechanism helps immensely with forcing you to take the necessary action.
The easiest way to build a new habit is by linking it to another habit that you already have. That, for most of us, would be waking up!
Afterall, we wake up everyday right?
Why not link your new habit to this existing one?
Build a link – something like – ‘Wake up and meditate for 5 minutes each day. Do this until it becomes so regular that you don’t even have to think about it.
Then, you can link another habit to this existing habit. ‘Wake up, meditate for 5 minutes and go for a morning run. This way, you can easily build new habits.
It is also important to keep a track of how well you are keeping up with your habits. This is where habit tracker apps help tremendously.
They are like a companion that nudges you each morning not to forget to go for the run or to meditate. I recommend trying out the Loop App for habit tracking. It’s free and easy to use.
Well, I hope these tips help you overcome your anxiety and stress and set you on your path to self-improvement. Let us know how your journey goes in the comments below.
Mohan Raj is a Senior Editor at Swag Swami, an online portal and blog for fashionable printed t-shirts in India. An avid gamer who spends his free time logged into Steam. He also practices Yoga and meditation regularly and teaches Yoga at the Cosmopolitan Centre in India.