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Wellbeing spotlight: Steps to energising your mind, body and soul this autumn

Wednesday, March 13, 2024   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: wellbeing, reading, physical activity, environment, recreation, stress, mental health

As we head into autumn, think about taking the opportunity to pause for a moment to slow down, relax and rest your mind, body and soul. Kevin Walls from the Career Transition team at Health New Zealand Waitaha Canterbury shares some practical steps and strategies to relax and reenergise your mind, body and soul over the coming months.

1. Get into nature

Many research studies have proved the positive impact that nature has on our nervous system and on our minds. Just taking time to get out into nature is known to reduce stress, anger, and fear, reduce our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

2. Read a great book

When was the last time you got lost in a great book? The power of getting lost in the pages of a terrific book can allow the mind to imagine,explore and focus. The power of focusing on one thing at a time gives the brain the ability to find peace at the same time as keeping it occupied.

Reading a book can not only relax your mind but can improve your attention span, increase blood flow to different areas of the brain and gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions.

3. Be active in autumn

Exercise or movement of any kind is one of the simple things you can do as part of the “5 Ways to Wellbeing”, whether it is dance, yoga, playing touch or football, walking, or running, or working out or whatever you enjoy the most!

Research shows that being active increases the mind’s ability to process information as more oxygen flows to the brain, allowing the body to release a myriad of happy hormones to the body and mind. This not only helps you feel happier and healthier but provides a nourishing environment for the growth of new brain cells and improves our memory.

4. Finding calmness through meditation and silence

Research shows that meditation improves attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness. It changes the structure and the function of the brain in a positive way and supports self-control. Many studies show that regular meditators have more grey matter in the prefrontal cortex. It gives you the ability to think clearly, make decisions, solve problems, learn, and retain information.

If meditation is not your thing, then try finding time for silence. The less the brain has to process the more relaxed it can feel.