There is a vast difference between instilling beneficial rituals into your day and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A study by Tel Aviv University examines how ritualistic behaviors improve focus.
Just think about some of our most famous sportsmen, those that cross themselves before entering the field of play, those that perform the same celebration upon scoring, or in the basketball players they observed taking free throws… bounce the ball the same amount of times, on each occasion, before taking their shot.
While there is a link between the pathological rituals and normal rituals, the difference between the two is that OCD sufferers feel a sense of emptiness if they fail to perform theirs.
So, what is some mental health rituals that you can participate in that will support brain health? Well, there are many, but we’ve narrowed it down to just 5.
In addition to reducing stress, mindful meditation boosts your memory and your focus.
The American Psychological Association cites a study that split a military group into three groups of participants. Group A, made up of soldiers who attended an eight-week mindfulness training course, Group B was non-meditating soldiers, and Group C was non-meditating civilians.
Both groups of soldiers were undergoing a stressful time as it just before deployment, yet the researchers discovered the meditators had increased memory practice, while the non-meditating soldiers had decreased memory capacity, and the civilians remained stable.
Another study investigated the effect of the participant’s ability to focus while dealing with distraction. Group A was experienced in mindful meditation, while Group B was not. Group A performed better in all tasks.
The Association for Psychological Science published a study that when people wrote down negative thoughts and literally threw them away, the negative thought was also being discarded from their minds. Richard Petty, Ohio State University, ran three experiments alongside Javier Horcajo, Margarita Gasco, and Pablo Brinol, all three from the University of Madrid in Spain.
Some of the participants were encouraged to throw their thoughts away after writing them down, some were told to keep them, and some were not instructed one way or another. The overriding result, however, was that those who held on to them magnified their thoughts about the subject on that little bit of paper.
Positive thinking can stave off anxiety, stress, and depression, which have a negative impact on the health of your brain, and your mental health.
Establishing a daily routine of exercise is an excellent ritual to aid in your mental health. It is not just the physical benefits or their effects. Exercise time allows you to disconnect from the world and get in tune with your body. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, while also boosting your self-esteem, establishing a healthy sleep pattern, giving you more energy and higher levels of resilience.
Harvard Medical School has long been looking at the impact that meditation has on mental health. For a long time, yoga was passed over, but not anymore. It works the body and the mind, which offers a helpful response to high levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to depression. A key component of yoga is the skill of deep breathing, this can be applied at any point throughout the day, whether you are actually in the midst of yoga postures or not. You can breathe your way out of a stressful situation, thus calming your mind.
Whether it’s a friend, or yourself, that needs a good dose of truth, not holding back can prevent stress and anxiety. The American Psychological Association found that lying less improves overall health, but it isn’t necessarily just about actively lying. Being in tune with your wants and desires is the key to being honest with yourself and ensuring that you are happy at a base level, awareness is vital to your wellbeing.
To Your Health,