A Spa Therapists Tips On Looking After Your Mental Health
As a spa therapist, I believe that taking time out to practice mindfulness is very important for your mental health and wellbeing.
Of course, life will have its ups and downs and we will all experience negative emotions on occasion, whether that’s loss, grief, or failure. The key however is building mental resilience so that we are equipped to handle challenging times. Identifying the tools that will help foster positive mental wellbeing, and introducing them into your everyday life, can ultimately allow you to lead your life with a positive outlook which will in turn, help to improve your mental health.
One such tool I have identified is mindfulness, which can come in many forms, such as breathing techniques, practicing yoga or meditation. Personally, I have found that learning breathing techniques for mindfulness is a simple and effective way to begin your journey to supporting your mental health.
Deep Breathing is a technique used to slow the breath, the heart rate, and the nervous system, which can be particularly beneficial in anxious or stressful times.
When our sympathetic nervous system is over stimulated or ‘stressed’ we become overly alert, we perspire, and we tense our muscles, which all can lead to symptoms of anxiety. If this process happens too often, our sympathetic nervous system can become over stimulated, and this can lead to an imbalance in our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Practicing deep abdominal breathing will help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It will instill a sense of calm into us and this will help to slow our breath, our heart rate and bring peace and clarity to our mind.
By engaging in deep abdominal breathing, it helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes focus and calm to the mind, allowing us to be able to process information easier and serene manor.
The main function of the parasympathetic nervous system is for “rest and digest” where the function of the sympathetic nervous system is “fight or flight”. These two parts of your nervous system cannot be turned on at the same time, which means if you work to activate one, the other will be suppressed.
By practicing breathing techniques, you are intentionally inducing your body into a state of rest and digest. This will supress the ‘fight and flight’ response in our body, which will then lower your heart rate and anxiety.
Another lovely way to practice mindfulness is to burn relaxing essential oils in a diffuser in your home, or to have a hot bath with calming ingredients, such as Lavender, Ylang Ylang and petti grain whilst practicing your breathing techniques at home.