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5 Self-Care Practices to Nurture Mental Well-Being

Apr 24 2024
4 min read
A group doing yoga at Canyon Ranch Lenox health spa resort

Explore the mental benefits of physical self-care – and what you should do to care for both at once.

Amid the stresses of modern life, finding the self-care practices that work for you is essential. From the mindful movements of yoga to the ancient wisdom of acupuncture, there are plenty of strategies and techniques you can implement into your daily routine to help you find more serenity in any given moment. Start with these powerful modalities to help relieve both physical and mental stress for a healthier, more relaxed you.

1. Yoga

Regular exercise is a great way to quell stress, but practicing yoga in particular may help reduce the anxiety that can come along with it. While there are many different forms of yoga, offering various levels of intensity, moving through and holding poses while focusing on your breath keeps you in the moment, quiets your thoughts, and helps you feel centered. Your concentration and awareness in the present helps relieve anxiety — you’re not thinking about tomorrow or worrying about what may happen next. Hatha yoga has a slow pace and simple movements, making it a great option if you’re trying it for the first time, though you should talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

2. Acupuncture

Experience enhanced healing and a more balanced state of being. This traditional Chinese medicine modality, endorsed by the National Institutes of Health, is useful in addressing concerns as varied as arthritis, asthma, depression, fatigue, headaches, longevity, illness prevention, musculoskeletal pain, sleep, smoking cessation, and stress relief. A session with a licensed acupuncturist helps balance your body’s energy (known as your chi), stimulates natural healing processes, and aids in relaxation.

3. Transcendental Meditation

Practicing transcendental meditation can be especially helpful when your blood pressure (and heart rate) increases due to stress, as it’s been shown to help balance brain activity and regulate your circulatory system. This type of meditation involves using a mantra to get to a peaceful state, silently repeating a word, sound, or phrase to narrow your awareness and quiet any jumbled or overwhelming thoughts.

4. Biofeedback

Tense postures, fatigue, and other issues associated with stress commonly lead to headaches (and other body aches) for many people. Biofeedback can help address that discomfort by analyzing what exactly is causing your pain. During a biofeedback session, you’re connected to electrical sensors that monitor different parts of your body, such as brain waves or muscle tension. With the information collected, your therapist can suggest solutions that may help. For example, the sensors can pinpoint tight muscles in your shoulders that are causing tension to travel up into your head and you can learn how to relax those specific muscles (with stretching, meditation, breathing techniques, etc.) to reduce your pain.

5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Racing thoughts and constant worry can certainly make it tough to fall asleep, even when you know a good night’s rest might help you feel better. Progressive muscle relaxation is a slow, soothing technique that can help quiet your body and mind. How it works: Tense the muscles in your head and neck for at least five seconds, then relax for 30 seconds. Do your shoulders next, then arms, and work your way down your body, one muscle group at a time, ending with your toes. Try it when you get into bed or if you wake and have trouble falling back asleep.

Explore Canyon Ranch Fort Worth Wellness Club’s Service Catalog for more self-care practices that nurture mental health, from nourishing acupuncture sessions to yoga, digestive wellness, spiritual guidance, chakra-balancing massage, and more.