We live in a world that’s been inundated with negativity and noise over the past few years. As such, it’s no surprise that people are revisiting traditional mindfulness and spiritual practices to help refocus their mental health and disconnect from the gloom.
Creating rituals to cleanse your mind can help improve your mental health and well-being. Here are some practical steps you can take to help reset and protect your mental health.
Focus Your Intentions
Setting intentions is similar to setting goals, with one key difference: setting a goal indicates the desired outcome while setting an intention indicates a planned action. For example, you could be reading this with the goal of improving your mental health; choosing something to act on is an intention.
Start each day with a focused intention. What’s one small action you’ll take today to move forward? This intention could be anything from accomplishing a chore to choosing to practice gratitude.
According to the Wicca Academy, creating a spiritual cleansing routine is one of the best ways to focus your intentions. Create a structured routine in which you speak your intentions and use a visual representation of sending those intentions into the universe. This representation could be a cleansing bath, burning incense, or just listening to music that makes you feel ready to move forward.
Step Into Nature
The remarkable connection between mental health and time spent in nature is actually proven by science. The Biophilia Hypothesis is a theory that indicates a deep connection between humans and nature and that we feel more in tune with our bodies when we seek out natural surroundings. This theory ties into practices like Shinrin-Yoko or forest bathing. The act of forest bathing (meditative walking while connecting with natural surroundings) has had proven impacts on stress levels, anxiety levels, and one’s emotional state.
Set an intention to spend time in nature every day — even if it’s just 15 minutes enjoying a coffee on a park bench or walking along a shore.
Write Your Pain Away
Hemingway once famously said, “Write clear and hard about what hurts.” Writing as a method of processing trauma and grief is an effective way to experience positive growth and is used by many cognitive-behavioral therapists. Intention also matters in this cleansing activity. The goal is to write with the intention of understanding and letting go, not getting absorbed in a negative narrative.
Writing is also a powerful tool for learning more about yourself, your inner thoughts, and your goals. Consider using journal prompts to help guide the process and explore the depths of your mind.
Create Positive Affirmations
Negative self-talk is commonplace with those experiencing poor mental health. Positive affirmations are an effective way to stop negative self-talk in its tracks and create more positive associations in your mind.
Start by identifying negative self-talk. It’s that voice inside that makes you feel less than you are. Create an empowering phrase to replace the negativity. For example, “I suck at everything” could become, “I bring forth my best every day.” Start your day with this affirmation and use it as a mantra when your mental health turns on you.
Reduce the Noise
It’s difficult to break free of the noise in our overly connected world. One of the best ways to reduce the noise is to spend more time unplugged. Social media use is connected to the exacerbation of several mental health disorders.
Reduce the noise by leaving your phone at home or in the vehicle when you run errands or go about your day. Track your screen time metrics and put limitations in place that prevent you from mindless scrolling. Challenge yourself to have a self-care day that goes completely undocumented online. Once you break the habit and dependency on your devices, you’ll see a vast improvement in your mental well-being.
With these simple rituals and habits, you can cleanse your mind and start nourishing your mental health.