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While we’d all like to be less stressed, more relaxed, and just generally feel better, it can feel overwhelming trying to settle on the best way to do that. And that’s probably because there’s no one way to support mental wellbeing. What you like and find personally effective may vary from day to day, and that’s completely fine.
On days when you just don’t have the mental space to choose from all of the wellbeing techniques out there, deciding on what exactly to try is just one more decision to make, and can even become an additional source of stress. In these instances, it can be helpful to work from a short, greatest-hits-type list.
In case you don’t have a go-to list of your own, we thought we’d share a list of the wellbeing activities that Koa Foundations’ users found most helpful in 2021. Whether you use it as a jumping off point to explore new wellness behaviors, or to guide you towards the support you need on difficult days, we hope it becomes a source of inspiration on your wellbeing journey.
1. Learn to relax
When you’re feeling tightly wound, getting your body (and brain) to loosen up can feel out-of-reach. An excellent first step is to work on better understanding how your feelings impact your wellbeing. For guidance in this process, and techniques to help you ease your body into a more relaxed state, try our Master relaxation program.
2. Leave your worries behind
Sometimes a thought or a feeling just keeps coming back (and stressing you out). Journaling can provide some much needed mental space by getting your worries out of your head. Write them down on paper, or leave them behind in the app with our What are your worries? journaling prompt.
3. Check in often
Tracking how you feel over time can help you see what is helpful…and what is less so. Jot down your notes in your planner, or use Foundations’ Daily check-in to keep up with how you’re feeling and why on a regular basis (pro-tip, save it to your favorites for easy access).
4. Breathe your way to calm
Deep-breathing has been shown to help calm down our bodies and minds in only a few minutes. When you feel tense (and would rather not) take a break to focus on your breath. Learn the basics of this ancient practice in Breathe your way to calm.
5. Postpone anxious thoughts
6. Keep a thought record
Does your brain ever feel...crowded? Getting your thoughts down has been shown to help people manage repetitive thoughts. Learn how to make a habit of this technique with Foundations’ Keeping a thought record.
7. Deep belly breathe
When you’re out of sorts or upset, you may find yourself breathing shallowly. One way to calm your body is by convincing it it’s already relaxed by controlling your breathing. This type of breathing has also been shown to lower blood pressure. Get step-by-step instructions with Foundations’ Deep belly breathing.
8. Sleep better
Sometimes sleep can become a challenge. Trouble drifting off, or getting enough rest can have a serious impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. If you’ve had a few sleep-deprived nights, it may be time to try some new ways to relax your body before bed. For a quick guide to evidence-based ways to get to sleep, try Foundations How to sleep—beyond counting sheep in our Falling Asleep program.
9. Embrace gratitude
Gratitude doesn’t always come easy. But studies show that making a point of finding the positive (even in the midst of a truly terrible day) can help us feel better. Use our Positive thinking - Gratitude activity to reflect on what you’re thankful for.
10. Support your self-esteem
How you value yourself is an important part of your mental wellbeing. Learn how to identify negative beliefs about yourself and work on your self-opinion and sense of worth with Foundations’ Build your self-esteem program.
What are some of your favorite wellness activities? Share them with us at email@example.com
about the author
The Team @ Koa Health
Our diverse team of developers, researchers, psychologists and behavioral health experts work together to create practical, thought-provoking content to accompany our range of digital therapeutics.