Most of us know the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise for fitness and vitality. However, an essential often underestimated part of the well-being puzzle is the art of staying mentally and emotionally fit. This doesn’t happen by default in our fast-paced, hectic lives because of stress and a myriad of responsibilities and obligations. It is imperative that we pro-actively nurture mental and emotional wellness, also referred to as practicing self-care.

Taking personal responsibility for one’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness can include integrating a simple self-care regime. Seemingly small insignificant changes adapted as a lifestyle can yield significant health benefits.

Here are 5 simple but powerful self-care tips that can boost your mental and emotional well-being.

1. Add Fiber Daily

Giving your body the right fuel is self-care. Adapting a high-fiber diet can help effectively reduce the risks of diabetes, heart diseases, and colon cancer, as well as lower cholesterol levels. Fiber aids in weight loss, prevents constipation, and it can prevent the buildup of toxins in the body, which can lead to other health complications.There are certain food items that you should eat every day to increase fiber in your diet, so start adding these to your shopping list:

Grains and cereals.

Beans and legumes.

Fruits and vegetables.

2. Detox The Technology

Catching up on social media may seem fun, but done in excess, it can harm your relationships and wellbeing. Interacting with others virtually is convenient, but it can lead to isolation. Lonely people tend to have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and depression. Nurturing a strong social life can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression and boost the immune system. Have regular digital detoxes, unplug from technology, and catch up with your friends in the real world.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Focusing on the present moment and really paying attention to what is going on around you prevents senseless worrying about the future and meaningless brooding about the past. Mindfulness can be as simple as taking the time to listen to calming classical or instrumental music, or simply staring at the sky and watching the clouds float by. One technique I like is deep breathing; inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth while focusing on the chest and belly.

4. Process Your Feelings

Keeping negative emotions bottled up can lead to prolonged chronic stress and increase the risks of heart attacks, substance abuse, and depression. Mental health issues related to toxic relationships and negative emotions can even lead to early death caused by cancer as the following studies reveal. When 729 people were followed over 12 years by the University of Rochester and Harvard School of Public Health, studies found a 70% increase in cancer deaths for the individuals whose level of suppressing emotions was above 75%. A report by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research reveals that according to a study conducted by the King’s College Hospital in London, after a detailed psychological interview and a self-administered questionnaire, the most commonly identified characteristic of 160 breast cancer patients was extreme suppression of anger. Examine your feelings, the sources, and how they’re impacting your life, then take the necessary measures to process and release all toxic emotions.

5. Volunteer

This last one may seem counter-intuitive after all self-care is about self right? But when done in balance, serving others takes the focus off our issues, which can sometimes look like a molehill in comparison to the mountains others are dealing with. Not only does helping others make you feel good, but it can also reduce your stress levels, the risk of depression, and heart disease. Consider looking around in your local area for opportunities give a hand then see how you feel afterward.

There you have it, five self-care tips that sound so simple it’s tempting to ignore them. But they are preventive measures that can help our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

If you are an auditory learner, you may enjoy the related podcast episode here 

*Disclaimer: This article is for inspirational purposes only and is not be taken as medical advice at any level. Always seek professional advice concerning your health.