Skip to content

5 Mental Health Lessons We’ve Picked Up This Year, From The mbg Podcast

Portrait Of An African-American Woman With Eyes Closed
Image by Jimena Roquero / Stocksy
October 9, 2022
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

At mindbodygreen, we know that well-being is a journey, not a destination. It's an ever-evolving conversation—and we push that conversation forward by chatting with the most cutting-edge experts on the mindbodygreen podcast. Since 2017, podcast guests have shared a treasure trove of tips and tricks for optimal health and well-being.

So in honor of World Mental Health Day1 on October 10, it's only fitting to share five of the best pieces of mental health advice we've heard on the pod this year—straight from award-winning therapists, bestselling authors, neurologists, and more. Take advantage of their guidance whenever you please, and—most importantly—know that you're never alone on your mental well-being journey.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
1.

Find rituals. 

According to award-winning psychologist Ethan Kross, Ph.D., strategic rituals can take your attention away from the negative voice inside your head (which he calls "chatter"). 

"A ritual is under your control…it gives you a sense of agency," Kross tells mbg's founder and co-CEO Jason Wachob on the pod. "I clean up and organize, I put things away…I go and actually clean up my kid's room sometimes. That's giving me this sense of agency and control, which I lack when I'm experiencing chatter." Maybe you prefer to garden or go for a walk—the key is to engage in something that requires your full attention.

Listen to the full episode here.

2.

Use music to your advantage.

Certain melodies can bolster your mental health, says neurologist Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D. "Music absolutely can change the way that your brain is firing," she says. Classical music and ancient mantras, for example, are extremely mathematical—each rhythm and harmony has a specific ratio and rule—and your brain thrives on that order.

Here's one chant Chaudhary says is extremely beneficial for calming anxiety: Om, Aim, Namaha. (Listen to the episode to hear her pronunciations, or here's a helpful video.) "You can simply say it out loud at first for 20 minutes a day, then eventually it gets softer and softer, and you just repeat it gently in your mind. Within 20 minutes, you'll notice a reduction in your anxiety," she explains.

Listen to the full episode here.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
3.

Mind your posture. 

Take it from manual therapist and movement coach Aaron Alexander, author of The Align Method: "If you're in a position all the time, it becomes your personality," he declares during his interview. Meaning, your body position can totally influence your mood. In fact, Alexander references a 2017 study that found 86% of college students had an easier time accessing uplifting memories in an upright position; on the flip side, they had an easier time accessing depressive memories in a slumped position.

It alludes to a very real concept called postural feedback2: The way you approach the world with your physical form can shape the way you feel. So why not take advantage of an aligned posture? "Actually visualize how you want your shoulders to feel, your spine, your hips, your knees, your ankles," Alexander explains. "Do they feel stiff? Do they feel rigid? Do they feel strong? Do they feel stable?" After you define what you want, he says, you can then reverse engineer the process and determine which postural patterns will get you closer to your goal.

Listen to the full episode here.

4.

Set yourself a "You've got this" reminder.

Lisa Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition and author of Radical Confidence: 10 No-BS Lessons on Becoming the Hero of Your Own Life, has her fair share of confidence life hacks. Specifically, whenever she's feeling uneasy before a public speaking event, she relies on a technique called "You've Got This Roulette" to ease pre-speaking jitters.

"I type in, 'You've got this' with a little muscle emoji, close my eyes, and I spin my alarm [on my phone]," she explains. "I don't know what time I've set it for, and I just press save. So now what happens is at random moments for the next two weeks, I'll get a notification on my phone at random times that says 'You've got this.'" These messages are what help keep her confident even when she's feeling fearful.

This trick can be useful for anyone working to overcome the negative voices inside their head that might be saying they're not enough.

Listen to the full episode here.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
5.

Go on a gratitude treasure hunt.

Sometimes the most effective techniques take no longer than five minutes. Take this "treasure-hunt" technique from clinical neuroscientist psychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., for example: "Every night before I go to bed, I say a prayer," he explains. "I go on a treasure hunt, and I ask myself what went well today. I start at the beginning of the day, and I search through each hour of what happened that made me happy." You can even write down your thoughts in a journal, if that helps you keep track.

Essentially, it's like a bedtime gratitude practice that primes your mind for positivity. "I'm actually setting my dreams up to be more positive, which also means I'm going to be happier tomorrow," Amen adds.

Listen to the full episode here.

Of course, there are way more anxiety-busting tips where that came from as we continue to learn more about how to nurture our brains—and you can bet we'll be discussing it all on the pod.

The takeaway. 

If you're looking for techniques to add to your mental health tool kit, this expert-approved list is a solid place to start. Ultimately, feel free to honor World Mental Health Day however you see fit. Whether you spend some minutes journaling or listening to music, this is a time to give yourself grace.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.