Benefit Your Mental Health with Mental Workouts

A rainbow appears at the end of a path.
Jan 25, 2023 | by Brianna Milligan

1 in 5 Canadians experience mental health related issues every year in Canada, and individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) are at an even higher risk of experiencing mental illness [1] [2]. Fortunately, society has become more open to discussing mental health and its challenges. However, we still have a long way to go when it comes to getting everyone the help they need.
In this blog, I want to share some very easy and soothing mental exercises, or workouts, you can use to help calm anxiety, stress, or panic.

Mental Exercises

Calming techniques help reduce stress and the symptoms of stress that we experience [5]. Relaxation exercises can help with physical conditions related to stress and mental health. For example, fatigue, indigestion, sleep quality and high heart rate can be improved by practicing these techniques [5]. In order to see benefits from these exercises, you should try to practice them regularly [5]. Some calming mental exercises to try may include:

  • Rainbow grounding
    • Rainbow grounding asks you to look around your environment and name an object for each colour of the rainbow. You will find and name something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and indigo. If you need more time to calm down, you can describe these objects out loud and even repeat the exercise [3].
  •  Recite something
    • This technique suggests that you repeat anything you have memorized. I have used this technique and I usually choose one of my favourite songs. But you could choose a poem, the plot of your favourite book, or a scene from a movie or play that you know the script to. The options are endless. What you will do to use this technique is recite your chosen subject to yourself, either in your head or out loud. Recite what you chose from start to finish and try to focus only on this task [4].
  • Create and think of a happy place
    •   This can be a place you’ve been, a fictional world, or somewhere you have always wanted to go. Try to focus on creating as many details as possible. You can think of the weather, the time of day, what you would wear to this place, what the season would be, if there are plants and animals around, and anything else you would want in your happy place [4].
  • Play categories
    • For this exercise, you choose a category such as animals, rock bands, countries, superheroes, or desserts. The category can be anything you can think of! Then, you list as many different types of things in these categories as you can [4].


I hope you found some of these tips useful. Mental exercises and relaxation techniques are easy to use, and they can be a very effective way to occupy your mind. Please remember to take care of yourself, check in with yourself, and be kind to yourself.