I would bet that you already know about the things that help you to feel and look your best so that you can live a long and vital life: eating right, exercising regularly, getting quality sleep, taking the right supplements, having your hormones properly balanced with bioidentical hormones, drinking plenty of water, avoiding toxins whenever you can, etc.
But, what about managing your mind? Your mind is a powerful tool and it impacts your overall health and wellbeing more than most people realize. In today’s fast-paced and stressful world, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to be in the “right state of mind”.
One of the most effective methods for doing this is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Basically, it is being in the present moment–fully appreciating it for what it is.
Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can bring a variety of health benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep quality, strengthening the immune system, and reducing chronic pain. Additionally, mindfulness has been shown to improve mood, increase emotional intelligence, and enhance overall cognitive function.
But how exactly does mindfulness bring about these benefits? When we are mindful, we become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, which allows us to regulate our emotions and respond to stress in a healthier way. This leads to a reduction in stress hormones such as cortisol, and an increase in feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
The best part of being mindful is that anyone can do it and costs you nothing except taking a little time for you. There are no bad side effects, only the benefits of being more mindful. If you can feel better on a daily basis without cost and without any side effects, isn’t that a worthwhile thing to pursue??
1. Upon waking up, take a few minutes to just breathe in and out, being grateful for your life and for the day ahead. Focus on your breath, not on what you need to do that day. In addition, take 5-10 deep slow breaths periodically throughout the day. Each time, focus on your breath.
2. While sitting, standing, walking, etc pay attention to your body–how does it feel? Notice the state of mind you are in. Pay attention to the sounds, sights, etc around you. Really look and listen–What colors do you see? What shapes are you looking at? What sounds are you hearing? What is your body doing? Be present in that moment of time.
3. Change your environment when you can. Sit in a different chair, take a different route home from work, eat lunch in a different space, etc. Notice what you see and feel in the different space.
4. Keep your phone and computer time limited. Turn these off at a set time in the evening and wait to turn them on in the morning. Takes breaks from them during the day. Whenever you can, turn off all phone alerts and the ringer, check your phone when you are available.
5. Start a meditation practice. Set aside at least 5 minutes to sit or lay comfortably in a quiet environment. You can have a guided meditation playing in the background or have silence. Focus on breathing in and out. If thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and release them. Let go of any judgment.
Being mindful is an easy thing to train your mind to do. All it takes is a decision to develop the ability to be more mindful on a daily basis. By doing this, you will find your days more peaceful and your sleep is more sound. Your ability to handle daily stressors will greatly improve and your mental state will be much more positive. You will most likely see your blood pressure normalize and your immune system improve. By taking the time to focus on the present moment, you will bring more joy into your life and enhance your overall health and wellbeing.