Two Weeks to Wellness- Day 1: Mindfulness
The first step to becoming healthy is to engage in mindfulness of your current state of health. In order to create change, we must first be conscious of what exactly we need to change. To become conscious of our current state of being requires intention and awareness; however, it is essentially effortless in the sense that the object is not to change anything. One must put time and practice in becoming mindful, as it is not the state of our modern day, trained brains. Here are some key tips in becoming mindful of our health and wellness:
1) Do a meditation that focuses on scanning the body. There are lots of books and guided meditation CDs out there. I can personally lead you on a guided body scan to help you become more aware of your body, breath and other mind/body systems.
2) Keep a journal of your eating and exercise patterns. The more detailed this is, the more awareness you will gain of your everyday habits and functions. Most of us live a busy life, resulting in everyday habits, like eating, that become a mindless practice. Writing down what we eat, how much, at what time, and even how it makes us feel is a great practice in becoming mindful. For those who spend lots of time on their “smart” phones, try downloading an app such as “Doc’s Diet Diary” to track what you are eating. Remember not to get too focused on counting calories at this point. Mindfulness is about becoming aware of what we do, not obsessing about it. I can help you come up with a way of journalling your health that fits with your lifestyle.
3) Eat MINDFULLY. Before putting things in your mouth, notice the texture, smell, how it look, etc. Bring all your senses into the act of eating. As you chew, think about everything that is in the food. Where did the ingredients come from? What kinds of sustenance is entering your body and how? I can facilitate mindful eating exercises that help you gain awareness of the food you are putting into your body to fuel your daily activities.
4) Act MINDFULLY. As you are carrying out your daily activities, explore the ways in which you are able to complete each task. As often as possible, come back to your breath. Think about how the oxygen is entering your body and where your expirations are going to. As you become mindful of these bodily processes, think about the wonder that is your body, keeping you alive and allowing you to achieve the day to day tasks you capable of. Keep your focus on the tasks you are presently doing. Are you satisfied with the activities in your life? How are they effecting your environment and the people you care about? As you become conscious of these actions and feelings, the object is not to judge them or attach complex meaning to them. Just being aware of your actions in the present moment is a big step towards holistic health and wellness.
5) Spend intentional time outside!!! Go to my Ecopsychology page for further explanation on this. My greatest passion is to help people find meaningful ways to connect with nature.
There is much more that could be said on this subject; however, I think that is enough information for one day. NOW GO BE MINDFUL! 😉
Please contact me for further information and feel free to leave comments with your thoughts, feelings or ideas.