The perks of living in a well-informed age mean that we have access to a wide range of information so that we can make smarter choices every day. We constantly read new ideas on eating healthy, getting more exercise into our lives, and all the ways in which we can substitute poor habits for better ones. However, the increasing pace of our modern life comes with its own burden, or in this case, a hankering for slowing down and enjoying the given moment. Simply put, a desire to be more mindful.
Chasing health has become a modern obsession, and yet we fail to understand the extent to which mindfulness is vital for our health. The fact that you feel that need to slow down and enjoy an occasional slow moment or two is the direct result of your mind and your body trying to tell you that you truly should be more mindful of your innermost needs. Let’s see how mindfulness recharges your existence and lets you make the most of your life.
Too often, we relinquish control of our own choices to behavioural patterns we’ve established or even picked up over time. Suddenly, a cup of coffee is mandatory in the morning, a glass of wine is essential at night, and picking up a sugary sweet in the afternoon is a must. Being mindful of your choices can come as an initial shock when you realize to what extent you’re causing harm to yourself without intentionally doing so.
In order to actually commit to a self-care practice based on your actual needs, you need to learn to listen to your body and mind. What feels like a sugar craving may be your body trying to tell you that you’ve fed it wrong energy sources for too long. Becoming mindful of your true needs is a form of art, one that will help you reclaim your life.
Mindfulness as a stress-detox
When was the last time you took a long bubble bath, soaked your feet in Epsom salts, or gave your hair a proper nourishing pamper? All of these and many other simple indulgences are likely long overdue in your life, hence the pent-up stress, exhaustion, and burnout wreaking havoc on your energy levels. Practising mindfulness on a regular basis will become your most efficient way to let those negative emotions melt away and make room for serenity and bliss.
You can start by creating a mindfulness-inspiring atmosphere in your own home, by lighting soothing scented candles, playing relaxing music, and choosing a few affirmations to cleanse your mind of negativity. Calming your senses and adding tranquillity to your environment can help you induce calm, reduce stress hormones in your body, and help you become more resilient to stress triggers.
While we’re on the subject of resilience, your mind and your body can slowly deteriorate due to a weakened immune system. Now, in addition to indirectly supporting your immune system by increasing your self-awareness, your understanding of your true needs, and by helping you make healthier choices, there are other ways in which mindfulness boosts your wellbeing in the long-run.
For starters, you’ll find that hormonal balance is vital for your health, so less cortisol will directly affect your body’s ability to stay strong. To help your mind and your body benefit from mindfulness in this particular manner, try to add a mindful meditation practice to your daily routine. Even as little as ten minutes will make an impact, and you’ll benefit from it tremendously.
Dedication to healthy choices
When we let our autopilot do everything, we’ll hardly reach out for our sneakers, shorts, and tank top and head to the gym. It’s easier to stay home, watch your favourite show, and munch on something you enjoy. With so many different distractions everywhere, from your TV, computer, tablet, all the way to your phone, it’s no wonder you are rarely aware of your state of mind or the effects of your choices. Once you let go of the autopilot, and take control of your choices, you’ll not just feel more in control, but also responsible for your choices.
Even if that extra hour of Netflix sounds appealing and perfectly doable, you’ll know when enough is enough and take a book to bed so that you can fall asleep at a healthy time, without straining your mind with artificial lights. Or you’ll pick up that gym bag and get active even if it’s pouring outside. Over time, these confidence-boosters and healthy choices all around will help you become a stronger individual, with healthy sleeping and eating patterns, and with more to enjoy every day.
Mindfulness, much like happiness, is not a destination, but a never-ending journey. If you let it infuse your existence, you’ll enjoy every moment more than ever and give your mind and your body all you need to persevere through any struggles that may come your way.
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