Health and fitness is, of course, a big topic here. Lately, I’ve also been focusing on health as a whole that comes from more than just exercise and nutrition. I believe that how we train our minds, how we feed our souls and nurture our hearts (not in a physical sense) are the third key to our overall health. Oftentimes folks are so focused on merely the diet and the exercise that this part gets overlooked. Later, when maybe the diet and exercise component has been mastered, these same folks wonder why they still feel as if something is missing and then wonder why the same old unhealthy habits begin to creep back into their lifestyles.
“If you truly want to change your life you must first change your mind.”
One of the reasons I began our online program, Better & Beyond, is the importance of focusing on this third element of our health and wellness. We call this portion heart shine and incorporate different exercises to get clients to focus on this part of their healthy lifestyle. When you combine activities that feed the soul, you end up doing something good for the mind and body.
I want you to think outside the box when it comes to your health and fitness. Taking care of yourself doesn’t always have to do with getting in enough cardio, working on your abs and counting macros and calories. There are countless connections between being mindful and happiness. This may not be new to you. There has been much more focus on mindfulness in the recent years. The experience of being fully involved and engaged in an activity has been shown to change the brain in ways that make us happier. We can learn to savor the moments, the time with others or simply the time in the actual acto of doing whatever it is.
There are many, many ways to practice mindfulness. You may think I am about to go into mindful meditation. That is a great topic to cover here, but I will leave that for another day. Instead, I am going to share the importance of being mindful in listening to your own voice and your heart. This is something that you should be adding to your lifestyle, not just for the health benefits, but also because it can bring you so much pleasure and happiness – which then makes you a healthier person!
Some of the benefits will be just what you expect – like reducing stress and helping you deal with all of those everyday struggles that just keep coming at us. Taking a time out to take care of yourself, prioritize yourself, and find the things that feed your soul will help you handle those feelings of stress and their symptoms, like:
Constantly feeling anxious and worried
Feeling irritable, agitated and easily annoyed
Argumentative and defensive with friends and family
Low levels of energy, often waking up feeling tired
Restless and frenetic mind
Often self-critical and/or critical of others
Feeling flat and uninspired
Having difficulty concentrating
Skin rashes and conditions
Clenching your jaw muscles and grinding your teeth at night
Headaches and migraines
How many of these symptoms have you had this week? I’m sure at least a couple!
When you bring down your stress, find a way to relax through mindfulness or activities that bring you joy, you receive health benefits such as these:
Higher brain functioning
Increased immune function
Lowered blood pressure
Lowered heart rate
Increased attention and focus
Increased clarity in thinking and perception
Lowered anxiety levels
Experience of being calm and internally still
Experience of feeling connected
Gaining these benefits are not hard, complicated or time-consuming. But aren’t they awesome? It can take just a few minutes a day to do even those little things that bring you joy. Sitting quietly, listening to favorite music, writing, chatting with a friend, reading a book, working on a hobby, taking a walk outside. These are all low cost, simple and do not take away from your already crowded day, but can do so much to add TO your day.
I hope you will really think about ways to make your heart shine and realize its importance in your own health journey.
This is a weekly portion of our Better & Beyond Program! If you want to make sure you are adding this into your own balanced healthy lifestyle join us for our next round on April 1!
Enjoy Your Day!