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“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” -Socrates
This will only take 5 minutes of your time (or less). You might be thinking that you don’t really have five minutes during your very busy day. Everyone is so busy! As days slip by have you found yourself more wrapped up in external activities as opposed to what really makes you feel good or even more productive? Consider taking just a few minutes during your day to focus on how you really want to feel in your life versus a mindset of merely “getting through a crazy, busy day”. The reality is because of all of the technology today; we actually have more free time today than we did decades ago. Researchers call it “contaminated time”. Contaminated time is time spent with the tape that runs in our heads about what needs to get done that day. It makes us feel busier than we really are or in extreme situations we can even feel as if we are overwhelmed. It lets us believe that these things have more importance than they actually do.
The bigger problem is that this state only brings you more of what you’ve already got.
Find quiet place and close your eyes and visualize in your mind exactly what you want to feel and things that you want to do. Focus on your desired feelings. Imagine what happens when you follow your emotions. If you are aiming for something particular, visualize how it feels to have achieved your goal already. Visualize or tell yourself what needs to be done in order to get there. Sit with a sense of what you want until you have emotions to accompany the story or vision. The emotional reaction activates your subconscious and gives you a stronger sense of direction and purpose. That part of you which knows and understands what you are asking for, by feeling it. Emotions burn things into the psyche. When you get to a point where there is an emotion actively involved in the thought or vision that you want to experience, you can stop. You have empowered your best feelings and intentions by repeating this simple and fast exercise.
Wellness on a Shoestring Budget
Admittedly, this is the short and sweet antidote to a much larger issue. This is article is intended to get your attention in order to focus on what is very important and is often postponed rather than made a priority during our lives. These practices are free:
Rest, Reflect and Rejuvenate – This is a simple ingredient in life. Have fun; sleep more, listen to music, spend more time outside, etc…. What do you enjoy? What do you that you love? Think about those things that rejuvenate you and make them an important part of your life.
Breathe. Emotions are intimately connected to breathing. Practice intentional deep breathing. If you concentrate on breathing, you bring yourself into your body and the here and now. It breaks up you thought patterns and creates an awareness of your self. It is also a great distraction so that we don’t dwell on problem solving or thoughts that are not as useful.
Move Your Body. There are many physical as well as emotional benefits of being active and moving your body. You sleep better. Your brain gets more oxygen and energy. You will release natural stress fighting endorphins. If you let muscles and joints stop moving, over time the overall body loses the ability to move. Our bodies were designed to move.
Choose Greens. Adding more vegetables to your diet. Fruits and vegetables give cells what they need chemically so that they can function optimally. Vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which have been shown to protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They are also low in calories, making them a great choice for weight management.
Drink Water. Water helps rid the body of waste. Every part of the body’s processes… such as thinking, nerve function, blood circulation, digestion, motion and elimination, requires water in order to function properly.
De-clutter. Free your space and get rid of physical, mental and emotional clutter. How many things do you hold onto that are not truly helpful or important? Notice what that excess “stuff” is in your life. The truth is we sometimes hang on to things that will never serve us.
“Clutter means anything that stands between you and the vision you have for your best life — it’s so much more than just the stuff.” Peter Walsh
De-stress. Be in the here and now. First, we have to catch ourselves ruminating about things that have already happened or catastrophizing about what hasn’t happened yet. Notice what is here. What are the sensations that are present? Is the temperature of the air? Notice the sensation of breath as you inhale and exhale. The more we practice coming back to the present, the less anxiety we feel.
Connect with others. Humans are social animals. We crave feeling supported, valued and connected. Studies indicate that “social capital” is one of the biggest predictors for health, happiness, and longevity.
Use Guided imagery. Close your eyes and remember your most peaceful or happy experience. You might also imagine an experience that takes you to a place of relaxation and contentment. For many it is a beach or meadow. It could be a bustling city and walking and hearing seeing and feeling this sights and sounds.
Take charge of your health and wellbeing. You are your #1 caregiver. You have been given this body and this life to “care” for. After all, you know your body better than anyone else. Listen to your body’s signals. The act of taking charge of your own health ensures that you get the best care.
“Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.” Bronnie Ware
Long Term Weight Management
Most diets seem to succeed in the short-term and fail in the long-term. The solution for long-term healthy weight management is truly about adapting to a more balanced and healthy mindset and lifestyle. Because losing weight is more than a diet. But, where do we start?
Unless we are talking about eating certain foods that you truly prefer to eat you are taking a short-term prescription in order to get over your current situation. We are “on a diet” or we are “off a diet”. The term implies that a “diet” is something outside of ourselves. And, you may feel that what you need is something outside of ourself . You might want a jumpstart to get going with a diet plan but at some point those behaviors will have to become a part of you in order to sustain a long term change. Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Weight loss happens by changing mindset, eating behaviors and activity to eat less and move more. The change comes from within.
Imagine a successful and healthy weight management plan by seeing what you would be happy to eat to find your happy or healthy weight. To start, imagine a weight you are able to maintain fairly easily. Stay with that thought and allow your mind to automatically kick in and begin to plan how you will get there. See yourself eating with awareness by making a commitment to appreciate, respect and enjoy the food you eat every day. Of course, it’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits but let’s say you don’t like many fruits and vegetables. You can eat the vegetables you do like. Maybe you’re okay with apples, snap peas or carrots. You can include apples, snap peas or carrots in your diet every day. Or try a new fruit or vegetable you think you might be able to tolerate. You build on this adding habits that make you feel good about the changes that you are creating.
The more you that tell yourself that you can’t do the more you believe that it’s true. That is not going to improve anything. The idea is to take steps now that you can see moving you forward to change and improve.
More on diets:
Some Energy Lifting Ideas:
A few focused minutes in your day can improve the way that you feel. Set an alarm if you have to in order to consciously remind yourself to choose activities that are like likely to improve you energy.
Stretch and take a couple of clearing breaths.
Stand up and stretch your arms, back, legs, and neck. Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it, and let it out slowly and forcefully, through your mouth. Repeat several times.
Breathe and let go.
Let go of needing to control everything all of the time! Breathe, let go!