“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” – Eckhart Tolle
The seasonal changes are upon us as the days feel longer and brighter, colorful flowers are painting our landscapes, allergy season is upon us and we’re renewing our spirits in the midst of it all. Just as we tend to our gardens with care we must not forget to tend to ourselves in mind body and spirit. These three elements in perfect harmony help us view life through a clearer lens while improving our ability to experience ultimate happiness.
‘Wellness’ has been a catch-all phrase for what people strive for in their daily lives – a sense of balance if you will- but don’t have practical steps to follow in order to reach their goals.
In all honesty I’ve been way too familiar with the efforts it takes to have a physically healthy body. Achieving a state of fitness that allows me to perform simple tasks with ease didn’t just happen overnight. It took and continually takes consistency, dedication and the willpower to form new habits & let go of old ones. For someone who lifts heavy weights and understands the principles of gaining strength, other areas of my life like my mental wellbeing and spiritual connections have taken a big hit. On the outside I probably look like a healthy functioning young adult, but on the inside I’ve been withering away without even seeing the warning signs.
There was no reminder icon popping up on my dashboard alerting me to the damage I was failing to address. I wish our bodies worked in the same fashion as cars do, where if you’re low on gas a symbol will appear to warn us that our energy levels power and efficiency are in need of re-charging.
With that being said, I’ve been inspired to write this blog post on ‘healthy habits’ for each area of our lives that combined together give us a sense of peace + stability. Whichever stage of life you’re in, may these habits be useful tools for you to implement so that you too can reach a state of ultimate wellness.
MIND| Revamp your definition of productivity
Your brain is not only a dynamic organ- requiring 20% of your body’s energy needs- but also a key role player in maintaining internal + external balance. The way we think directly effects every cell in our bodies. Feeding our minds junk only produces clutter around us and anxiety plagues our thinking patterns. If we have time to feed off of instant gratification from social media or through the accumulation of accolades from work/school, you also have time to challenge your mind in healthy ways in order to balance out all the negativity, unhealthy behaviors, and ‘not good enough’ mentalities.
Here are some ideas to help you transform your mindset and regain control of your mental wellbeing.
- Mindful Media– try out a new app such as crossword puzzles, wheel of fortune, jeopardy or pick up a new language on Duolingo. Don’t have time to read? Listen to an audiobook or a podcast by your favorite authors + influencers.
- Brain Dumps– whether you start a gratitude journal, blog, or even begin writing on the notes app on your phone/ on the extra napkin from lunch, find at least 5 minutes in your day to do a ‘brain dump.’ This is where you write down everything that’s on your mind in that moment – creative ideas you’ve had recently, goals you want to accomplish that week or even challenges that you’ve overcome and what they’ve taught you.
BODY| Creating awareness inside & out
Our bodies are more than just a collection of perfectly placed organs, fine-tuned biochemical reactions and intricate networks. Your body is essentially your permanent home through which you live breathe and experience life.
Just like you wouldn’t cultivate a beautiful front yard and treat the inside of your home like a dumpster, be wary of only maintaining your exterior as picture perfect and forgetting to check in on how your insides are doing.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing– aka breathing from your gut and NOT your chest. Health benefits include (but are not limited to) lower blood pressure, improved immune system efficiency & a better stress coping mechanism. Create internal flow by tuning into your breath and witness the instant ease to follow.
- Reading Food Labels– the age-old adage “you are what you eat” couldn’t be truer in this case. Yes, it’s cheesy and overused, but this statement has some underlying truth to it which we’ve been turning a blind eye to. How many of us go through life eating things labeled as “healthy” or “good source of (insert nutrient)” without really looking into the entire ingredients list? I’ve fallen prey to many mislabeled health claims on popular food items as well, until I started spending an extra minute or two reading the back of the packaging.
- Rule of Thumb: if the item has more than 10-15 ingredients I usually don’t purchase it OR if I can’t pronounce/recognize an ingredient, that’s a clear red flag indicating that I shouldn’t be buying this product.
SOUL| Learn to use a magnifying glass
Talking about the spirit without diving too deep into religion, spiritual practices and personal belief systems, I think we all can take steps towards a healthy soul by evaluating some key aspects in our social lives.
- Slay Your Emotional Vampires – are the people in your inner circle creating an environment of toxicity? Are your friends adding value to your life or just sucking you dry of every resource? Learning to differentiate whose really there for you throughout life’s highs & lows is probably one of the biggest achievements we can make for a healthy soul. This spring, channel your inner vampire slayer and let go of friendships and individuals in your life that are weighing you down.
- Practicing Gratitude –costs you nothing but pays you back in dividends. Gratefulness is the concept of finding things to celebrate and be thankful for no matter the circumstances. I use this habit every night while I journal & at times I’m astonished at how many good things happened to me in one day that were so meniscal but added to my overall wellbeing. Start off small and allocate a few minutes in your day to shout out what you’re grateful for.You can do this while you’re driving to work in traffic, while taking a walk or even as you ponder life with one eye open on the porcelain throne every morning. Gratitude is an attitude that your soul feeds off of.
Friends, I hope you enjoyed reading this month’s post & gained some valuable tips to implement into your own life. Healthy habits are achievable if you take action towards making them a part of your lifestyle. Even if you takeaway one thing from this post, use it to your advantage and cultivate the best version of yourself this year.
“There is no one GIANT step that does it. It’s a lot of LITTLE steps.”
Talk to you on the next post!