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What is mindful wellness? This term refers to a series of practices that have you tuning into your body, listening to its cues and responding accordingly. It also entails paying closer attention to daily habits influencing your overall well-being.
Mindful wellness can help you achieve peak health by focusing on your individual needs instead of falling in line en masse with the latest diet and exercise trends. It can also cue you into issues that require professional attention.
How can you embrace these practices and make them a part of your lifestyle? Here are five mindful wellness tips.
1. Focus on Your Food
You sit down at your workstation with a bag of chips, intending to snack on only a few while you finish your budget report. Before you know it, you’re scraping the bottom of the bag and wondering if you should skip dinner to compensate for all those empty calories you consumed. Worse, you don’t remember tasting a single bite.
Mindfulness of eating can be a useful stress-reduction exercise — think of the activity that has you mindfully eat a square of chocolate. However, it might also help you lose weight or alert you to maladaptive thinking patterns around food that require professional intervention.
What should you do? For one, make eating an occasion. There’s a reason why the French linger over lunch and refuse to let work obligations intervene — more Americans should insist on the practice.
In the meantime, try slowing down and asking yourself the following questions each time you nosh:
- What are the different colors in my meal? Flavors? Eating the rainbow can increase your nutrient intake and improve your health. Strive to get at least three unique colors and taste sensations in each meal, pausing to reflect on the various nutritional benefits.
- Why am I eating? People eat for reasons other than hunger. A little mindful reflection might reveal that you’re snacking to ease boredom or self-medicate stress.
- How does my food make me feel? Pay attention to your body’s cues. Maybe you were famished when you began. Notice when you start to feel full. Tuning in can help you avoid mindless grazing and overeating.
2. Find Movement That You Love
Exercise is essential for health — the World Health Organization suggests most adults get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous movement daily. However, it doesn’t have to entail a treadmill unless you genuinely enjoy catching up on the news while you log your miles.
Fitness doesn’t have to be boring. Mindfully explore what physical activities you enjoy — and why. Perhaps you could care less about the gym but enjoy the camaraderie of group fitness. Why not mix up your routine by joining a sports league? You’ll still get social interaction while working with different muscle groups.
Perhaps you crave nothing more than an escape from crowds and connectivity at day’s end. If so, maybe hiking or mountain biking is more your jam. Escape to your favorite natural area and revel in the silence while moving your body.
3. Give Yourself Time to Breathe
Here’s the thing about mindful health tips. They take time and are incompatible with today’s hustle-and-grind culture. However, that’s a positive — soaring stress levels and the poor diets and inactivity associated with many modern lifestyles are destroying human health.
Therefore, give yourself time to breathe. Set reminders on your phone to pause every hour or two and take a few minutes to practice deep breathing and collect your thoughts. You’ll be amazed at how this simple act can transform your habits and help you get more done without much extra effort. Try one of these patterns to soothe your nervous system and clear your mind:
- Lion’s breath: This technique is fun when you’re bogged down with too much seriousness. Inhale, expanding your belly as much as possible. Then exhale through your mouth as you stick out your tongue and sigh.
- Boxed breathing: The Navy SEALS popularized this method where you inhale for a 4-count, hold for four, then exhale for the same length, pausing again at the bottom before inhaling again.
- 5:5 breathing: Perhaps the easiest to remember, this practice has you inhale smoothly for five, then exhale the same length.
4. Consider Mindful Hobbies
What do you like to do in your spare time? Today’s hustle culture has people so mentally weary that many get off work and do little but collapse on the couch for a Netflix binge. Why not reacquaint yourself with things that make you smile while improving your health at the same time as a mindful wellness tip?
What should you do? Some people find solace in gardening or knitting. Others enjoy tackling woodworking or DIY projects, while still more prefer quieter tasks like reading or painting.
If you’re stuck, think about what you liked to play the most as a child. Such reflections can offer valuable career insight if you’re considering a switch.
5. Honor Your Time With Family and Friends
Nobody looked back on their deathbed, thinking, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” What people regret most is not spending more time with those they love.
Therefore, keep your time with family and friends sacrosanct. Pencil it into your weekly planner — prioritizing it thus shows its importance. While you may occasionally need to miss a soccer practice to work late, keep the following fact in mind: you’re replaceable at the office. Seriously, if you leave, your boss will hire someone new by next week. However, you’re irreplaceable at home.
Mindful Wellness Tips
Mindfulness has the power to transform your life. It can help you prioritize what matters and take control of your health.
Embrace these five mindful wellness tips for improved well-being and better overall life balance. You’ll feel better and make smarter choices, all without following a single diet or self-help book.
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