The following article, “Enhance the Connection Between Your Mind, Body and Soul,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments. Read more below.
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You don’t have to hike the mountains of Tibet to find a peaceful place to reflect on life and its meaning. Making small changes to your day can help you connect – or reconnect – with your higher power or settle in with your spiritual side.
Hit the hay the right way
Sleep is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness, but for many people, it can be hard to come by. While we tend to blame our busy schedules and obligations for our lack of shut-eye, our bedrooms have more to do with our sleep health than a lot of us realize. If you’ve already taken basic sleep-well steps, like cutting down on caffeine consumption and going to bed earlier, use a critical eye to examine your bedroom. Do you have a lot of light or outside noise pouring in each night? Hang some light- and noise-reducing blackout curtains. Do you wake up sweating at 2 a.m.? Turn the temperature down before climbing into bed, or if you don’t have air conditioning in your room, install a small window unit. Getting adequate rest on a regular basis can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and emotionally, so make sure you’ve created a bedroom space that supports that.
From morning ‘til night
Finding happiness, peace, and contentment is a matter of living in the moment – each moment. From the minute your eyes open until your head hits the pillow, you have to make a conscious effort to experience life. Take a minute to stretch and reflect on your day before you get out of bed. This five-minute exercise will prepare you for the ups and downs you’ll face. Do the same at the end of each day, but consider how your reactions to situations directed how you felt in each moment. Once you realize that you have control over your reactions, it’s easier to achieve overall happiness.
Meditation allows you to focus on your strengths and narrow your train of thought. When you meditate, you have an opportunity to block out negative energy and avoid being overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings you’d rather not have. There are many benefits of clearing your mind and living in the moment. This infographic is a great introduction to how meditation affects the mind, body, and spirit.
Food and mental health
Taking care of your mental health doesn’t stop at meditation and intentional positivity. A mounting body of research, as highlighted by the American Psychological Association, suggests that the way you eat can have serious effects on your mental health. In one study, adults with depression were randomly assigned an eating plan designed to eliminate junk food and add more produce, legumes, and fish to their diet. The control group was told to continue their normal eating habits. More than one-third of the test subjects showed an improvement in depression levels, compared to the less than 10 percent of those who continued with an unchecked diet.
Fitness boosts spirituality
There are obvious benefits to paying attention to your physical health, but there are many more that hide just beneath the surface. Health Fitness Revolution explains that exercise releases epinephrine and dopamine, both hormones that directly relate to your perception of life. Further, working out gives your body sustainable energy and can help you operate on a higher mental plane, which can lead you toward your desired spiritual practices.
Whole health for a happy you
When you’re trying to live your best life, it isn’t enough just to focus on one aspect of your health. You have to put time and energy into all seven dimensions of wellness. These include intellectual, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental. If one of these doesn’t work for your lifestyle, it will knock you completely off balance. As an example, if you aren’t happy in your job – your occupational wellness – you may be stressed out, which is bad for your emotional health. Stress can take a toll on your physical health by swaying you away from making good choices regarding self-care. When you don’t make positive choices for your physical health, you may begin to pull away from your social activities, which can make you feel lonely and wreak havoc on your emotions.
The way you care for yourself every day impacts your overall quality of life. One small positive change can snowball and create a cycle of wellness that helps you thrive from the inside out.