Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
A new year and a new opportunity to hit the personal reset button. But whether it’s the new moon, a new calendar year or simple just a new moment, we can always reset.
As multi-layered human beings, we have many pieces to the pie that contribute to our individual health and happiness. I emphasize “individual” as each of us require different reset and remedy for our physical body’s homeostasis, emotional contentment, mental ease and spiritual growth. When we take a deeper look, a comprehensive and all-inclusive look at our overall being, where can we create more health, ease and contentment?
Think of where you would like to be in each area of your life. How would you like your body to feel? Where would you like your stress level to be at? Where do you see your life going? As you tap into these sometimes challenging questions and answers, instead of judging yourself and feeling guilty for not being where you want to be in these areas, reset your thought process to imagine what it would feel like, to be where it is you see yourself wanting to go.
Think of it as a holistic reset button, re-framing the big picture of your life. Finding a kinder, gentler way to support you and your life as you go forward. Honoring what is, as is. Accepting what is, as is. Taking action from this place with love, kindness and compassion.
And while a new year is an opportunity and symbolism for re-setting, we don't ever have to wait! This moment right now, can be the time you make the decision to think, feel and act in way that nurtures and supports you holistically and completely.
A large number of people make New Year resolutions. But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep them. University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. By focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves and what we want to change about our lives, we may be setting ourselves up for failure. This mind frame sets the foundation in a negative structure from the start. Perhaps there is more beneficial ways to reach our goals without making these overwhelming to-do lists based on what we don’t desire. The traditional list may be born from our “guilt” of how we are currently doing things in our lives or from “lack” mentality of what we don’t’ have, but want.
What if we learn to understand that we can re-set our intentions of acceptance and awareness, rather than fixing and changing, at given time?
If we slip on our desired goals, we can stop, re-evaluate and reset in any given moment by once again bringing mindfulness to the current reality, get clear on where it is we want to go from here and perhaps the most important part, we then tap into the feelings of what that would be like to achieve. By focusing on the feelings of what we desire as oppose to the feelings of what we don’t like, we shift and change the energy of our situation.
Life can be busy. Life can be stressful. When the external world is given too much leverage, power and control we start to act from a place that misaligned, overwhelmed and overburdened. We can overstock our life’s plate with a gluttony of un-useful stresses that keep us from having the best life we desire. Not only can this affect our studies, careers and interpersonal relationships it can keep our body, mind and heart from not just their potential, but from health itself, by making decisions that put a Band-Aid on the moment. If we don’t get to the root of issues, we can turn to stress induced numbing choices such as overindulgence of food, alcohol/drugs or other instant gratification sources. The problem being that instant doesn’t equate to sustainable, and often we feel worse than before when all is said and done. Our truest feelings can get overshadowed by the heavy fog of stress and we may dismiss or ignore them, leaving them brewing under the surface.
So what can we do to push the personal re-set button?
1. Ask the hard questions. Have you been avoiding the tough rooted inquires such as what am I doing with my life? More importantly, why am I doing it? How do I go about fixing this? What do I really want for myself in all areas of my being?
2. Gratitude / Appreciation: As we learned from last week’s column about appreciation and gratitude, research has shown that this helps us to stay healthier in the mind and body, we exercise more and make better choices for ourselves. See last week’s article “Olivia’s Appreciation Project” for tips for this. One easy suggestions, start a gratitude journal.
3. Digital Detox: We like our gadgets, don’t we? A Nottingham Trent University has discovered that the average person checks their device 85 times a day, spending a total of five hours browsing the web and using apps. Five hours! Set times windows of time that you will not go on your phone, lap top, tablet or computer. Instead do something that assists you to reach your desired life.
4. Dump the simple carb: Research shows that simple carbohydrates (processed sugar and starches) can create sugar spikes in glycemic index and make us feel sluggish, tired and unmotivated. Eat more complex carbs such as fruits and vegetables. This will help you maintain the motivation and clarity of vision.
5. Focus the mind: Every day we’re assaulted with information, facts, pseudo-facts, news feeds, fake news and jibber-jabber, coming from all directions. Slow the mind down. Meditation and yoga (or other mindful practices) have been proven to literally change the brain structure. As well as helping to significantly decrease stress and anxiety while increasing concentration, empathy, attention, and more. Meditation and yoga teach us not to control the mind, but to not let the mind control us.
6. Your surroundings: If you belong to a club or group that is toxic, find a new one. Start to let go of people in your life that don’t help you grow, instead seeking out those who want to see you blossom.
7. Alone time: Go for a drive by yourself. Go for a walk in the woods alone. Savor the warmth and massage from a shower. Make a bubble bath a big deal with candles and soft music. Find a corner of the room, a blanket and hot cup of tea with a good book. Find pockets of unplugged peace in a self-nurturing way to remind yourself that you and your dreams are worth it.
Gift yourself a commitment to yourself, wrapped in self-compassion with a show stopping ribbon of self-love! Blessings for an authentic and holistically aligned new every moment!
(If you are interested in workshops that expands on this: http://indigolounge.ca/events/)
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