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Do you wish to feel fitter, to have more energy and vitality to keep up with your busy life? Or, are you so busy that you don’t have time or energy to look after yourself? Everyone knows the Government’s take on health and wellness- exercise more, eat more fruit and vegetables, be positive and have an active interest in life. Yet time and time again, I receive calls from stressed out professionals saying life is so busy they don’t have time to relax, and even if they did they don’t know how to relax! As a side note, I teach yoga to young children and teens, and strange as it seems they are also stressed and don’t know how to relax…but that’s the subject for another post!
Back to my original point, in today’s post we look at 3 steps you can take to start taking better care of yourself.
Stress is fast becoming the #1 buzzword in modern society
Everyone is aware of the negative impact of stress yet finding the time and energy to commit to a “healthier lifestyle” seems a daunting task.
To encourage you to take the first step in getting healthier, here are three suggestions for you to try.
Three Ways To Have A Healthier Lifestyle
Healthier Lifestyle Tip #1-Become Body Language Aware
Learn to recognise and be aware of how you think, feel and talk about your body and well-being.
The words you speak about your health and wellness are so important. When I meet new students I listen to how they describe their health. Do you say any of these things “my back is killing me”, “climbing those stairs every day will be the death of me”, “my boss is a pain in the arse” “I crash out on the settee as soon as switch the TV on/or my children go to bed” or the classic “I am too tired to eat and haven’t the energy to cook…” so “I grab something on the way home and shove into the microwave”?
In yoga we are taught to observe the relationship between your mental chatter and physical sensations within the body.
Try this simple experiment
Just for today, take a moment to listen to the words your friends and work colleagues use to talk about their health. I know when I catch up with my girlfriends and old Probation Officer colleagues, all they talk about is how “stressed, exhausted and worn out they are” work takes up all their time and there isn’t any “time left to enjoy life”.
When you notice yourself or others use the same or similar expressions in relation to their health, stop and observe your posture as the words are spoken. Then rather than grimace and reinforce the pain, take a moment to realign your body, smile and laugh at yourself; aim to positively reframe the words or even stop yourself continuing the same negative self-talk. I am not saying to deny or block your pain, as pain and tension in your body is your body’s way of telling you to stop; all I am saying is to pause, tune in and be aware of how easy it is to use negative language in relation to your body.
Healthier Lifestyle Tip-#2- Take Time to Breathe
In the busyness of life, it is easy to put your needs on the backburner and not realise what is happening on an inner/emotional level. I am not perfect, and I am sure, like me, you spend a large portion of your day in your head, thinking, and analysing, processing information.
Learning how to breathe correctly, to take full deep yogic breaths is an important part of self-care. Your breath is your link between your body and mind and essential to support you gaining clarity and insight. Every time you exhale you give your body space and permission to let go, and release pain and struggle. As you inhale, you take in rich oxygen, which brings life and vitality to your mind, body and soul. Here are three deep breathing yoga exercises you can try to effortlessly release tension.
Healthier Lifestyle Tip- #3 – Be More Active
If you know you want to be fitter, have more energy, feel less tired but are not sure exactly how to do that, seek help. Go to your doctors, explain your symptoms and see what she recommends. The Western medical model is excellent at diagnosis, so I always suggest to students have a medical check up to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Use the information gained from your check up to spur you on to seek ways to be more leisurely in your approach to life and take up more physical activities.
Increased physical activity is a stepping stone in the right direction to improve your health. Join your local gym, book a personal yoga lesson, go for a stroll at lunch time or better still practice seated yoga stretches at your workstation, that way you have no excuse not to exercise.
To improve your sense of well-being and vitality, take your time to listen to how you talk about your body and the words you use to describe your health, aim to consciously reframe your negative self -talk; learn how to breathe correctly and seek support to help you become healthier and more physically active.
And now, And I’d love you to share this post with your friends and community by clicking the icons below; and to help me win this week’s weblogbetter challenge, if you enjoyed this post and are an Alist Blogger or know someone who is, please share the contents of this posts and link back to this post or any of my other posts from your own blog (and forward me the link!) Not only will you will be helping me achieve my nextgoal but more importantly help someone reduce their stress and take charge of their health and wellness.
Take care and Thank you
Image, with thanks, from Whologwhy