- Create “mindful reminders” by choosing something that happens randomly during your day such as getting a text, stopping at a red light, noticing a flowering tree, finding a red car, and others. Use it as a signal to pause and take a few breaths.
- Do more of what you love. When you get busy and stressed (which seems to be a lot at times) resist the tendency to skip the things that feel your soul. Instead, double down on what you love-whether it is hiking, reading, coloring, dancing, or spending time with people who make you laugh.
- Oil your feet before bed. Try a warm bottle of sunflower or coconut oil in a bowl of hot water, use about a tablespoon to coat your feet and ankles and massage each foot for a few minutes. You could even rub your special friend or person’s feet while they rub yours. This is very relaxing and could promote a good night sleep.
- Give yourself a good shot of nature throughout the day. Get outside for a few minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening. During your time outside bring in your sensory awareness such as the sounds, the feeling of the breeze, and the colors around you.
- Savor the good. Each day or night ask yourself “What was a great moment today?” This will help you change your thinking toward positive thoughts and emotions.
- Recognized the disadvantage of the status quo.
- Recognize the advantages of change.
- Hold some optimism about change.
- Have an intention to change.
- Make a commitment to change.
Recognize the disadvantage of status quo:
- I never really thought about how…
- I think I have not taken this serious enough
- I can see now that if I don’t change…. I could die sooner
Recognize the advantages of change:
- If I weigh less, I could buy regular size clothing
- If I weighed a normal weight, I would have more energy
- I would probably feel better if I exercised
- I might enjoy my grandchildren more as they grow up
Expressing optimism about change:
- I think I could exercise 2 times a week
- I was able to quit smoking many years ago
- I usually can do something if I made up my mind I am going to do it
- I think I can do this with some support from family
Expressing intention to change:
- I think it is time for me to do this
- I have got to do something
- This is not how I want to be the rest of my life
- I don’t know how I will do this but I am going to have to do it
Making a commitment to change:
- I have a plan
- I have accountability
- I have the drive
- I have support
Do you drink too much when you are out with friends?
Do you buy clothes that you don’t need without realizing it?
These can become bad habits. Many bad habits are operated mindlessly, on autopilot. How do you stop these bad habits? The key is to figure out how to get your mind off of autopilot. It is learning to disrupt the behavior before it starts.
How many of you go to the movies and buy popcorn and eat the whole bucket within the first 20 minutes of the movie, and then have to run out again to get more? Are you hungry? Probably not. It is just mindless eating. If you would like to break a bad habit, spend some time thinking about the situations in which bad behavior often occurs. Considering doing something else instead of going back into mindless autopilot. Any alternate activity is less likely to trigger mindless eating. Try mixing up your routines, or changing hands when you eat making the situation more mindful and aware.
Many times, we blame ourselves for failures and chalk it up to lack of commitment or willpower. We need to understand how behavioral mindless activities start by understanding how they really work and applying the most effective strategies to overcome our bad habits. We need to get off of autopilot and fly our own plane. This would be a great coaching session. Are you ready?
- Decreased feelings of anxiety and depression
- Individuals have a better ability to cope with stress
- Feelings of individuals are more confident and have more self-worth
- Individual have generally higher feelings of happiness
- Individuals who practice gratitude may even rewire the brain to be more sensitive to experiences gratitude
They also found that there are physical benefits associated with having an attitude of gratitude such as:
- Improved cardiac health
- Decreased blood pressure
- Better sleep habits
- Quicker recovery from illness
- Increased energy
Ways to practice gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Keep a gratitude jar and put little notes in the jar each day
- Observe “30” days of thanks. Post something you are grateful for or post a picture of something you are grateful for each day.
- Thank 5 people who have an impact on your life and write each one a letter to express your gratitude.
- There are also gratitude calendars that can be helpful
- Practice mindfulness
- Spend time with loved ones
An excerpt from the article:
…From September 7 to November 30, the library will be hosting family yoga classes from 11-11:30 am each Saturday. The classes are free and will be led by Sarah Ryder, an occupational therapist, registered yoga teacher and owner of The Hammock.
Classes Part of Energize Lowell Initiative
Stephanie Weaver, a branch librarian, explains the family yoga classes are part of a larger initiative that seeks to promote community wellness. Known as Energize Lowell, the initiative will eventually encompass nutrition classes offered by the YMCA, activities on trails at the Wittenbach Wege Center and perhaps other events.
There has been some evidence linking movement to improved literacy which is one reason the library was keen to offer family yoga classes. It is also an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
Family yoga was offered over the summer, and each session contained a unique mix of activities depending on who was in attendance. One week a 3-year old was in the crowd and another week, it was all adults. “It’s very easy for me to modify and change things,” Ryder says. Chairs are also available for those who want to participate but are unable to stand throughout the class.
The library has invested in mats and blocks so families don’t need to bring any equipment to the sessions.
“Americanized Yoga” Comes With Multiple Benefits
Ryder knows some people are wary of yoga because of its spiritual roots. However, these classes are what she terms Americanized yoga. “It’s movement. It’s breathing,” she says. “We’re not sitting and chanting.”…
The article concludes…
In the meantime, Lowell residents are invited to a free yoga class on Saturday, September 14, that will take place at the Grand River Riverfront Park bridge. Ryder says she will meet participants at the bridge at 9 am and conduct an hour-long yoga session that will take advantage of the beautiful views along the Grand River. If the weather is inclement, the session will be moved to an indoor location.
Once you can stay with a least a few cycles, let the breath recede into the background and choose your anxiety sensations as a primary object of attention. Feel how they manifest in the muscle tension, restlessness, and so forth. Try to approach these sensations with an attitude of interest and curiosity – not asking what they mean or where they come from, but just investigating how they feel in each instant. See if the sensations are solid or perhaps subtly changing from moment to moment. As you’ve done before, whenever your mind begins to wander away from the sensations, gently bring it back.
Notice also, any urges to withdraw from the anxiety sensations – to get up, shift position, or make them stop. The key here is to stay with what is happening in the body rather than trying to make the sensations stop or go away.