Applying mindfulness to your health

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you consume foods that will give you strength and energy?
  • Do you drink enough water?
  • How well do you sleep?
  • Do you search out people who encourage you and activities that bring you joy?

If you aren’t satisfied with your honest answers, it’s OK. It simply means you’ve found a starting point for your transition. Healthy shifts in behavior are always achievable through small, SMART goals. But, as Jill Zahm, MSN, AHN-BC tells us, also, a healthy dose of mindfulness. We asked Jill to share a handful of changes people can make to connect their body and their behavior.

Five Ways to be Mindful About Your Health

1. Nurture relaxation, if only for a few moments every day.
Think about what nurturing yourself means to you. For some, it might be diving into a book. For others, it might be a bubble bath. Think about what it is for you and do it, if only for a few moments each day. Tell yourself, “In this moment I have nowhere to be, I have nothing to do and no one needs me, for this moment.”

2. Know yourself.
Know the warning signals your body gives off when you are stressed. These are different for all of us. For some, it may be a headache. For others, maybe it’s tummy trouble or insomnia. Look for patterns and learn your unique warning signal, then take action before you reach your maximum stress capacity. We are wonderfully made and our bodies tell us when we need to step back and take a breath. But we tend to reach into the medicine cabinet to mask the warning signs our bodies are giving us.

3. Use your reset button, not your easy button
Easy buttons are those habits in our life we go to when stressed; Eating a whole cake because you had a bad day, being unkind (snarky) to your loved ones because traffic was horrible, having a smoke because your boss yelled. Instead, cultivate beneficial reset buttons like taking a short walk to clear your mind, deep breathing exercises, 5-10 minutes of yoga, misting essential oils or turning on your favorite song.

4. Live according to your values.
One definition of integrity is how closely your life aligns with your values. Ask yourself if you do what you say you are going to do. Do you live your life according to what you believe in? Internal conflict and stress occurs when we don’t take the time to sort out what we really believe. Take some time and think about what you believe in and make adjustments to live a life more closely aligned with your values. A gratitude journal is a good option as well.

5. Practice prevention.
Prevention means committing to a lifestyle that prevents future disease and disability. Adding 5-10 minutes of movement and 2 more fruits or vegetables to your day is a great start. Don’t just say you are going to exercise more and eat better. Make a very specific plan and do it. If you fall off the wagon, be kind to yourself and remember every plate is a new opportunity to fill it up with healthy choices.  Every morning is new start.

 

Are you starting to think about making choices that impact your health? Practicing some mindfulness might be the key to helping you reach your goals. Join us August 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m., for our free event, Taking Your Health to Heart: A cardiovascular health and wellness seminar at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation.

Guests will:

  • Learn how daily habits affect your risk of developing heart disease or other chronic illness.    
  • Learn about the new Cardiovascular Health & Wellness Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute.
  • Take home information that will help you develop a plan, just for you.
  • Visit community vendors that can support you along the path to heart health (i.e. the “Bod Pod”)
  • Enjoy a light meal

Register here or by calling 844-897-0369.  

  

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