Ever wonder why you're tired even after a good night's sleep? Is that heartburn repetitive? Does your side ache for no reason? Is your abdomen bloated? Do you have headaches? How about weight gain even though you don't eat a lot? Are you always sick? Are you depressed? Are you lacking the drive to do your best at work and at home?
These are signals from your body. Are you listening?
Many of us are preoccupied with work and family; we are eating on the run, exercising less and not being mindful of our surroundings. When an ailment like heartburn or anxiety arises, we take medication to cure it instead of looking at what the source may be. Many of our doctors are fast to treat symptoms of depression and high cholesterol, but rarely does Western medicine focus on preventative care and wellness.
In my recent book, The Responsive Universe, I talk about wellness and how we can make positive changes in our lives to shift the pendulum of energy to the center of our being. It begins with listening to your body. Our vessel of flesh and bone, energy and consciousness is our best friend.
So why do so many people eat processed food, drink soft drinks and tranquilize themselves with antidepressants? Most of the ailments listed above can be directly related to how we treat our bodies through fast food, lack of exercise and negative mental conditioning. We need to listen to our best friend and its many signals. Our bodies are looking out for us, and it's important to pay attention to the warning signs.
Below are some helpful lifestyle ideas that will bring more mindfulness and wellness into your life.
Be mindful of what you eat. Try to stay away from processed foods that contain ingredients that are hard to pronounce. The more processed your food is, the less likely it is that it's geared to your wellness. Eat organic when possible and find a balance between dairy and animal proteins, with more focus on fruits and vegetables.
Changing your diet to incorporate more whole foods will not only make you feel better, but will fill your body with vitamins and antioxidants that can help prevent and even fight diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
If you find it difficult to keep fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, juice them! In one healthy concoction you can combine super foods like kale, spinach, apple, banana, carrot, blue berries and beet! Imagine how good this is for your body and mind. There are many great recipes to be found here on MindBodyGreen that combine the healthiest super foods into delicious and invigorating drinks. Check it out!
Coupled with a good diet rich in antioxidants, regular exercise is important to our overall wellness. With busy lives, we tend to forego exercise for our favorite evening sitcom and sitting on the couch, but it's important to incorporate moderate exercise into our lives. Even if it's just walking the dog or riding the bike around your neighborhood, any exercise is better than nothing. Explore yoga or find an exercise buddy to help push you. Find something that's fun and complements your busy schedule.
Get outside as much as possible and breathe in the fresh air. There's this sublime flow to the universe that is representative of nature: Beauty, serenity and positive energy are present outside. Notice the unexplored detail in nature, feel the healing warmth of the sun and connect to the openness and clarity that is found outdoors. Nature is an unmistakable bond to our cosmic creator and this healing energy is unlimited when we immerse ourselves in our exterior surroundings.
We can nurture ourselves through diet and exercise, but what about music, taking a hot bath, watching a sunset, playing with your children and going out on a much needed date? Nurture yourself with things you enjoy and share this energy with others. We find ourselves so preoccupied with our busy lives we forget to enjoy the simple things in life. Treat yourself and others to some fun and you will find empowerment in new and rewarding places.
It has been said that 80% of our thoughts are recycled from the previous day. So much of what we think is rooted in the past and future, fear and fantasy – all associated with the ego and false-self. Meditation asks for us to be mindful of the present; nothing more. Start a meditation regimen that works for you.
All it takes is mindfulness. We need to listen to our bodies and act accordingly. It just takes small steps in several facets of your life to make positive lasting changes that will not only benefit you and your best friend, but those around you. Another world awaits!