This month within my wellness for women community – Truly Julie – we are talking about different sources of stress and how we can eliminate the impact these stresses have on our lives. This is of course an extensive concept, and one that surely affects all of us to some degree!! Continue reading Stress and Physical Health
We all know that our own self-care and wellness should be at the top of our priority list. However, how often is this actually the case? Many of us seem to believe that we have to seriously set time aside from our normal daily routine to embrace wellness practices – but this is simply not true!
It actually takes minimal effort to incorporate certain self-care activities into your schedule, and they will soon become second nature – requiring no forethought at all! When you reach this point you will notice that you are more likely to feel relaxed and focused during your days.
Breathing is seriously under-rated as a tool for stress relief and can be used anywhere at any time to rebalance your thoughts and your emotions. A simple technique to start is to stop whatever it is that you are doing, close your eyes and begin breathing deeply and slowly. Count each breath in and try not to allow any thoughts, anxieties or feelings to enter your mind. At this moment, counting your breaths is the only thing that you need to concern yourself with and everything else can take a back seat. Try to reach at least 20 breaths each time you do this, and if you have the time then go on for longer! Even if you do not feel particularly stressed out then I suggest you do this several times a day.
You are probably already aware of how much stress your digital devices cause you. Constantly checking messages and scrolling through your various social media feeds can not only be quite time consuming, but also emotionally draining. If it’s not possible for you to go the day without your smart phone, then at least try to have extended periods away from it. Make sure you always turn it off before bedtime and do not take it to bed with you!
Having a time set aside for drinking herbal tea and reflecting on your day is a great way to unwind and care for yourself in the evening. You can use this time to enjoy your favourite brew whilst you process the events of the day just passed. Turning this into a mini ceremony by yourself helps your mind to appreciate the importance of this time spent alone caring for yourself.
If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!
Finding ways to focus your meditation is a great way to keep your practice fresh and to continue to get the most benefit from this time. When you sit down to meditate with a purpose, you are actually focusing your mind on the things you want to achieve as opposed to giving your mind the potential to wonder.
Only when your meditation has a purpose will you be able to find real power in what you are doing. As you continue to address this purpose in each session you will be able to deepen your experience and unlock thoughts and feelings that are connected to this purpose.
Meditating on forgiveness is a common purpose for this practice. When someone in your life has done something that negatively affects you this is often cause for unhappy emotions. Even if this person has sincerely apologised to you, there may be some residual feelings of resentment on your part. It is important to address these feelings instead of just pretending that your relationship with this person has completely returned to normal. In order to meditate on forgiveness you must sit in your usual position and then envision the person in front of you. As you take a deep breath in imagine what you want to say to them and as you breathe out say it to them with meaning. Repeat this sequence several times and then end your last breath out with a finalising forgiving statement such as, “I truly forgive you”.
Another worthwhile purpose for meditation is your own self-love and self-worth. This is a great time to use any affirmations that you adopt regularly and is also a good time to come up with new ones. Remember that the point of this type of meditation is to build your confidence in yourself. Choose short but meaningful affirmations, say them in your mind as you breathe in and then feel this thought flow through your entire body as you breathe out. You can either do this with the same affirmation over and over again, or have several in mind that you can go through in turn. It is important that you really try to feel connected to each affirmation as you use it and believe each one as you say it.
Focusing your meditation in these ways can help to bring a greater sense of peace and well-being into your life and allows you to make the most of your meditation time.
A massive amount of people struggle with eating disorders and a driving factor behind this issue is a perceived negative body image. Struggling with the way you see your body is completely natural but you can overcome it! Being body positive all the time might seem like a challenge but when you take the time to re-evalute your relationship with your body then you can work towards this way of living!
Looking at yourself with more love is the key to improving your body image. You have to realise and accept that you are perfect the way you are. You must also understand that the body you may envision will not make you a happier person or improve other areas of your life. Take the time to notice things about yourself that you love, things about yourself that do make you happy. This in turn will encourage a healthier state of mind when it comes to thinking about your body. Spend time affirming these thoughts in your mind or even saying them out loud. Be sure not to allow negative thoughts to seep into this process and if they do then take a deep breath and get back on track!
We talk frequently about nourishing our bodies but it is absolutely true that our minds need nourishment too. Our minds are constantly taking in information from the things we see, the people we talk to and the sounds we hear. If this information is persistently positive than it is much easier to remain happy and confident. When we exist like this it is much easier to love ourselves and our bodies because positivity is being encouraged. When negative interactions appear during the day then the potential to extend this negativity to all of our thoughts becomes very real. Nourishing your mind in a constructive way and being sure to avoid destructive situations and people is essential in the journey to happiness. This in turn will help with your body image because this self-love will continue to grow.
If you regularly turn to exercise in an attempt to align your body with the way you think it should be then try substituting a workout session for a yoga lesson. Yoga teaches us relaxation and focus. It also teaches us that it is the journey which is important, not the end goal. Applying this thought process to your exercise regime will help you to apply it to every other part of your life. When you stop thinking of life in terms of milestones to reach and specific achievements that you have to accomplish then you can truly just enjoy the path you are taking.