Last week I challenged you to Love January! I decided to enjoy January more by restarting my Yoga practice thanks to last week’s guest post. Here are some other habits I really want to practice to be more physically and mentally fit. I want to have a happier, more creative and balanced life rather than too much stress. I find that winter is a great time to get started!
1. Get creative by being bored (or have down time). I thank one of my readers for this suggestion. I know this is hard when you’re a busy parent but it’s not only good for you but your kids as well. This is a “lost art”. We are no longer bored any more because we have a device to turn to every time we have a spare moment. Scientific research shows that we get our most original ideas when we are bored and let go of the constant stimulation. Our brain is doing some really important work when we think we’re doing nothing.
Listen to this NPR podcast called Bored and Brilliant or this TED video, The Value of Boredom.
2. Stop Complaining for 24 hours and see what happens. When I first got out of college, I was teaching at a Catholic school and had to give something up for Lent. I decided to quite complaining and I’ve never taken it up again. Life becomes much more positive!
3. Breathe. Breathing is something we do unconsciously and shallowly. We should be more conscious. Here are three breathing exercises to practice, getting more oxygen to your brain and all our other vital organs. Breathing helps relieve stress, too.
• Do the 100 Breaths Challenge: Take a deep breath through your nose and count in your mind, “One”. Then let your breath flow out, go with it’s natural rhythm. Continue from number 1 to 100. If your mind wanders (which it will), simply come back to your count and continue. I’ve never made it to 100! I usually do this to fall asleep and it works!
• Breathe in 3 times, breathe out 4. Next breathe in 4, breathe out 5. Try breathing in 5 and breathe out 6. Each time breathe out one more breath than you breathe in.
• I often recommend this 4, 7, 8 breathing exercise that I learned from Andrew Weil. First put your tongue touching the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth. Next breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold for 7. Breathe out for 8 seconds. As you breathe out make a noise with the air. This often helps me get back to sleep if I’m up at night.
He demonstrates the breathing technique in the following video.
4. Watch Your Posture. This is a simple thing that we often forget about. Why is good posture important? Poor posture can affect your muscles as well as your internal organs. Good posture mirrors a positive attitude and how you feel about yourself.
5. Be A Mindful Eater. You’ve spent some time cooking. Don’t just eat quickly without tasting your food. Don’t watch TV while you eat. Put your fork down between bites. Really taste each bite. I love the website Skinnytaste. Gina makes delicious food and easy to follow recipes that have fewer calories and are big on taste. I just made salmon burgers last night. Yum!
6. Try something creative. Whether it’s music or drawing, home crafts, writing, cooking, photography or gardening. Don’t worry about being good; just try being creative. The pressure of being good can make you lose that creativity. Just get started and see where your creativity leads. I suggest Pinterest.com if you don’t have any ideas of your own. But be careful; pinterest is addicting! Click here to lead you to an ideas link!
7. Give Yourself A Break. Follow Louise Hay’s advice, “You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” You’ll be much happier!!
Let me know if you follow any of these practices or any others that you might suggest.
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