Happy New Year! So many of us are looking for a healthy start to 2017, connected to wellness and living with intention and meaning. Cultivating wellness can occur on a daily basis by focusing on 3 key, yet simple ingredients.
A New Year, New Daily Wellness Regimen in 3 Easy Steps:
Wake up with “I am.”
The power of self talk is undeniable. We constantly have a running dialogue in our minds about our experiences. The stories we tell ourselves often become automatic into our daily narrative and sense of ourselves, for better or worse. We get to a place where we no longer questions these assumptions, rather we’re prone to going along with whatever bias exists in our established belief system. We can take the reigns of our self narrative and never-ending self-appraisal by simply focusing on deliberate, positive, action focused “I am” statements. Before you get out of bed in the morning, or reach for your cell phone to check your social media, email, or text messages, go through a simple process of first being aware of the “I am” thoughts tht immediate pour into your consciousness. Then, create 3 “I am” statements, regarding how you choose to feel, think, or approach the day. Be specific about each statement such as, “I am refreshed and excited about today” or “I am going to be focused and disciplined today.” The statements we make to ourselves largely determine how we carry out our actions or establish our mood. This begins the moment we open our eyes and appraise ourselves.
Deep breathe on the hour.
Breathing has a tremendous impact on our overall sense of well-being. We simply feel better when we can connect to slowing our breath and breathing intentionally. But the breath works on the body in significant physiological ways as well to cultivate that sense of well-being. Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which connects to parasympathetic nervous system activity, shutting down the sympathetic nervous system (more commonly known as the fight or flight response). We have the power to do so only by breathing with intention, in a slow, deliberate manner. Try this. Pay attention throughout the day to time, trying to catch the top of each hour. Don’t expect to catch it every hour, that’s unrealistic. But keep the idea in mind. If you catch it several times per day you’ll reap the benefits of this practice. At the top of each hour take just a few moments to inhale as deeply and fully as you can without it hurting. Hold that breath for a split second, then slowly exhale with just as much intention. Do this 10 times.
Go to bed with gratitude.
Gratitude is an undeniably powerful human experience that has a profound impact on our health. Every night as you go to bed, connect to 3 things that you are grateful for today. Be as specific as you can, picturing each with as much detail as you can in your mind. And use the phrase, “I am grateful for _________” as you picture each one. Connecting to a gratitude practice helps you channel your focus to the positive aspects of your life. Too often we fall into a regretful mindset as we settle down for the day, replaying the days challenges, perceived losses, and uncompleted tasks on our to do lists. This can fuel anxiety in both the mind and body making sleep difficult for many. Repurpose your intentions by reviewing all that you were grateful for during the day and you’ll find an ease in the mind and better connection to purposeful intention for the day ahead.
There you have it. A simple, yet effective manner to cultivate wellness on a daily basis. Wishing you health and wellness in 2017!