Solutions for Creating Everyday WellnessApr 19, 2016
We talk about our work lives as being separate from our personal lives when in fact we only have one life. One opportunity to live well. Everyday wellness is about keeping a focus on life priorities and re-connecting with your personal inner wisdom not just avoiding being sick. First steps in this process are to reduce the amount of chaos and commitments in your life and begin to live more simply.
What does it mean to live simply? Living simply offers not just more free time but also helps to create joyous living. Living that is more deliberate. A lifestyle that is healthier and more balanced. It is difficult to achieve a simpler life when we own far more things than we actually need. We are conditioned to be good consumers. We worry about being in style, being up to speed and on the cutting edge. Our culture doesn’t support a simplified lifestyle. Here’s how to get started:
- Know what really matters to you. Are you following a path that has purpose and meaning to you? What are the things that nurture your spirit? Spend your time on what counts. We do lots of things in our lives that we don’t have to. Be sure to do the things that really matter to you.
- Clear out clutter. Nothing is quite as invigorating as cleaning away clutter. Junk mail has increased exponentially and is only getting worse. Here’s why taking the time to organize is important – a snarl of physical clutter creates mental clutter and stress. By taking the time to organize our homes and offices the internal clutter begins to evaporate. The result of organizing is self-discovery and living your life in accordance with what you value most.
- Bring something in, throw something out. This step is in keeping with the one above. When you bring a new item in, get rid of something old. It keeps the clutter from coming back.
Create Stillness Another important step in creating everyday wellness is to create and enjoy stillness. What is the point of being still? Simply, it is to fashion a time and space to be with yourself, your thoughts, feelings and dreams. It is a time to heal, process and rest.
Dr. Herbert Benson in his seminal book, The Relaxation Response, noted that when a person meditates they bring forth a relaxation response that counterbalances the negative physiological changes brought on by perceived stress. His technique involves a simple breathing meditation and has been shown to be effective in helping people improve a variety of health issues by relieving the symptoms of stress.
While there are a variety of meditation methods most involve:
© finding a quiet, comfortable space away from distractions,
© sitting in a comfortable, relaxed position,
© shifting the focus of your mind from the business of daily tasks to the repetition of a
single word, phrase or sound,
© adopting an attitude of passive observation. You can’t do meditation ‘wrong’. The
idea is to allow distracting thoughts to float by without concern or attachment.
There are probably as many ways to meditate as there are people. Find a method that is effective for you. While meditation is simple it is not easy. By cultivating a point of stillness in our lives we re-connect with our inner wisdom and thereby improve our health and overall well-being.
The Magic of Moving A third step in creating everyday wellness is making a commitment to regular movement. You know that we need to exercise in order to stay well – physically and mentally. Movement helps lift the spirit and clear away negative feelings. Movement however isn’t about health clubs or fitness centers.
What we really need to do is to put movement back into our daily lives. One of the simplest ways is to move whenever given the opportunity. This means putting down the remote and walking over to the television to change the channel. March in place while you brush your teeth. Do push-ups on the side of your car while waiting for your car to fill with gas. The goal: 10 minutes of constant movement three times a day, most days of the week mixed with periodic strength and flexibility activities.
When it is all said and done, there is you and your one life. Creating everyday wellness doesn’t add to your daily tasks. Rather it is about keeping the lists short, staying tuned in to what matters most, allowing yourself the time to connect and finding ways to enjoy movement. Choose to live well by living intentionally.