Posts for tag: mindfulness
Our environment, on a global, community, and home-base level, directly affects our physical and emotional wellness, which in turn affects all other dimensions of our wellness. Environmental wellness is dependent upon the way that we take care of our environment. The idea is to live consciously, mindfully, and harmoniously with the Earth, and to also care for the spaces that we create.
What’s good for the planet is good for us. Living an environmentally-well life is having respect for the Earth and respect for yourself through your choices and actions. The same way that we are only given one body for the entirety of our life, we are collectively only given one Earth. We must take care of our environment so that our environment can take care of us.
- Using re-useable bags and bottles, instead of single-use plastics
- Saying no to plastic straws, coffee cups and lids, to-go containers, and any other type of plastic that you use for mere minutes and then throw away
- Turning off the lights, fans, TV, and other electricity-dependent things when you are not using them
- Buying and eating locally-sourced fruits and vegetables
- Buying organic and fair-trade goods
- Eating more plant-based verses animal-based diets
- Limiting or eliminating red meat
- Walking or biking instead of driving when possible
- Using environmentally-friendly products including sunscreen and cleaning supplies
- Supporting or volunteering with causes that you are passionate about
Taking care of your environmental wellbeing also includes:
- Keeping a clean house (excessive trash, mold, dirt, dust, and clutter are detrimental to your health)
- Making your home a sanctuary (a place where you feel safe, comfortable, and at peace in)
- Surrounding yourself with positive people
- Spending more time outdoors and in nature
- Walking barefoot more (stay tuned for a post about “earthing”)
- Protecting yourself against environmental hazards such as harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, secondhand smoke, chemicals, air pollution, contaminated water, and even too much noise
We are responsible for the space we live in and we must be respectful of the space that others, including all living beings not just humans, live in. Our living environment should reflect the way we want to feel, which of course is happy and healthy.
A major component of your individual wellness includes your emotional wellness. We’ve all heard the phrase, “stress kills,” and there is actually a great truth behind this statement. Our mental and emotional state can directly affect our physical state.
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we know that the best approach to health is a holistic and preventative approach. Taking care of your emotional wellbeing will benefit more than just your mind, mood, and mental state.
Your emotional wellbeing is dependent on how you manage your stress levels, how much sleep you regularly get, how organized and productive you are with your professional or school work, the support you receive from your friends, family, and or a therapist, your activity level, and your spiritual wellbeing (check out last week’s blog post), among so many other essential elements.
According to the American Psychological Association, mismanaged stress keeps roughly 40% of adults up at night. Insufficient and restless sleep only further perpetuates stress levels, so this cycle is quite detrimental. Stress has been linked to heart disease, insomnia, depression, anxiety, obesity, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, the common cold, and even certain types of cancer.
Most of our everyday lives contain multiple potential stress-causers: work deadlines, pressure from our bosses, family responsibilities, financial obligations, social commitments, unforeseen expenses and events, health issues, and just everyday life tasks. It is a common feeling to feel like there is never enough time in a day. While we are trying to accomplish everything that we feel is important, we often overlook or push to the backburner aspects of our own wellbeing, including our emotional wellbeing.
While no one’s life is completely void of stress-causing events and situations, those who learn how to manage their stress, prioritize their to-do lists, seek support, and make their emotional wellbeing an important dimension of their overall health and wellness, will be far healthier, happier, and all and all better off.
Tips for emotional wellbeing
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Seeking therapy doesn’t mean you have failed or are incapable.
- Make sleep, a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, and a little “me-time” a top priority.
- Create an obtainable routine.
- Pick your battles.
- Learn to breathe and mediate.
- Journal or make lists before you go to sleep and or in the morning.
- Spend more time with the people who bring you the most joy and peace.
- Spend more time outdoors and in nature.
- Accept that no one is perfect, no one can do it all all the time, and that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.
What makes you happy?
When was the last time you checked in with your happiness? If you were put on the spot and asked how happy you are, what would you say? Would you break eye contact and stumble around for a generic response like “I’ve never been happier,” or “Of course, I am happy?”
Each and every one of us deserves to live a life filled with happiness. The catch is though, happiness doesn’t just happen. We are the creators of our own happiness. It is up to you to recognize what fills you with joy, bliss, exuberance, laughter, warmth, satisfaction, tranquility, and content. This recognition often steams from a bit of reflection.
The source of happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be something as simple as filling your refrigerator with colorful fresh and healthy food for the week, taking a long walk on the beach with your dog, or sitting by a fire with your best friend and a glass of wine after a long week of work. Or, it can be something more monumental like watching your children grow into kind, ambitious, and inspiring individuals, reaching your financial goal and embarking on a grand adventure to a new land, dedicating your time to a career that you truly love, or spending every day with the love of your life. The spectrum is infinite.
To live a happy life is to dance across the spectrum. It is acknowledging both the little and grand things that bring you joy and fulfillment. It is also going beyond just acknowledging what contributes to your happiness and making a conscious effort to ensure that a multitude of those things are part of your everyday life.
Make a list, mental or written, of all the things that come to mind when you think of yourself happy. The list doesn’t need to be in any particular order. Just take note of what surfaces in your mind.
Here’s a quick example of the start of a list.
I am happy when…
I am in the ocean.
I am outside and surrounded by nature.
I am doing something active like surfing, walking, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, or snorkeling.
I do yoga several times a week.
My house is stocked with fresh produce and healthy food.
I do something creative like write or take photographs.
I am with the person I love.
I am with my family.
I am with my dog.
I spend time with my closest friends.
I watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee.
I complete a deadline for a project I’ve been working really hard on and see my finalize work published.
I have time to myself.
Try and dig deep and really think about even the littlest things that bring you joy like doing a coconut avocado facial while drinking a hot cup of tea or taking a nap during a rainy afternoon or perhaps cranking up the tunes and lighting up the grill. When you feel like you have a pretty substantial list, the next step is to evaluate how often the things that make you happy are taking place in your current life. As simple as it may sound, the key to happiness is doing more of what makes you happy.
It is easy to get caught up in the everyday. It is easy to make excuses, procrastinate, and get your priorities out of wrack. It is easy to put everyone else’s needs and happiness before your own. But this year is your year. Part of living your best life is being mindful, present, and in tune with you. Sometimes that first step to change is just asking a simple question.
The first week of a brand new year is a perfect opportunity to reflect upon the lessons you’ve learned, the feats you’ve accomplished, the hurdles you’ve cleared, and the happiest moments of your prior year. We learn and evolve from our experiences. Reflection is part of living mindfully.
Along with meditation, whether still or moving, and present mindfulness, the act of reflection is a fluid one. No thought or memory should be held on to, but rather given the freedom of a floating feather. Returning briefly to moments in 2017 when you felt the best, were the happiest, were the most peaceful, and felt the most proud, will help you achieve your goals and desired state of being in the new year to come. It is in remembering the best parts of a year that you will find inspiration to create more.
The year 2017 seemed to be quite a roller coaster for the collective majority. And, for some reason, the bad often casts a cloak of invisibility over the good. During this week of reflection, let the bad be of the past and the good prevail in the present. Consciously recollecting times when you were living your best life will help remind you that you have the majority control over your future. Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
For some, it might be beneficial to write a list of the best parts of your year, while for others the journey might be completed internally. Maybe you would like to vocalize your reflections and converse with a close friend or family member. The point is, don’t throw the good out with the bad. Set aside a little interrupted time for a brief year in a review this week. A cup of hot tea pairs nicely with this mindful exercise.
In the last year when was a moment (any length of time) that you felt…
Proud of yourself?
Bursting with joy?
Giddy with excitement?
Feel free to add to this list. Consciously bring attention to these sensations, emotions, and experiences and then do as Ralph Waldo Emerson advises and “write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.”
Thank you for sharing a smile with us this week!
“Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence reside in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.” Deepak Chopra
We are all interconnected. Every living and nonliving entity on this planet is connected through a deep and invisible web that is as old as the origin of the infinite universe. It is this connection that gives each and every one of us the power to influence everything, for better or for worse. Our thoughts, attitudes, energies, and actions, regardless of how small or grand, carry a force with them. It is our responsibility to make sure that that force, that ripple effect that stems from each of us, is a positive one.
The way we treat one another, our animal friends, our Mother Earth, and ourselves deeply impacts everyone and everything. The choice is always ours. When we live our lives with positive intentions, open hearts, and flexible minds, we are making the world a better place for everyone and everything. When we are environmentally conscious when making decisions of what we eat, how we build, the products we use, the way we transport, and the overall impact of our ecological footprints, we are making the world a better place for everyone and everything.
It is about decisions and making decision knowing that every single one impacts everyone and everything. This idea ties back into living mindfully. It is not about overanalyzing everything that you do, but just being mindful. Mindful living takes practice and no one is perfect, but when you practice mindfulness it will eventually become mindless. As intelligent beings of intelligent design, we are capable of collectively changing the design of the world of today. The mind is a very power thing; let’s use that power for the highest good and for all.