Do you believe in the mind-body connection? It's fascinating (and a little scary!) how so many of us can disregard our physical state of being when faced with emotional distress.
Often, we will say that we feel depressed and anxious – and fail to mention that we aren’t sleeping well, eating healthily, or moving our bodies enough. (That's not to mention the use of stimulants and depressants that we engage in daily, such as coffee, alcohol, marijuana, and the like.)
Luckily, we have some easy life hacks to help us treat our bodies like the temples that they are!
Start with Things You Can Control
If you find that things feel out of sorts for you, it is always best to start with the items that you can control. Take note of what you're eating, drinking, and the quality of your sleep, as all of those will directly impact mood and functionality.
Don't hesitate to use apps to track these elements. They're a great way to see patterns – and identify cause and effect. Once those areas are consistently healthier, you can really take a look into mood levels and dive deep into the emotions you're experiencing. Whether due to stress of relationships, work, or family life, keeping careful track is always a highly productive method for better wellness.
Meditation Is Your Best Friend
You can practice meditation anytime and anywhere! You can even use it in small doses inside of a conversation that is making your blood pressure rise. Seriously! The misconception about meditation is that you must have the perfect spot, with the right lighting and music and no interruptions. While that's ideal, it isn’t always practical. It can also dissuade people from trying it.
To meditate, you simply need to breathe and regulate your body. When you can regulate your body, it helps with your reactions to outside stressors, creating a sense of self-control where otherwise you might feel untethered.
When you meditate, you can learn to provide for yourself what you might be seeking in others: validation, comfort, and knowledge. Spending quiet time with your own thoughts can greatly inform you about your needs and how to best provide them.
Combining Professional Help with Personal Meditation
When you combine the daily practice of meditation with therapy, you can use the insights you gain in sessions as material for your meditative practice. For example, if you learn in therapy that you have a hard time expressing when you feel hurt about something, you can focus on that revelation during meditation – and safely experience vulnerability.
Where to Go from Here
It's important to keep in mind that humans are complicated machines that need lots of care and compassion. You cannot abuse your body without having it affect the way you operate emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. So be extra cautious with how you're taking care of yourself, and note when things are potentially off.
The more intimately you know yourself, the better!