Summer is with us and I always so enjoy the lightness that this season brings! With the sun shining and the weather warmer, I always feel like Summer offers the best opportunity for self-work because the environment is friendlier and honestly, who doesn’t feel better when the sun is shining?
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you 10 very practical things that I do every day to contribute to my best self! These 10 things have become part of my daily life and I find that I feel lighter, more relaxed and that also, when negative things do creep up, I feel like I’m capable and strong enough to work through them elegantly.
Deep Breathing – You know I’ve shared this one before and also, when you subscribed to this list you received a document on the Benefits of Deep Breathing! That is because deep breathing is at the heart of every relaxation technique and its health benefits are incredible! I find that taking 10 minutes a day to deep breathe helps me to feel peace and sustain that peaceful feeling. You can easily begin with just 2 minutes of deep breathing a day, or whatever suits you; it is vital that it remains practical for you, but the benefits you can experience are numerous.
Outside of the physical benefits like relaxing your whole system, feeding more oxygen into your body, gaining energy, and even keeping cancer at bay, you will also have mental benefits. These include clarity, mental peace, and even inspiring thoughts. So, it is important to make sure you recalibrate when you can to give yourself a mental and physical breather.
Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods – I love food for some many reasons! It’s tasty, colourful and is what helps to fuel our bodies! Every day I ensure that I eat many foods that hold anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is at the core of almost every physical ailment, so I really do feel that it is important that we give our bodies some lovin’ and some support through the food we consume. Foods like Organic Berries, Organic Greens, Green Tea, Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Spices and Herbs; all of these are incredibly simple to add to your diet.
Drink Plenty of Water – You’ve heard this before but water cleanses our bodies, improves digestion and contributes greatly to our bodies being and feeling less dense. Drinking water also improves mental clarity and having a glass before bed lessens your chance of stroke, heart attack and also calms down cramping and restless legs. Drink it up!
Forgiveness – I take the time to forgive while I’m walking my dog as it is practical and as is important with forgiveness, I’m doing it when I feel good! Allotting 10 minutes a day to forgive the negative things which are repeating in your mind is important as you are freeing your mind of the stress of things you cannot control. This is true freedom and doesn’t need to take a lot of time. You can simply become aware of what nagging thoughts you are having and where your ego is judging, then forgive these mistakes in your thinking and let them go in peace. You can’t control everything and you don’t have to either, but you can forgive.
Stretch/Walk – This is a two-in-one! It is important to keep the body moving in healthful, relaxed ways, and stretching and walking both accomplish this. Also, when we do both of these, we are releasing negative energy that has been stored in our bodies. And, whenever we work out our brain releases Serotonin, the feel-good chemical, so you are very simply improving your mood by moving your body gently. Easy!
The Mirror Exercise – Say “I love you” to yourself while looking in the mirror. This is a Louise Hay exercise and it does incredible things for your self-esteem. How often do we truly take the opportunity to acknowledge how we feel about ourselves in a positive manner? It is important to do so because you can’t give what you don’t have, so you need to acknowledge the love that you are so you can offer it to those you care about. This is a selfless act and is necessary for good mental health and for dissolving that sense of guilt we all carry. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, you are doing yourself and everyone else in your life a great service! Comfortably be the love which you are.
Laugh – It is important for us to acknowledge that ALL of the negativity in our lives has come from us taking the negativity seriously. Whether it is thoughts or the actions of others, there is a part of us that decided that this negativity was real and worthy of our investment and reaction. This is ego identification and we all know what this feels like! But now that we are on the path to self-improvement, we can all simply recognize that we do not need to invest in negativity if we don’t want to. And this is where laughter comes in! Laughing helps us to shift our energy from seriousness and fear, to light-heartedness and love. We are allowed to feel good but we are the ones who have to make such a decision. Laughter is also known as the best medicine, so you are improving your physical health as well! Remembering also that the mind is the cause, the body is an effect, so when we our minds are happy our bodies will reflect that.
Ask for Guidance – I never make a decision by myself. There is a part of our minds that is in full communication with Divinity and so when faced with anything I like to ask that part of my Mind for guidance and support. Whatever this may look like for you, whether you refer to it as your calmer mind, your happy mind or if you call it God Itself, there is a part of us that is connected to Wisdom and Knowledge. We all know what this feels like; those sparks of inspiration, clarity or purpose, there is no one who has not had thoughts which reflect these qualities. So, why not access It more often? A Course in Miracles teaches that if we knew who walked beside us on the path that we have chosen, fear would be impossible. So, like I shared, whatever this connection looks like for you is perfect for you. We will all do this in our own way and that’s good.
Connect – Following the asking for Guidance is Connection. Like taking the 10 minutes a day to forgive, you can also allot time to just relax and connect with the calmer part of your Self. Some do this through Gratitude exercises and some do it through Meditation, but again, it is personal and must feel good and practical for you. Connecting with Love (or whatever term you prefer) is important for your mental health because, like the “I love you” exercise, it helps to dissolve that nagging feeling of guilt the ego identifies with. So, in an effort to bring your best self forward, you have to connect with that best Self on a regular basis; think habit systems. Like I have shared before, just as we can invest in fear, we can invest in love, and Connection with Love is a way we can commit to a healthier investment.
White Light Exercise – And finally, an exercise which is to be done in the evening is the White Light exercise. Many spiritual thought systems teach about the power of visualization and certainly it is a powerful device. Studies show that visualization contributes greatly to success and has even been tested on basketball players and has proven to be an asset to their success. For more on the topic of visualization I recommend reading “The Champion’s Mind” by Jim Afremow. So, we can use the art of visualization to our advantage… when you are in bed, before you go to sleep, envision white light (or any colour you prefer) moving through your body and surrounding it. You can even go as far as to envision the light moving through your cells, nerves and organs. This exercise will calm your mind and help you sleep and also leaves your mind in a healing state while you sleep, awesome!!
So, there you have it! 10 practical yet powerful things I do every day to contribute to my mental and therefore bodily health. I hope you resonate with some or all of them and give them a try. The benefits are yours for the taking!
Love and True Well-Being,