Next Gen in Nutrition
By the Body Reboot Experts at Evolv Health
The mind is a beautiful thing. It can lower your stress by evoking the sensory pleasures coming from a thought…a thought like that of a gentle breeze playing among the leaves of a sun-soaked oak tree or the feel of cool grass tickling your toes or the sound of the steady beat of ocean waves.
Your mind can relax you. It can motivate you. It can keep you on track. In fact, your mind can be a VIP player in achieving your health goals. So let’s talk about ways to put it in the game! The difference will amaze you.
Here are a few ways to get your head in the game of health:
1. Stop and think before you project. When you feel irritated or put-off by someone or something, think about how your mind can play tricks on you if you let it. Are you magnifying the situation? Leaping to conclusions? Projecting your emotion of anger or mistrust on to someone else? Cognitive distortions carry a lot of influence on your stress levels and behaviors! Next time you feel annoyed or angry, stop and think. Is this just my perception of the person or situation or a verified truth? It’s amazing how a dose of reality can calm a stressful soul!
2. Use your brain to scan your body. While you’re sitting, stop whatever you’re doing and take a mental check of your body for tension. Relax your facial muscles letting your jaw fall open slightly. Take this mental body scan all the way through every muscle of your body with a mental awareness of relaxing the muscle as you focus on it. Let your shoulders drop. Let your arms fall to your sides. Allow your hands to sit comfortably on the top of your legs. Feel your body sink into your chair. Feel the gravity of your shins and calves and feel the soles of your feet pull into the floor. Now breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 and out through your mouth for a count of 6.
3. Practice mindful eating. Food is more than nourishment. It can be comfort and pleasure. So take the time to savor every bite. Be mindful. Avoid distractions like TV or a book. Set yourself a place to eat and sit down in front of it. Close your eyes and breathe purposely to get focused in the moment. Then look at your food. Breathe in the aromas before you take a bite. Chew slowly and notice the textures and flavors. Don’t rush to get to the next bite. Instead concentrate on the bite you’re eating at that moment. Getting all your senses into play can improve your taste for healthier foods as well as help you break the habit of stress-related eating.
4. Envision a happy result. Choose the carrot, not the stick. Rather than the rebuke after you’ve skipped activity or downed that chocolate goodie, try saying aloud, “I feel more relaxed and happier when I walk every day or I like how I feel when I’ve opted for a healthy snack like an apple or berries.” Reminding yourself why a healthy change or action is worthwhile is a great way to overcome a stumble.
101 Health Tips
From the Physicians and Editors of Harvard Health Publications