Be Mindful

Day 4: Lifestyle

*What is a healthy lifestyle habit that you are most proud of?

 


I could be that you sleep 7 hours each night, you make time for meditation each week, or maybe you practice gratitude journalling.

Celebrate your commitment to your health and mental well-being!

Your state of mind has a significant impact on your nervous system, hormonal balance, blood pressure, immune system, mental health, sleep quality, digestive function, weight and ability to burn fat.

When our bodies are in a stressful state this activates your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). In a “fight or flight” state our abilities to think logically and support physical health is impossible.

Short-term stress is healthy, however constant low-grade stress without periods of recovery is detrimental to your health.

Taking the time to breathe and relax (especially during stressful times) will allow you to think expansively and creatively, not to mention regulate your physical functions. This “rest and digest” state is activated by your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Your SNS stress state works in opposition to your PNS relaxed state. Both cannot be activated at the same time. Therefore, taking a few minutes several times in the day to consciously activate your PNS is necessary to your health.

And it takes as little as 3 slow, deep breaths to turn on your PNS.

**Learn more about managing stress at www.DrAlisonChen.com/Stress

TODAY, take on one of “Today’s Challenges”. Once you make a choice, write it down on a piece of paper and keep that paper in your pocket all day as a reminder.

I’ve also included an optional “Bonus Challenge” if you’re feeling especially motivated today.

Today’s Challenge:
Pick one of the following challenges to take on today, check it off once you’ve accomplished it.

  • [  ]   Track how often you crave your negative habit. Find the pattern and identify what purpose it serves
  • [  ]   Take 3 deep breaths before you eat, go to the washroom, or go to sleep
  • [  ]   Be mindful of your thoughts. Catch yourself saying negative or harmful comments and replace them with positive mantras
  • [  ]   Go to sleep between 10-11pm
  • [  ]   Work with a pencil placed horizontally in between your teeth to replicate a smile expression release dopamine
  • [  ]   Don’t use any electronics or stimulants 30 minutes before bed
  • [  ]   Start a gratitude journal

Bonus Challenge (optional): Sit and be still

Start each morning this week with 5 minutes of sitting and being still. Let your thoughts flow freely in and out of your mind. Don’t fixate or manipulate your thoughts. Just be still.

The first step of being mindful is taking a moment to be still. Find your center-point of balance. Be an observer and acknowledge where your current mental and emotional state is. Each day will be different.

Remove any judgments, emotions, attachments, or self-criticism during this exercise. Just be.

You might be surprised how difficult this is. So start off slow. Start with 1 minute for the first sitting, then move to 2 minutes. However long you can manage to sit, get in the habit of starting your day off grounded and centered.

You have control over yourself, and this is very powerful. Don’t give your energy away, but rather maintain control, balance and self-awareness.

Try ending your session with a specific intention for the day, write it down and carry it with you.

Have you been filling out your Diet and Lifestyle Diary?

Flip back to Day 1 and make sure you track at least 2 weekdays and 1 weekend. Notice any patterns so far?