7 STEPS TOWARDS WELLBEING AND MINDFULNESS
By undertaking the following practices, many of which are rituals in and of themselves, we can make a profound difference to how we live our lives and how we experience them.
Meditation delivers enormous benefits for our mind, body and soul. It has been scientifically proven not only to make us calmer and happier, but to slow down the effects of aging, make us smarter, and bolster our immune systems.
Breathing is something we do a lot (we take over 672 million breaths in an average lifetime) but we’re no good at it. We sit at our desks, stressed from all the work we have to do, and we take small sips of air. In fact, most of us only use one third of our natural lung capacity, which means that we aren’t drinking in the amount of oxygen we need and we’re not ridding ourselves of sufficient carbon dioxide. This adds to our toxic build-up and it’s making us sick! We need to learn to breathe properly (from our abdomen rather than our chest) and we need to put time aside in our day to breathe consciously and well. As an example, our daily beauty ritual provides a perfect opportunity for this. It’s a moment in our day when we can slow down and enjoy the ripple-like benefits that mindful, meditative breathing can have on our health and sense of wellbeing.
We all know this one. Exercise is great for our mind and our emotions, as well as our physical health. If we exercise, we look better, feel better, and handle stress better. The trick, of course, is settling on an exercise plan and sticking to it! If you haven’t tried it, we suggest yoga as an ideal, regenerative exercise practice.
4. Sleep well.
This is a bit like exercise. We all know that a good night’s sleep is important, but we sometimes neglect it. If you have trouble sleeping, or your sleep habits are poor, then make an effort to prepare for sleep properly. What this means will vary for all of us, but a simple beauty routine (as described above), followed by cleaning up any mess, brushing our teeth, and maybe even a few light stretches, can help us go to bed happy and sleep well. And remember to keep your bedroom nice and dark, and electronics free, if you can.
5. Be social.
Research indicates that a strong social network – and a group of friends, in particular – is important for our mental and physical health.33 Try to make time for friends. They can help ease a burden and they make us happy.
6. Laughter really is the best medicine.
The health benefits of a good laugh are many. Laughter has been shown to boost the immune system, protect the heart, relieve stress, promote relaxation, positively shape our relationship with others, increase our resilience, and help us manage pain.
7. Be grateful.
It helps to count our blessings. When we take time out to be grateful for what we have, negative emotions are washed away and we feel more content.