July 10, 2017
8 FREE PRACTICES TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
A Treatment Plan is often used by health professionals to guide and shape the focus of treatment in order to to maximize our growth when we feel pressure to adapt or change some part of ourselves or our lives.
While often seeking a modality of treatment is absolutely the right choice, I propose that we also have a wealth of goodness at our fingertips that can assist us in creating a state of well-being, stillness, and wholeness.
There are no-cost practices that can help us quiet ourselves and hear what our spirits want for us to heal and grow. From this place, you can allow the flow of love, peace, and contentment to enter your life. You can pump up the joy and start You 2.0.
ADD SUNSHINE, NO SPF REQUIRED
Green leafy foods are loaded with chlorophyll. What makes chlorophyll? Sunshine. Make friends with kale, spinach, and collard greens and load your cells with sunshine every day. Greens clean out the clutter in your body. When you clean out the clutter in your body, the clutter in your life starts to surface to be cleared away as well. Adding greens in the form of a shake or green juice in the morning can give you a sense of well-being that lasts all day.
Forest bathing is called “shinrin-yoku” in Japan. It is an ancient Shinto and Buddhist practice that encourages one to experience nature through all five senses. There is mounting evidence that the practice of forest bathing has positive effects on both stress levels and immune function. There also are studies that suggest forest bathing increases a child’s attention span, and shortens the healing process. Go out and say hello to the trees. They have some phytochemicals (wood essential oils) to share with you.
OWN YOUR NO
Rescue yourself from energy vampires and soul-sucking situations. When activities, people, jobs, or events do not feel good, say no to them and yes to you. Say it with clarity and love. People may be angry. (Their anger is not your responsibility to fix.) You can choose to be transparent about your fear of the repercussions of setting these limits.
We suffer more from our thoughts than we do from actual situations that occur. By creating space between you and your thoughts, you can eliminate suffering. Thoughts are not truth. When having a thought that brings you pain, see how it also could not be true and find evidence to support the opposite thought. Typically, we think the same thoughts over and over, creating deep neural pathways in our brain. When we consciously decide to disbelieve painful thoughts and choose new ones, we dismantle old connections to create a new habitual thought. Consciously choose thoughts that delight and energize you.
Connect with others and/or animals. Find relationships that give depth, texture, support, and meaning to your life. Find a group. If a group you are looking for does not exist, create a group (www.meetup.com). Call your aunt’s sister-in-law’s best friend. Find a Life Coach or a Counselor. Volunteer. Connect as little or as much as is rejuvenating for you. Discover ways to connect with yourself. Then, put your lonely on the shelf.
We are addicted to thinking. Our minds are big, old chatterboxes. In her book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, Martha Beck, PhD, writes that our verbal brain processes 40 bits of information per second while the nonverbal processes 11 million. Being wordless moves us from the verbal part of our brain into the intuitive, creative part. Native Americans call it the “Great Silence.” Do you remember fully engaging in an activity as a child where you lost time? That’s wordlessness. Engage all your senses while doing a mundane activity. Wordlessness can be simply staring at a bird feeder. Enter into wordlessness for as little as three to five minutes. Find a quiet Zen Den that matches your unique needs. Your central nervous system will thank you.
MOVE AND GROOVE
Move your body in a way that feels ridiculously good to you. Try something new; tango, swim, Tai Chi. Move slowly or quickly. Whatever brings you pleasure. Grab a friend and go for a walk. Forgo movement that taxes you or that you’ve been told you “should do.” Getting the juices flowing in any way is a good thing on several levels, from the feel-good endorphin release to, yeah, the exercise.
What is your purpose? Perhaps it’s growing bonsai trees, saving whales, being an ice cream sommelier, or finding the cure for cancer. If you’re not sure, notice what energizes and delights you. Ask others where they see you shine and thrive. What feels like a hot track for you? Go there often. No matter what your purpose is, just start to take tiny steps toward it.
If you were creating your Ideal Life 2.0, what would you include? What does your mind, body, or spirit crave? What feels like love? Add that to You 2.0. You get to choose and create your ideal life.
The end. Or, the beginning.
BY HEATHER MICHELLE TYDINGS
Heather Michelle Tydings is the owner Own Your Evolution, where she offers pyschotherapy and life coaching.