Mindfulness is nothing new but seems to have become a particularly popular practice over the last few years.
Simply put, mindfulness is a way of increasing your awareness of the mind and body and being more present.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, from meditation to yoga, visualisations and breathing exercises. These simple techniques and approaches have been proven to improve both physical and mental conditions.
The best thing about mindfulness is that there are many ways to practice, from short breathing techniques which you can do anywhere, anytime, to more active, practical sessions of yoga or walking.
It’s accessible to anyone! If you’re reading this and thinking you don’t have time to practice mindfulness then you’re mistaken, you’re breathing in and out at this very moment so you’re part way there! You just need some tools to get you started.
Mindfulness is centred around improving both health and wellbeing, resulting in a happier life, with improved ability to manage certain health complaints.
Health Conditions which benefit from Mindfulness
– Cardiometabolic diseases
– Chronic Pain
– Carpal Tunnel
So, what are the benefits?
– Better quality, deeper sleep
– Improved mood
– More mindful eating habits
– Better emotional resilience and intelligence
– Decreased anxiety and stress
– Sharper focus and decision-making abilities
– Increased empathy and relationships
– Physical wellbeing is improved
We might not realise just how many areas of our lives could be improved by learning more about our bodies and our mind. Whatever your mood or health goal, there will be a technique you can use to help you to cope better with life’s ups and downs.
How does this relate to our diet and nutrition?
If you’ve read my recent blog on the links between the gut and the brain, then you may already know. Many mind related conditions such as depression and anxiety result in additional stress.
Whilst not being the sole cause of an unhealthy diet, stress is often linked to poor diet choices such as skipping meals, unbalanced, convenient meals or comfort eating.
If we reduce our stress and increase our awareness, taking a more mindful approach to our meals, we can improve our diet.
There have been several studies which highlight how a person changes their relationship with food by using mindfulness techniques, making more conscious (and unconscious!) decisions around what to eat. There’s also evidence that mindfulness assists in our ability to better recognise feelings of hunger and fullness.
Mindful eating can help you to transform your relationship with food. By breaking down the how and why of eating our meals, you will start to gain a better understanding of what keeps your body healthy. Its not a diet, its about improving our relationship with eating and making more informed choices.
As Headspace note “This means we have a better chance of understanding what foods nourish us and what foods help us stay healthy while also encouraging a deeper appreciation of every meal, every mouthful, and every ingredient.”
As well as meditation, there are natural supplements you could introduce into your daily routine to improve brain function and keep your immune system in tip top condition. I’ve been working with Zinzino for some time now and use their Omega-3 BalanceOil+ to help balance my levels of Omega3 and Omega6.
Find out more about the benefits of this wonderful balancing oil here.
How does this relate to our sleep hygiene?
Another area which many of you seem to be struggling with at the moment is getting a good night’s rest.
You might be thinking, the more sleep you get the better. But 8 hours of terrible quality sleep, with constant waking and racing thoughts is of little use to you by the time your alarm goes off!
Good sleep hygiene is about a combination of both quantity and quality sleep and meditation can help prepare our bodies for a more restful forty winks.
Listening to or practicing meditation before bed can help you to put the thoughts of the day away, without them racing around and keeping you up. Meditation often encorprates some form of breathing exercise. Slowing your breathing and lowering your heart rate helps you to relax, impacting your brain chemistry and reducing the release of stress causing chemicals.
Try this exercise here – spend 15 minutes on yourself, focusing on your breath and paying attention to the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. Get comfortable and relax…
What natural remedies can help support your mind?
I’ve been working with ZinZino for some time now and use their products daily in my own supplement routine. If you’re struggling to sleep, I’d recommend Viva+, an all natural food supplement which is specifically designed to reduce stress and tiredness, whilst supporting a healthy nervous system and brain.
With natural ingredients, it helps stress melt away and improves your mood through its extract of pure saffron, the sunshine spice!
If you’re looking for further advice on supplements or lifestyle changes, book in a free consultation where we can discuss the best options for your health needs.