Finding Your Meditation: How To Practice Mindfulness & Self-Care
Next Health Staff | | 0 comments
With 33% of Americans experiencing extreme stress, 75% experiencing moderate stress, and 20% of adult Americans suffering from mental illness, taking the time to cultivate a positive mental state is essential.
For many of us, our fast-paced lives feel as though they do not allow time for self-care. However, taking just a couple of mindful minutes to recenter and decompress can lead to numerous physiological and psychological benefits.
In considering the importance of mindfulness and self-care, we outline the ways you can de-stress and prioritize yourself without investing hours of your valuable time.
What Is Mindfulness & Why Does It Matter?
In short, mindfulness is being fully present. When you are solely focused on the moment and not occupied with overthinking or overreacting, stress seems to melt away. Focusing on the present moment makes everything more manageable as it takes away the opportunity to stress about potential future problems.
Shifting into a mindful mindset can feel a lot easier said than done, but mindfulness can be cultivated through proven techniques such as mindful meditation:
Mindful meditation is a type of meditation in which your sole focus is what you are feeling in the moment. By processing your senses and feelings, without interpretation or judgment, you can feel more centered and in tune with your body.
Guided meditation can be done in a variety of ways and can involve breathing methods, guided imagery, and other relaxation techniques.
Meditation, in general, has a variety of mental and physical benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic. Benefits can include:
- Stress, anxiety, and depression relief
- Reduced chronic pain
- Reduced inflammation
- Decreased blood pressure
- Improved sleep quality
- Decreased burnout
How To Practice Self-Care (Regularly)
Many of us do not take time for ourselves until we are forced to take time for ourselves because we are so burnt out. Then we take a “Mental Health Day,” to relax and attempt to repair the mental and physical damage from weeks of going non-stop.
While Mental Health Days are incredibly valuable, they should not be your main form of self-care. Remember, self-care is not selfish:
"Nurturing yourself is not selfish. It is essential to your survival and well-being." - Renee Peterson Trudeau
In order to feel optimized, self-care needs to be a regular part of your daily life. Although all of us may not have time for an hour-long relaxation activity to add to our routines, there are small ways you can decompress and enhance your overall sense of wellness:
Deep Breathing Exercises
For those of us who are not experts in mindfulness yet, it is easy to become overwhelmed and stressed in the moment. Deep breathing exercises are a quick way to recenter yourself and adapt your physiological response to stressors. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body, reducing tension, lowering blood pressure, and stopping the release of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
Here’s a basic deep breathing exercise you can try:
Hold the base of your pinky with the other hand.
Inhale as for the count of one as move your hand up the length of your pinky.
Exhale for the count of one as move your hand down the length of your pinky.
Once at the base of your pinky again, repeat this exercise with your ring finger, counting to two each time you move your hand up and down the finger.
Continue this exercise with your other fingers: inhale and exhale for three seconds each way for the middle finger, four seconds for the index finger, and five seconds for the thumb.
Touching your hand as you perform this exercise helps connect the body and brain.Learn more about the importance of breathing exercises here
Break A Sweat
For many of us who are “busy,” we are handling a variety of work-related tasks from behind a desk. If you are not regularly active throughout the day, physical activity can be a great way to process your emotions.
Whether you only have time for a five-minute jog, a ten-minute home workout, or a twenty-minute walk, any activity is better than none. Exercise helps release endorphins, “feel-good” neurotransmitters that elevate your mood.
Remember, exercise is just as valuable to mental health as it is to physical. Waking up a couple of minutes earlier for physical activity can have numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure, combating inflammation, improving mental cognition, boosting hormonal health, and more.
Cultivate A Positive Space
Not all acts of self-care have to be a daily activity. One of the easiest ways to care for yourself is to maintain a positive environment where you spend most of your time. The majority of us spend our time at work and at home. For your workspace, set aside some time to get a candle, a plant, small decorations, or anything that would make your space more comfortable for you. At home, start with the space you spend the most time in and add a couple of soothing touches such as an essential oil diffuser, photos of loved ones, anything that would make the space calming and inviting.
Many of you may recall the Pareto principle: where a 20% percent effort can result in an 80% improvement. Small, self-loving details where you spend most of your time can make the world of difference.
Supplement Your Diet
Filing in the nutritional gaps in your diet can equip your body to optimize your stress response. Below are two of top supplements for relaxing allowing your body to recharge:
Experts estimate that approximately 80% of Americans suffer from some form of adrenal dysfunction. The adrenal glands are responsible for the regulation of a variety of important hormones, namely cortisol or the “stress hormone.”
When you’re stressed for an extended period of time, your cortisol levels can become irregular, often leaving you “wired and tired.” Supporting your adrenals with Adrenal Complex allows you to feel relaxed and re-balanced.
Liposomal Methyl B-Complex
Liposomal Methyl B-Complex is a great addition to any relaxation regimen as it helps keep your energy levels up while still providing anxiety relief, improved sleep quality, and much more.
Liposomal Methyl B-Complex is formulated with a powerful blend of B vitamins, which you can also incorporate into your diet. Sources include salmon, leafy greens, beef liver, eggs, and more.
Melt your stress away with Liposomal Methyl B-Complex.
Although supplementation can be incredibly beneficial it does not maximize bioavailability, meaning your cells do not obtain all the nutrients from the supplements. This is because the gastrointestinal tract destroys vitamins and minerals during the digestion process. IV Therapy bypasses this issue by delivering nutrients directly into your bloodstream.
Next Health has a variety of IVs that can target your unique health goals. Our Stress IV is perfect for those looking to experience relief from everyday stressors and put their mind at ease. This IV is formulated to improve your stress response, support adrenal function, and elevate your mood with body-balancing ingredients such as magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, and more.
There are a variety of ways to take relaxation to the next level with advanced medical services and wellness technology.
Have questions? Call or text us at: (310) 295-2075