Western civilization often encourages us to live with the mindset that wellness is solely about diet and exercise. However, Bespoke Wellness was founded with the philosophy that peak lifetime health is about much more than food and fitness – it’s about our emotional and mental health, our ability to balance our bodily systems and even our spirituality.
Our bodies never lie to us. When something is off-balance, but you fail to address it, you become unhealthy and caught in a cycle of negativity. It is only when you begin to listen to what your body is telling you that you can become well-adjusted and achieve whole-body wellness.
Here is a list of 10 simple things to consider incorporating into your healthy routine to help bring your body, mind and spirit into better alignment.
1. Do a Digital Detox
Have you ever stopped to realize how many times you pick up your phone or tablet every day? For many of us, that number may be as high as the triple digits. Somehow, we’ve become slaves to these little devices that were supposed to be helping us become more productive at our daily tasks. Put your phone down and set a goal of being more present in your daily life. The world won’t stop turning if you don’t obsessively check Twitter or Instagram for a day, a week – or even forever.
2. Say “Yes” More Often
When life presents you with new, challenging or interesting opportunities, how do you respond? If your default reaction is to say no, try saying yes instead, and see what happens. By bringing more positivity into your life, you will open yourself up to greater possibilities and new connections with people you might otherwise never have met.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Every day, society bombards us with photos and articles about people who all seem to be doing fantastic things. It’s all too easy to fall prey to negativity and start criticizing yourself for not measuring up. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. Just remember, nobody is perfect. Love yourself for who you are, and embrace the qualities that make you unique.
4. Take Time for Self-Care
Whether it’s indulging in a new book, a long, hot bath, a massage or some other form of “me time,” it’s important to pamper yourself. Maybe you knocked it out of the park on that big work presentation, or got motivated to clean out your closets. Celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small, by indulging in life’s little luxuries.
5. Do Yoga
Yoga’s countless benefits for the body are well-documented. Practicing yoga builds strength, flexibility and lean muscle mass. However, the true yoga practitioner learns to embrace yoga’s mental benefits, as well. A grounded yoga practice that ends with a focused meditation can make you a calmer person because it will teach you how to quell your restless thoughts and quiet your mind.
6. Breathe Deeply
Breathing is so instinctive that you take thousands of breaths each day without noticing. But what if you did take time to think about it? At least once a day, breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Draw in the air and feel it fill your lungs. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. This type of deep breathing is a mini-meditation you can use to relax and center yourself, no matter where you are or what you are doing. If you like, you can even pair your deep breathing with a simple meditation exercise: When you breathe in, picture yourself inhaling love and positivity, and when you exhale, release negative thoughts and feelings.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
Healthy adults require at least seven to nine hours of rest daily to restore and rejuvenate. While you sleep, your body goes into hyperdrive, growing muscle, repairing tissue, clearing out toxins and synthesizing hormones. Meanwhile, your brain is processing memories and emotions in the form of dreams. In other words, the more sleep you get, the better you will be able to perform the next day. Don’t skimp on sleep – chronic sleep deprivation, also known as sleep debt, is linked to both emotional and physical health problems, including depression, irritability, poor decision-making, advanced aging, weight gain and even premature death.
8. Be a Social Butterfly
Socializing can provide a huge boost to your physical and mental health. Psychologists say regularly connecting with friends may improve your brain function, while lowering your risk of developing dementia. People with a stronger social support network tend to live longer than those who feel isolated, and frequently interacting with others increases feelings of well-being while helping stave off anxiety and depression.
9. Be Grateful
How often do you stop to count your blessings? Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money, and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are tremendous. Being grateful improves both our physical and emotional health, and helps us feel greater empathy toward our fellow humans. Recognizing all the things you have to be thankful for – even in times when you might be struggling – can make you emotionally stronger and more resilient.
10. Keep a Journal
Writing for yourself can bring you amazing health benefits. Beyond stimulating your creative thought processes, regular writing can be incredibly liberating. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a good writer, getting in the habit of writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you relive stressful, frightening or emotionally challenging life events you experienced in a safe environment where you can process them on your own terms. Don’t worry that anyone will judge your work – just write for an audience of one and let the words flow.
Living your best life, in which you acknowledge and embrace the interconnectedness of the mental and physical aspects, is how to achieve optimal, holistic health. The potential to unlock balanced, whole-body wellness lies within all of us, and we all have the necessary tools to achieve it. By incorporating these 10 practices into your daily lifestyle, you can commit to living a fuller, healthier life, discovering the best version of yourself and becoming the person you were born to be.