Over the past 2 years with the virus around I have written a few blogs about the mind and body connection and destressing. With all the talk going around lately about mental illness, I would like to again add my insights.
Taking the pressure off yourself to be a certain way, to do everything on the checklist, to meet those out of reach goals yesterday, and to stop judging ourselves for what we can’t control or can’t attain, goes a long way in preserving our sanity.
So what if that dish hasn’t been washed tonight or you didn’t have time to mulch around the new bush. What will happen? Rethink your productivity.
By not putting pressure on ourselves and not judging that we are not perfect people, it helps us to decompress, unwind, unplug, and recuperate.
Doing this will ease the tension not only in our minds, but also in our bodies. It will allow us to move with greater ease and prevent injury. Come up with some daily rituals that will make you feel good. Even if at first it does not, by being consistent your body/mind will quickly adapt.
For instance, in the morning take an inventory of how your body and mind feels. That information could then be used to set your day and how you push yourself that day. Minds and bodies both need time to recuperate and rest to heal.
Say” I love you” to yourself as though you are talking to someone in your life you love. Try an activity that you haven’t done in years or never tried before, like sitting on a park bench and people watching (sorry Jethro Tull came into that one).
Keep a journal of positive things you felt that day so you can remember this when you get into a funk. It could be as simple as a stretch you did that felt good or you finally got angry about something rather than accepting that this is the way it is.
Strive not for perfection, but for attaining your reasonable goal. This allows you to make mistakes, which is how we learn, relieves you from mental pressure and judgement. Acknowledge that you have feelings that may be negative, but do it without judgement so you stop beating yourself up. For instance, instead of saying “i should’ve gotten to mulching” instead say ” I didn’t get to mulch so I will do that next time.” – no judgement.
So where do you begin to develop this healthy connection?
The first step is always awareness – sound familiar? You have to be aware of your mind-body connection to be able to make changes. Recognize what you can and cannot do, without judgement. Notice your tone of voice to yourself and what you say. Are you saying something is good or bad? Instead of thinking well I did this today – letting it just be information/fact.
Shift Your Focus
While building awareness, do you find yourself hyperfocused on how you feel all of the time? Take a few deep breaths, or use your balloon, and calm yourself down and slow the breath. Once you have internalized, for instance, an alignment posture, then concentrate on just how does that feel to you. You know you may need to lift the ribs from the pelvis, but then think of it in a different way. You are making yourself 3” taller and you get the feel of it. By the way, I currently am making everyone 6’ tall now.
Being aware of ourselves physically, lets us understand where our emotions lie. Neck tension may emanate from a thought you have been perseverating on. Move onto something else, like going to the ocean to listen to the waves, to mix things up a bit. This is what builds your capacity to manage your emotions and improve that mind-body connection. This will also help you to accomplish the activities you need to do that day.
I was writing notes one day and realized how long it was taking me, so I walked away. I went downstairs, grabbed water and went back up to the computer. I was then able to pump out those notes in 5 minutes. I had refreshed not only my mind, but also my body by walking and going up and down stairs. I was in a different state of mind paying attention to my surroundings, rather than what I was writing on the computer. I became present in that moment.
Expand Your Sense of Self-Worth
Constantly paying attention to your body to the point of obsession can affect your sense of self-worth. My goal is always to train the body to just remember what it needs to do so you are not obsessing over it all day. Otherwise, you begin to judge yourself again and label it as “I can’t do it” or “I didn’t do it well”. Taking your vision away helps you to just feel what is correct and doesn’t allow you to judge or compare yourself to others.
In my dance classes, the teachers sometimes talk about if today something doesn’t feel right or your body just doesn’t want to move that way, then don’t judge or fight it. Just listen to what your body needs at that moment and modify what you are doing. Our bodies change daily. One day you may feel you can walk 4 miles and another 1 mile. And that is OK!
Being hooked on minutiae or hyperfocused on little things, can actually stilt your movements, making your coordination and balance more difficult and even your ability to learn new movement patterns. Drop what you are doing and move on to something else. You can always come back to what you were trying to accomplish and like I wrote what I did, the activity becomes easier and stressfree.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin or how to help yourself, please contact us today so we can help you on your journey to recovery. We have extensive experience in treating issues that will change your lifestyle so you can get back to enjoying the life you deserve. To help you on that recovery click here to schedule a call with us today to discuss your issues.
To Your Mental and Physical Health,