Mindless: Marked by or displaying no use of the powers of the intellect; Requiring little attention or thought; Not intellectually challenging or stimulating.
Engaging in mindless behaviors are what cause us to feel stuck when the shit hits the fan in life. Out of the blue with no warning, the slap of reality shows you what happens when you don’t pay enough attention or use positive choices to fuel your decisions. Sometimes, we can recognize the culprit on the spot, such as walking into the bakery and picking up a pastry, simply because you were walking by – not because you really wanted it. Or ignoring that twinge of soreness in your low back (since it’s gone away in the past) until it is pulsating with pain each time you bend over. Or maybe it’s gluing your eyes to an intriguing slew of social media posts while enjoying family time at the end of a weekday.
“Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel.” – Osho
At the moment, it is tough to recognize the situation, our ego throws a curtain over your eyes to mask the fact you really don’t want to do it, yet for some unknown reason, you still do! Well now is time to pull the curtains back and be present in your habits. Be bolder than the culmination of small, reoccurring, mindless behaviors are habits you have developed over time. How? Well that is different for each person, but the not-so-favorable habits you develop are usually a result of;
- Filling Some Type of a Void
- Band-Aid for Stress, Anxiety, Worry… Any of the ‘toxic‘ emotions
- Providing a Sense of Comfort, Followed by Guilt, Frustration, or Discontent
I’m sure you know those feelings, you are not alone. I think we all fall victim to letting emotions take the wheel for our behaviors. Like just last week, I had been building up stress and anxiety from feeling “crunched on time” every day of the week, so guess what happened next? I do most of my work at home at the kitchen table, and every time I got up to hit the bathroom, get some water, or stretch out my body, I found myself stopping and opening the fridge and cabinets (maybe even twice) before sitting back down for some work. And no, unfortunately, that’s not where the story ends. A bone-dry jar of almond butter and picking at bites of this and that, I managed to accumulate an extra ~2,000 calories that week without even realizing it at the moment; that is a huge amount of extra food I did not need!
Just as easy as it may be to fall into this vicious trap of mindless behavior, it can be just as easy to get into a mindset of mindfulness. It takes a Positive Focus, Action Steps, and Planned Behaviors to help break out of the cycle suppressing total fruition.
Now if you’ve made it this far and think you have your habits on lockdown, I still encourage you to either implement some of what I offer or offer these suggestions to someone you know who may need some guidance to hop back on track!
Live Better Everyday With These 5 Simple Habits
1. Express Gratitude Often
Spreading feelings of gratitude and appreciation is an extremely powerful way to live better. It is very easy to have thoughts and conversations revolving around complaining and gossiping because it is a common ground for everyone to talk about. But by flipping the talking points to those of gratitude, appreciation, happiness, etc., you will notice many more smiles, compliments, and good thoughts coming your way – attract what you want to feel! One of my favorite ways to find balance, as well as keep track of thoughts and behaviors is through daily journaling. It is a running log of how I feel and what I think, so when things don’t seem to be headed 100% the way I’d like, a simple glance through some recent journal entries can help me gain insight into what has been a bit off.
Follow the link below to one my previous articles, focusing on some tactics to improve gratitude and mental clarity;
And here is an excerpt from another article, How to Focus Shift for Optimal Results, which I encourage you to do try right now!
“Write down 5 things you view as some of your weaknesses. It can be bullet points or longer, whatever represents it best.Now, write down how those perceived weaknesses can be potential strengths. Take as long as you need, but keep this in your wallet, purse, dresser…somewhere you can see it consistently.
Most people spend more time focusing on their weaknesses than developing their strengths. And as a result of this, most people never connect with the greatness that it is their duty to discover. Earn your right to personal fulfillment back.”
By focusing on making yourself happier and stronger, you will radiate and attract those same feelings. Don’t overlook the power of spreading gratitude as a simple habit to live better.
2. Move Your Body Every Day
As a movement practitioner, this is my ‘bread & butter’ (metaphorically) to living and feeling better every single day. It can be something as simple as a few stretches in the morning and night, all the way up to a full training session at Orca Empire or on your own. Everyone has their own goals, limitations, strengths, and specifics you envision improving – the hardest part is consistently taking action towards them each day. The best way to prepare for and maintain a simple habit is to create simple action steps.
“What is the Minimal Effective Dose”
What is the realistic, non-negotiable amount of time you can devote every day to your body to keep it happy? 5 minutes? 30 minutes? Maybe you can discover time for an entire hour. Each day brings obligations and things to do, but the first thing in your daily agenda is setting aside time to maintain a happy and healthy body. Moving your body shouldn’t feel like a chore or a burden, it is a privilege many do not have. Use those few minutes each day doing movements or activity you enjoy, reinforcing the habits helping propel your life forward.
To get you headed in the right direction for all of you lucky readers, I have designed the ‘Move Your Body Everyday Guide’. This guide provides morning and evening exercises, in groups dedicated to different improvements for your body. If you have questions with any of the movements in the guide, either send me a quick message so I can help you out, or a quick YouTube search can help with some visual learning.
If you are serious about improving your relationship with exercise, here are some more articles I have written to get your mind and body hungry for more;
3. Disconnect to Reconnect at Night
As important as it is to “wake up on the right side of the bed”, falling asleep in a similar routine can be the best way to prepare yourself for success. One of the biggest influences on the quality of sleep is the amount of light you are exposed to just before sleeping and while you are asleep.
“I need the TV on to fall asleep”, “My cell phone helps make me sleepy”, or “I have to sleep with a light on, or else I can’t rest” are actually causing you to have a worse nights sleep. Sorry, but you are not exempt to science, and it is a true fact that artificial lights disrupt sleep in many ways. It does not allow the brain to really relax from the stimulation you take in all day, it just wants to unwind but can’t tell you!
Develop a simple disconnection routine before falling asleep each night, and use it as your special time to leave the day’s stress behind, mentally feel at ease, and get as relaxed as possible before taking on the next day when you rise. I’m not saying it is easy to break habits you already have, but if they are potentially harmful to your life, shouldn’t you consider switching them up now that you know better ways to spend your evenings? Here are a few articles to help free your mind of clutter and worry.
On top of Expressing Gratitude at night (like I talked about above), here are some other bed-time habits that are helpful to sleep well and restful
Begin guided or free writing in a journal to release stress, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, or gratitude
Do some sort of stretching, breathing, or yoga to promote relaxation and stress relief (the Move Your Body Everyday Guide)
Use essential oils like Orange, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Frankincense (on the skin or a diffuser)
Read fiction for 10-15 minutes to ease the mind to endure better REM sleep and dreams
- Purchase & Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses when looking at the TV, phone, computer, or with overhead lights on (for those times nighttime light is unavoidable, still definitely decrease time with electronics)
Listen to White noise, Ambient Sound, Soundscapes, Binaural Beats: something soothing for the mind for Zzz
4. Be Proactive v. Reactive to Your Health
Every single day, I hope, you brush and floss your teeth. It takes about 3 minutes each day, maybe a little bit more to get into those tough to reach areas. And why do you every single day? Because you know it is good for your oral health, so you don’t have to get teeth pulled out of your head and to just look and feel clean/healthy. So, you do that every single day, and then every 6 months, you make a trip to the dentist to get checked up to make sure everything is healthy, as well as looking, functioning and feeling the way you want it to.
What makes that habit any different than moving your body?
Just like brushing your teeth, every single day should involve spending a few minutes to maintain good health, so you don’t need to get surgery or take medications, and to look and feel healthy, strong, or empowered…But as a society, we don’t have habits set in place to make this a priority in our lives, and it is not your fault.
When you go get a massage, see the chiropractor, physical therapist or visit the doctor, you are essentially getting checked up to make sure everything is healthy, as well as looking, functioning and feeling the way you want it to. The day after receiving a massage is the most relaxed and comfortable you might feel ever, but after a few days, those effects fade. Why? Because without MAINTAINING the bodywork they put in on your own time, your muscles, joints, and body can revert back to feeling stiff, tight, and uncomfortable.
The problem we have right now is we are so REACTIVE with our health habits, we usually only head to see those people when we have a PROBLEM, not to PREVENT one! I don’t want to sound like I’m beating a dead horse here, but waiting until shit has already hit the fan before wanting to take action is not the best habit to have, and I know I have fallen victim to it to, so this is not a ‘pointing fingers’ type of post, it’s empathy. I want you to feel better and live comfortably, and I’m sure you do as well. In order to do that, each day your body needs to JUST MOVE! Even if it just 3 minutes like brushing your teeth, the time is definitely available to do something, In addition to the ‘Move Your Body Everyday Guide‘, these 3 articles below are full of some ways to help your body feel better every day;
5. Make Mindful Nutrition Choices
Out of all habits to try and alter, nutrition can be the most complicated to try and master. Everyday there is a headline claiming the best and worst foods to fight fat, coconut oil is good, then its bad. You need to eat your vegetables, but they need to be organic. Don’t eat meat, eat meat, go Paleo, try fasting…it can be so overwhelming that none of it seems to help. I won’t clog this section with more confusing data, I’ll keep it short and sweet here with some Do’s and Dont’s.
- Eat Green Things – It’s essential to gather nutrients, vitamins, and is the best way to fill your meals without adding sugars and gut inflaming foods
- Shop the Store Perimeter: Real Food – Produce, nuts, meats, dairy, and the other whole food options around the edges of the store. Those “fake-food-chemical-experiments” sitting in packages shouldn’t be the first thing into your shopping cart, or body for that matter
- Indulge Responsibly From Time to Time – Don’t try to restrict everything. Life is still about enjoyment. But it is easy to overindulge. Whatever your vice is, take one serving, and then remove the temptations from your vision and thoughts.
- Question the Questionable Meals and Snacks – If it is something you second guess eating, then the chances are you shouldn’t be going back for it after saying ‘no’ one or two times. Don’t let your will-power be depleted from decision making fatigue.
- Follow a Diet Plan – Diet plans are not designed for longevity, it is a short-term fix. Instead, use principles like these to guide decisions; you still need freedom of choice.
- Overbuy Pre-Packaged Foods and Snacks – Like stated above, that ‘fake-food’ in a box shou
ldnot be the first or most abundant item in your shopping cart or cabinets.
- Restrict What You Love: Elimination ≠ Enjoyment – Experiences are meant to be enjoyed. With that, we all have special things that give us comfort and feel good. But with that, be mindful of the balance between self-reward and self-sabotage.
- Feel Obligated to Eat Because it is There – Your body is not a human garbage disposal. If you feel satisfied and full, but there is still food on your plate or around you, don’t feel required to finish it off. Save it for later, or simply leave the final bite on the plate as a reminder that having enough does not need to mean having all of it.
If you are hungry for a little more insight into my opinions and views with nutrition, here are some articles covering some more in-depth topics;
Thank you so much for reading, and taking initiative to improving your overall health and wellness. With consistency, your habits will emerge as being the staples in your daily routine. If you want more individualized recommendations, contact us privately to meet up for a success session!