Being healthy begins with the right state of mind. Eating right is also important, and some exercise is too. But if your mind is not in the right place, the right diet and daily exercise will be short-sighted and short-lived. Here is some practical advise for getting into the right state of mind to change your health and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Practice Breathing Every Day.
This may sound silly because everyone must breathe to survive. But what I mean here is to focus on the way you breathe. The mind is closely connected to every breath you take. Are you taking quick short breaths with only the upper portion of your lungs, or are you slowly pushing that air into the bottom of your lungs too? The slower and deeper inhales you take, the clearer your mind becomes. When your mind is clear you can discover a clear direction to take with the diet and lifestyle choices you are making. But this requires some focus, patience, and above all, practice. Start practicing by first taking deep breaths for 1 minute each morning, and work your way up to 5 minutes each morning. With most people, 5 minutes is all you'll need.
2. Learn to Let Go of Negative Thoughts.
Part of starting a new diet or exercise regime, or sticking to one, is learning to let go of some of the negativity that gets stirred up in your mind. If you've trained yourself to live in an unproductive way, negative thoughts will interfere to stop you from making and sustaining a change. When these negative thoughts enter your consciousness, acknowledge them but let them go. They do not serve any purpose and only encourage suffering that prevents you from transforming. To learn to let go, next time you're trying to make a conscious decision about your diet or exercise routine and a negative thought enters your mind, take a long slow deep breath and focus on your inhalation and exhalation. This should help you readjust your perspective to a more positive one.
3. Be Gentle Yet Disciplined.
Making changes and sticking to them is not easy. This becomes even more apparent as we age. So the best way to approach change is to tread lightly and be gentle. Treat your self as if you were an innocent naive child that needs guidance. Just like children, your mind wants to be carefree and in the moment. But don't cave in to your inner child's cajoling, or their manipulative ways. If you're having trouble sticking to your diet or exercise routine, give your self a day off. But be clear about your boundaries and limits, and remain steadfast in your discipline.
4. Make it Fun But Don't Be a Clown.
Making changes and supporting them is also not generally fun, especially when it comes to changing your diet or lifestyle. It usually requires you to take a long hard look at the way you've been going about everything and this can be overwhelming and negative. One of the best ways to confront changes is to make it fun. Instead of focusing on the challenges surrounding making a change, hone in on the excitement of starting something fresh and new. This alone should make you smile from ear to ear. If you're losing interest in your diet and exercise routine, remember to keep things light-hearted and try to enjoy your self by not taking everything you're doing too serious. But be sure you don't turn it all into a joke and risk losing your discipline.
5. Try Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is fundamentally based on theories that embrace change. Therefore it is a nice addition for anyone who is trying to transform their diet and lifestyle choices into ones that are more in tune with natural healthy living. On a practical level, acupuncture can be used to help focus and center the mind, which can support the discipline needed to make a change and sustain wellness. It also regulates metabolic processes to support digestive function, reduces inflammation, improves circulation, and speeds up recovery time from workouts. In this sense, think of acupuncture as a tool that can help you adapt to the changes you're trying to make.