The brain is your most prized possession when it comes to your healing and wellbeing. Drugs serve the good purpose of treating existing medical conditions, but mind/body techniques may be more effective at disease prevention – without any side effects and longer lasting effectiveness.
Read on for a few simple mind/body practices that you can start doing today for your overall wellness.
Practice Good Communication
Poor communication can make you feel defensive, hostile and/or frustrated; while effective communication will make you feel empowered, in control and connected to others. For better communication, try these on for size:
Be a good listener – When someone says something to you that is unclear or that you simply don’t understand, ask for clarification. Repeat their statements back to them as you understood them. Pay attention to body language, tone and emotion for a better understanding of any underlying feelings.
Be careful of your own body language – Make sure that what you are saying is well received by using appropriate body language that gets your point across.
Be assertive rather than passive or aggressive – When you are passive, this implies that you feel weak or inferior; and the end result is bottled up anger, resentment, hurt feelings and eventually illness (because you aren’t allowing your emotions expression).
When you respond aggressively, this implies that you feel superior and the reactions from others are usually retaliatory and defensive – which isn’t a good mix. Assertive responses imply that while two people may disagree, both of them are equally entitled to express themselves, which makes for better problem resolution and better relationships.
Doing good deeds make you and others feel good, but it also keeps you healthier. Excessive self-concern leads to depression, poor health and a fruitless life. When you are involved with helping others, you form stronger social ties and your health benefits as a result. Studies have shown that the vast majority of volunteers are physically and mentally healthier than their peers. Most of them also experience what is known as a “helper’s high,” an instant pleasurable sensation or feeling of sudden warmth, energy and euphoria after doing a good deed.
Engage in Sensory Stimulation
Sensory pleasures reduce stress, anxiety and depression; lower blood pressure; reduce pain; and enhance your immune system’s function for overall health and wellness. Try these, for example:
Sight – Spend time watching tropical fish swimming in an aquarium; doing this for 20 minutes has been shown to reduce blood pressure. The beautiful swirl of colors and light create a sense of calm and visual pleasure.
Hearing – Learn to play a musical instrument, join a singing group, exercise or dance to music. Music can be magical, healing, stimulating, and calming… whatever you need it to be, depending on your style preference.
Touch – Warm your hands by rubbing them together quickly, and then cup them over your eyes, on your cheeks or over your heart for a soothing sensation.
Taste/Smell – Take time to notice the flavors and aromas of your food as you eat. If you savor each bite, you’ll eat less and enjoy it more.