Meditation and Healthy Living
Welcome to episode 77 of The Mindful Kind podcast, featuring meditation and four healthy living tips!
Meditation is a wellbeing trend which is becoming more and more accessible, well-researched and widely-practiced. With stress and overwhelm interfering with the health and wellbeing of many people, meditation is a wonderful practice to use to improve overall wellness, decrease stress and welcome more calm and clarity into our lives.
Here are four simple tips to help you live a healthier life, with fun meditation techniques!
Tip 1 // Prioritise sleep and develop a regular bedtime routine.
This is an aspect of health I underestimated until I was studying psychology at University and learned about the potential negative effects of sleep deprivation and the benefits of good sleep.
I now prioritise sleep and most nights, I turn out the light around 10pm and wake up between 6 or 7am. I nap when I've had a few late nights, I don't drink coffee after lunch and I use meditation and mindfulness practices to achieve better quality sleep.
This routine may not suit everyone and there are sleep interruptions some of us can’t escape, such as noisy neighbours, children, or night shifts at work!
However, there are a few ways you can improve your sleep so that it can be the best it can be, even if your circumstances aren’t ideal.
I personally find that visualisations work well for me because they effectively quieten any thoughts which might otherwise keep me awake. One visualization I love is to imagine waves rolling in while I sit at a peaceful beach. I can feel the sunshine on my skin and the soft sand underneath me. As I inhale, the wave goes out and as I exhale, the wave rolls in and breaks over the sand.
For more tips, you might like to check out my article How to Have the Best Sleep of Your Life.
Tip 2 // Engage in self-care.
I’ve been using Bean Body Coffee Scrub and Brite Hair Masque from Priceline (I've included the links to my favourite "flavours!") because they specifically say in the instructions to apply them and leave them on for 5-15 minutes!
This is a wonderful opportunity to practice meditation, while enjoying some relaxing "me-time!".
I like doing breathing techniques because it’s a great way to calm the body down, slow the mind, refocus on the present moment and let go of persistent thoughts.
Here's a simple technique you can try and feel free to check out this Instagram post for more ideas!
Breathe in- one, two, three
Hold- one, two
Breathe out- one, two, three, four.
You can repeat this is many times as you like, or modify the number of counts to better suit you.
Tip 3 // Nourish your physical body with water, healthy foods and movement
I love cooking and reading recipe books and I do my best to maintain a balanced diet, which I can genuinely enjoy and nourish my body with.
Of course, I have treats and we get takeaway now and then, but I’m mindful of what I put in my body and how it makes me feel.
Some of my favourite, simple and nutritious meals include:
Sweet potato and ginger soup (perfect for these cooler nights)
Chicken curries with brown rice
Broccoli, snow pea, ginger, bok choy and tofu stir fry
Omelettes (a great option for using left-over vegetables, such as spinach, zucchini, tomato etc)
Minestrone soup (especially with delicious sourdough bread!)
Also, remember to drink plenty of water. This is a habit I’ve really been focusing on this year and I bought a large water bottle to keep with me during the day and remind me to drink!
I've previously shared a post about mindful eating, however this practice can be very simple. Try to notice the different flavours, textures, aromas and temperatures of your food and drinks, and practice being grateful for what you have.
Some of my favourite ways to move my body include walking my dog, attending yoga classes and going on adventures (like rock-climbing, snow boarding and swimming in the ocean!).
I really encourage people to find which exercises they enjoy, perhaps classes at the gym, team sports, yoga/dance/fitness apps, or just bring things back to basics and go for a walk around the neighbourhood.
Tip 4 // Have fun.
I know this may sound a bit cliché, but I believe this is a really important aspect of health which can be overlooked, sometimes.
You can have fun by going on an adventure or travelling, spending time with people you love, or engaging in a hobby (such as playing music, painting or photography).
Embrace fun and joy and make it an essential and intentional part of your everyday life.
As for meditations and having fun, I'm really excited to share the practice of laughter meditation!
I went to a workshop by Bloom Anchor events last year, which included a laughing yoga session and I had such an incredible time. It was so cathartic and cleansing and I felt completely revitalised afterwards!
It might feel weird or unnatural to start laughing for no reason, but then that seems kind of funny and genuine laughter starts.
Here are a few resources if you would like to learn more about laughter meditation:
Sometimes, it’s challenging to let ourselves have fun when we just aren’t in the mood for it. So, why not boost your mood beforehand with some simple affirmations, such as:
"I am ready to let go and have fun" or
"I embrace joy with all my heart."
I hope you have a wonderful week, Mindful Kind, and if you have any comments or thoughts to share, I would love to hear from you below!