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How Mindfulness Affects Your Health April 02, 2022 Alternate Text

“Mind full” vs Mindful. These are two very different things. 

“Mind-full” – with the meaning that the mind is full of so many things, does not always mean that it is full of healthy thoughts.

* versus *

“Mindful” – maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing view.

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts will tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future – being present, non-judgmental, aware.

Mindfulness is a very wide topic of discussion. It will be something we will often come back to when we discuss in the future because it is really something that we will deal with on a day-to-day basis and are affected either positively or adversely.

But let’s start with a couple of thoughts.

How are you eating or drinking?

  • Quickly or slowly?
  • Are you present or distracted?
  • Is your eating intentional or mindless?

Oftentimes when we are looking to get healthy, we tend to focus on “what” we are eating. This of course is correct and what is necessary. But the question should also be, “how are we eating?”.

Is it about all or nothing? When we continue our healthy lifestyle path, do we live and eat in such a way that makes us feel we must deprive ourselves of a summer treat? Or if we have something that you may consider a guilty pleasure that we “ruined” every good thing we did and then say “whatever” and go to town? Extremes here are taken.

But let’s look at this angle. When you focus on “how” you eat, you are then better equipped to listen to your body, noticing if you are hungry, full, or satisfied. By doing this you will make “intentional” choices, which will help you find the right balance.

The key thought is balance. There needs to be balance in everything we do in life. In our thoughts and our actions.

Our mindset needs to be healing!

So how is mindfulness related to our eating? By eating fast, we affect our digestion, which begins in the mouth. It starts with our saliva. It helps break down the food properly so that when it ends up in our stomachs, digestion will be easier and smoother. We don’t put extra strain on our bellies to push harder to break everything down. By also chewing well, you allow your brain to register you are eating. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register this which then communicates you are full. This is better for your digestion and will feel full correctly because you haven’t inhaled food so fast that your brain didn’t catch up yet. It helps to prevent overeating, aside from indigestion, and among other things.

Further to this though, is your nervous system. If you notice what happens when you have a hectic or stressful workday and you are rushing and going at things non-stop. When you have deadlines or are pushed back, instead of stopping to have your breaks you plow through at your desk, eat while you work, keep working, finish your day, rush home, and crash. By that time, you can feel exhausted, stressed, end up with stomach issues or discomfort, headaches, etc.

It is important to create a healthy relationship between your “what” and “how”… even your “why”.

By being intentional you will learn to break bad habits and create and maintain a healthier, sustainable lifestyle. Mindful eating will also influence us to make wiser choices of what we will always choose to eat.

How often we hear, “where the mind goes, energy flows”. This applies to even when we eat and drink.

How are you sitting when you eat and drink? Sitting upright and relaxed, not slouching? Remember too, how we sit affects our organs. When we slouch, we will crush all our organs and our lungs will not be open. We should be sitting upright opening our chests and letting the organs sit where they’re supposed to sit and letting everything function properly. This contributes to a healthier circulation in all the body systems. When oxygen flows properly it allows our brain to function better which then allows everything else to have a calmer stance.

So again, back to the question:

How are you eating or drinking?

  • Quickly or slowly?
  • Are you present or distracted?
  • Is your eating intentional or mindless?

Pay attention to what you’re thinking if you’re rushing or inhaling your food. Are you present or distracted? Are you sitting at the table enjoying your meal, taking your time, chewing slowly, breathing calmly, and letting this time just be for you? Or are you shoveling the food thinking about problems that you can’t let go of, or this person, that problem, this deadline, these issues, this bill to pay, and so on. Then do you find your stomach is still churning and you end up in such severe discomfort after you finish your meal? What is on your mind that could be creating this mode? 

Are you eating with intentionality or eating mindlessly by not taking the time to prepare your meals or think about what you want to eat? We’ve all done it. We’re in a rush and we didn’t have a chance to prepare something for ourselves so maybe we’ll just go grab a hamburger with fries and a soft drink because it will just tie us over until we can get to the end of our day. It can happen and we can’t keep beating ourselves up over it. But if it becomes a pattern we need to stop and think what is creating this pattern. This is again where being mindful comes into the picture because we need to understand what our triggers are.

Now let’s go a little bit deeper as to what could affect the simple thing of eating and even drinking. Because every single one of us may have something that we are dealing with in life that sometimes and can often control everything … we’re at work at our desk and something comes up and triggers a thought. How does our body react to this? We put our head down on the pillow at night to sleep and another thought pops up in our head. Now suddenly you can’t sleep, and you can’t breathe. What else is happening to your body at the time? You sit down to eat to enjoy this beautiful meal, somebody says something, or a thought comes up again and now your body reacts a certain way. Do you notice that your body reacts a certain way when you start to eat something? Do you end up reacting? 

Therefore, it’s important to understand yourself and who you are, and how you personally deal with pressures and stresses and even traumas in life.

When we have some tension and heavy weight on us, there are some things that we could consider that would help us release that pressure and take us to a better place:

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Finding healthy ways to relax
  3. Positive thinking
  4. Exercise
  5. Planting – enjoy the garden, which has a lot to do with earthing, as we connect physically with the earth elements and soil…or even planting in pots if we don’t have a garden.
  6. Walking barefoot
  7. Spend time with nature
  8. Part of nature as well is enjoying the sky by cloud gazing, enjoying a sunrise or the sunset, breathing in fresh air and letting go.
  9. If you have a pet, take your pet for a walk. Or simply go for a walk yourself or with someone you are close to and can be relaxed with.
  10. Taking a relaxing bath
  11. Cook. And while on this program you know you’re cooking healthy foods. There are so many opportunities to be creative and when you’re creative you use the other side of your brain that does not always get used when you’re at work or dealing with problems and such. 
  12. Have a chat with friends… And listen as well.
  13. And, as mentioned earlier about letting go – we can take that one step further if we are able to forgive. Remember forgiveness is not about condoning one’s wrongdoing. It’s an aspect of being able to not let it control you. This is a part of healing. This is deeper into self-care and mindfulness. It is something to reflect on and think about without putting too much pressure on yourself. When you’re ready you’ll know.

In the work field a lot of stress builds. At times it is not always easy to look after yourself when you are looking after others. But there are things that can be done to rediscover moments of calm and self-care even during a grueling workday. 

  1. Breathe: Breathing properly will hit the reset switch on your brain and body and will help to head off the stress response. There is a technique where you breathe in for a count of 4, pause for 7, then breathe out for 8. You will start to feel a whole difference in your system at this point. Always remember to breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth in a controlled manner. As you can see this is a type of intentional breathing. 
  2. HALT: This stands for hungry, angry/anxious, lonely, or tired. This is a technique to always remember by keeping your physical and mental functioning at peak capacity and to keep our balance.
  3. Focus on the good: It’s not easy and there are a lot of stressors but if we’re able to find something to focus on that is positive it can help switch our mood.
  4. Transition: Oftentimes we may end up taking our work home. Oftentimes it is also done mentally and emotionally. Which means we don’t leave things back at work. If we’re able to allow ourselves to leave things at the door before we walk into our home for a moment, we can allow ourselves to transition from work mode to home mode. However, many are doing work from home so this may present a bit of a challenge. But can we allocate the time for ourselves to be able to say this is for work, and this is for me personally? It is not easy because today we are always on alert and on standby because somebody always expects us to be ready at the split second because our phones are with us. We’re easily reachable by a text message or email and we don’t feel that we can block off the time just to breathe to have family or personal time. But what is good to remember is thinking back to the simpler times. I often think about the days when we didn’t have cell phones or emails and when we were at work, we couldn’t always take phone calls unless it was work related and there were answering machines. Phone calls were made at the end of the day when you finished your work, and when you finished your dinner and had a chance to sit down. Then phone calls were answered. Perhaps we can apply some of those principles back into our lives.
  5. Laugh whenever you can: Laughing keeps our brain creative and resets our nervous system. Think about whatever can truthfully make laughter bubble up inside of you. Comedy podcasts on your drive home. Maybe your kids have corny jokes at the dinner table. You have a favourite comedy on TV when you’re chilling on the couch. Whatever it is laugh and laugh from your gut and from your heart and from your soul and release. As they always say it takes more energy to frown than it is to smile. How much more so when you’re laughing? This is one way to bust your gut!
  6. Reach in: Whatever it is that you have faith in, lean into your faith. Many people like us, including our ancestors, have all gone through hard times. Maybe even harder than what we’re going through. But they came out stronger than ever. So, try and see what resource they leaned on to get through.
  7. Reach out: Reach out when you’re up. But also reach out when you’re down and out and tired as well. There is more happiness in giving than in receiving because when you give from your heart and soul it is human nature to contribute positively and to be there for another…it does give a sense of joy and satisfaction when you do this without expecting something back. You never know whose spirits you are lifting. Sometimes we all feel like we’re doing a thankless job but if we reach out and show our gratitude it can rub off on others and it can lift them up and make them also realize that they can be that way too.

Whatever it is though, always know do whatever you can to get through your day and your stresses. This list is just showing a few ways that you can disrupt your brain and body from rewiring your nervous system for ongoing trauma and stress. No matter how big or small you can always give yourself gratitude for taking any step. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of yourself for any little progress that you make. If you can, reset your mind and your body to the present moment and take back control of your health and you will make continuous strides. No matter who we are we all need to have and be a good support system. You need to be supportive of yourself and be proud of who you are. When you do that, you can be that beacon of light for somebody else who may be looking on that you didn’t think is watching. Whatever good that you’re doing is beneficial for you, and as that strengthens you it’s going to be that ripple effect for others.

If you’ve ever noticed in our emails that Ruben often says, “Creating ripples of great health and wellness, with powerful individuals, that just needed to understand that there exists a correct path!”

This one sentence is potent. We are all creating ripples of great health and wellness with one another. Each one of you is a powerful individual. Sometimes one may be going down a wrong path with a wrong understanding and we just guide each other in the right way to make you more powerful and healthy. If we don’t have our health, we have nothing.

When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied. When health has been taken from you, especially abruptly, you realize that nothing else has any value. But does that mean that’s the end of the road and we can’t reverse it? I think you know the answer which is no!

Whether you are past, present, or future Reset Champions, you are already on the road to mindfulness and implementing it in your lives by being on the zoom calls, implementing positive changes in your lives and lifestyles, and rippling that effect also to your family and friends. Healthy growth doesn’t happen in one night. But as we strengthen step by step, the roots become deeper. The program with our proprietary homeopathic formulas helps with this healing mindset as well.

We are proud of each one of you for taking these steps in your life. Personally speaking, all of you have been a huge encouragement to us at iHEALTHe. 

I encourage each one of you, learn to be present and enjoy the moment. Grow, thrive, and let your roots become solid in good health.

Until next time. Wishing you the best in health!

Fadia Habib

6175 Hwy 7, Unit 2A Vaughan, ON L4H 0P6
Learn more about the trusted brand iHEALTHe ® Wellness here
© 2024 iHEALTHe® Wellness
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