The Simple & Easy Way to a Happy Body & Mind

We all know that we could do more to make our bodies, and minds, happier and healthier. But it’s not always that easy or straight forward is it? It can seem as if life is against us. As soon as you just get things sorted a problem occurs and throw you off balance again.

 

The truth is, there will always be things to distract you, and throw you off course. It’s how you deal and think about them that makes all the difference in the world to your happiness and health.

 

“Nothing is either good or bad, only thinking makes it so”, William Shakespeare.

 

Change your thinking = change your habits

Put yourself first – yes, really! This is not an act of selfishness, quite the opposite in fact. If you are in the best place mentally and physically that you can be, then anything which come along will be much easier to handle. You will find you have more mental and physical energy to deal with any situation. You think and deal with things more quickly.  Now this is the really important bit – you won’t be so stressed by life. Remember to listen to your body and take a quick nap when you need to and when you can.

 

The mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. In order not to stress either, start with small changes one at a time. If you incorporate a small change e.g. doing some simple exercises during the adverts while watching TV or waiting for dinner to cook, (see The World’s Easiest Exercise Plan) two or three times a week for two weeks then you are on your way.

 

Look Back

Think where you were this time last year? Were you planning on making changes then, but nothing has happened? How about 6 months ago or a month? Do you want to be in this position this time next year? No? Then start with one small change, just one and stick to that. When that change has become automatic and part of your normal routine, then and only then, think about making a second change. Remember, it has taken you a while to get to this point, it is going to take a while to change again. Be patient with yourself.

 

Think about time

How much you waste watching catch up TV, playing games on the computer etc. If you take just 5 minutes out of one of your activities per day you would have given yourself 35 minutes in a week. I’m not just talking about exercise, you could try meditation or simply sitting still and watching the clouds drift past. Headspace is a great place to start.

 

Set Backs and Laziness

Remember why you are making these changes.  Write yourself a note when you start the changes stating why you are doing it.  What you hope to get out of it, and what will happen if you don’t make changes. Put this away, when you feel yourself weakening, go and read it, add your current thoughts and date to the bottom of the note. When you look back over this you will be able to see how you have changed and grown.

 

Reward and treat  

Sometimes we all need a little treat or reward. Do remember to include these in your changes. Over the last couple of months we have extolled the virtues of red wine, dark chocolate and other foods. Now you can also add tea and peanuts to your list of lovelies which will also be of benefit to your body. And if you are having a snack, there are also some herbs which you may want to grow (being outdoors and gardening are great to help boost your mood and fight depression – see post of two weeks ago) and add to your dishes.

 

Join a Class

Humans are, fundamentally, social animals. Get out and make some new acquaintances. You never know, they may end up as good friends too!   Studies have shown that those who exercise in groups work harder and stick to it for longer than those who exercise alone. Also, you want to have some fun and have a giggle too. This is also easier to do with others! If there is something you have always wanted to learn, go do that. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tai Chi, painting, gardening, cooking, walking club, chess, book club, playing a musical instrument, go give it a try, you never know where it might lead!

 

However, I cannot think of a better way of learning how to turn your health and welling around than by joining a Hine Institute Tai Chi class.  They are all very friendly, welcoming classes run by very senior instructors.  Making friends is easy and may just last you a lifetime.