Mindfulness is a great way of helping us contemplate our values. When we’re present we can really feel the contentment and ease of our lives when we’re living in a way consistent with what we belief in and how we would like to behave. And conversely, you can feel the discomfort of living and behaving in a way that is less than what we hope for ourselves.
Presenting a workshop recently on “Making Your Life The Best It Can Be.” I was struck by how much emphasis I was giving to the idea of knowing your values and living from them. Two suggestions that I give people to manage their “spiritual energy” are the following:
Make a list of your values and evaluate your life with those in mind
Set intentions for yourself based on your values
These sound so obvious, but I don’t think people (myself included) put much thought doing this very often. We’re too busy. Right?! But, what an important thing this is to do for our wellbeing.
Personally, “physical health” is one of the most important values I hold. Of course I am a Health Psychologist, but in all my years of talking to people, I have never heard anyone say they didn’t value their health. Without your health, the rest of your life can suffer tremendously. Yet we often don’t think about our health until we don’t have it.
What if you were to remember every day that you value your health? How would you behave differently? Would you move your body more? Would you pay more attention to what kind of food you fed your body?
I know we can find a thousand and three excuses for not exercising and for eating too much junk food, but what values are these excuses based on? Often times it is based on a value held by the little rebel inside who says “I don’t feel like it” or “I can do whatever I want to do.” (Imagine yourself as a six year old when you say that!)That little rebel is reacting to some past experience of not feeling in control or having someone else control you. However, letting the little rebel take care of your health is pretty problematic.
So harness your inner adult and ask yourself, what is one thing I could commit to on a regular basis that would honor my value of health? Set an intention that you can live with.
I’ll give you a few ideas that I use to honor my health. Share your ideas in the comment section below.
Move your body 30 minutes or more a day outside your normal routine.
Take a recovery break every 60 to 90 minutes during the workday to stretch or breathe.
Eat fresh food that doesn’t come out of a package.
Eat lots of greens every day
Drink lots of water (48 – 64 oz. a day).
Eat breakfast every day (it jumpstarts your metabolism).