One of the most important keys to maintaining a life of health and happiness is to develop self awareness. This means to be able to be in touch with your mind-body state on three levels: your mental, physical and emotional states.
The first key to empowering yourself to manage your internal state is to take a time to slow down. Schedule some time to incorporate self reflection practices.
Here is the first of 10 easy steps to doing just that.
Meditation allows you to slow down and become present.
Meditation slows down the brain waves in your brain, and brings your nervous system into balance, alleviating stress response and interrupting stressful chemicals from being produced in the body.
Studies have shown that continuous stress response in the body produces a cascade of hormones such as cortisol, (the stress hormone), and adrenaline, (which prepares your body for immediate action). These internally produced chemicals keep the body and mind in a state of high arousal. You need this if you need to fight or flee in a dangerous situation. This is the primal basic instinct for survival. If you aren’t running from something it creates additional stress, and wear and tear on your body, and ultimately can make a person feel burned out, run down and tired.
It's important to take meditation breaks! Here’s a simple one. Set your timer for 5 minutes or 10 minutes, sit in a comfortable place and just breathe, counting your breaths. You can just observe your thoughts without trying to stop them or do anything with them. Just breathe, count your breaths and observe your thoughts.
Try it for five minutes and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you! Questions or comments welcome.