Mind over Matter & Matter over Mind
How do you create wellness? If you define wellness as health + happiness, our wellness is a product of our physical health and the state of our mind. Our physical health affects our state of mind, and our state of mind affects our health.
So in order to cultivate wellness, we need to go at it from the physical (what we do with our bodies) and the mental (what we choose to focus on).
From the physical:
Studies have shown that the way we hold ourselves affects how we feel mentally. There was a study at UC Berkeley that proved that depressed people found relief by grinning for 20 minutes a day. There's also been studies done on body language and how "power poses" positively affect our sense of self worth. We know from experience from our yoga practice that even a few minutes on our mat can shift a bad mood. Or as yoga teacher Darren Rhodes always says:
"Shape shift to state shift".
And you can influence your state with the mind:
Have you ever had a daily gratitude practice? Numerous studies on the topic of positive psychology show how regularly counting your blessings can make you not only more optimistic, positive and happy, but also strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of illness, makes us less bothered by aches and pains and helps us sleep better. It also encourages us to exercise more and take better care of our health.
One of my favorite yoga sutras is IV.15: vastu-samye chitta-bhedat tayor vibhaktah panthah. It means, in short - the world appears according to how YOU see it. When we focus on the good, we experience life as beautiful. When our glass is always half empty, we'll never have enough.
How do you want to live? What kind of an experience of life do you want to have? I make it a daily practice to reflect on the things I'm grateful for because I know how easy it is for my mind to slip into negativity and lack. My wellbeing depends on it.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein
We can almost guarantee that we can feel our best when we combine daily physical practices with mental ones to put our wellness in our own hands.
Do you have daily rituals that put you in a positive headspace and self-care habits to keep you healthy? I would love to talk to you about how you can optimize your days and feel your absolute best. Let's make a plan to talk. Set up a time here. (don't forget to click "confirm"). I look forward to talking to you.