“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” ~William Londen
We often focus on nourishing our bodies, with fitness and nutritious food, and forget that to function at our optimal level and experience overall well-being, it is equally important to nourish our minds.
Years ago I wasn’t doing either, and eventually I got stuck, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, I had low energy; mentally, I was not growing; and emotionally, I was bored, resentful, and lost passion for life.
Life became a monotonous routine. I got lost in playing “safe” and remained in my comfort zone, which started limiting my potential to live the life I wanted to experience.
Things became stagnant and I knew something had to change to feel alive again, so I looked for ways to change my mindset, to help me move past my negative self-talk, and to find the courage to take action.
Once I started choosing activities and thoughts that nourished my mind, it triggered me to turn up the love for myself.
I started seeing my habits shift to eating better, incorporating more physical activities into my life, and being more open to take risks. I was able to live from a more peaceful, fearless, and creative space.
What Is Nourishing Your Mind?
Nourishing your mind is feeding it with positive, compassionate thoughts that support you in taking action to create the life you want.
We often hear people say, you are what you see, you are what you eat, and you are what you think. Our life mirrors back the energy we put out.
Why Is It Important?
Your body and mind work as one.
Nourishing your mind is a critical component of living a healthy, empowering lifestyle. It impacts your body systems, your behaviors, and how successful you are at creating the experiences you want in life, because everything stems from your mind.
When you nourish your mind, the thoughts you create trigger chemical responses in your body that help increase your happiness, lower your stress, and allow your body to function in homeostasis.
By checking in routinely to ensure your mind is aligned with your core values and what it is you want to feel and create in your life, you are able to choose your thoughts from a place of deliberation and clarity. This generates more peace, health, and happiness.
Below you will find the practices I have continually applied to maintain a nourished mindset before the mental weeds start to grow out of control.
Practice #1: Breathe.
Many people underestimate the power of breathing. The act of breathing consciously allows us to inspire vitality and expire what no longer serves us in life. It’s the constant that represents our life force, and it influences all aspects of our body, mind, and spirit.
It is also a tool you can use to “check in” and recalibrate what’s going on in your body and what’s happening in your life. It refreshes your mind and brings you back to the present.
When you slow down and pay attention to your breath, it quiets your mental chatter and creates room for you to tune back into your essence, while your body benefits physiologically. As yogis often say, “Perfect breath equals perfect health.“
Practice #2: Follow what makes you happy.
Tune into what tugs at your heart and makes you happy. When you follow it and allow yourself to bask in the feelings of happiness and fulfillment that result, your mind will consequently feel lighter and more positive.
Stop searching for happiness and stop trying to conform and meet others’ expectations. You only get lost in the process of trying to please everyone else, when the only constant you can control is you.
Practice #3: Talk to yourself like you would to a friend.
Practice being kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. By instilling loving and non-judgmental thoughts in your mind, you allow yourself to experience more pleasure than pain.
I remember a time when I had to host and record a conference call for my coaching group, as it was part of the curriculum requirements. After the call, I realized I didn’t log in properly as a host and failed to record it.
Instead of getting angry with myself for being a careless, forgetful idiot and letting my group down, I asked myself what would I say if it happened to another group member.
I knew I’d say it’s okay, things happen. Look at it as a technical learning experience. We all enjoyed the call and came out with new ideas and perspectives and you did a great job leading it.
Now, doesn’t that sound nicer than if I was to beat myself up?
Practice #4: Ask powerful questions.
When we experience conflict in our lives, instead of making assumptions, take responsibility and ask powerful questions. Get the facts. See things from a different angle, and spin it into a positive perspective.
Instead of thinking why is this happening to me again? Ask what do I want to change? What can I learn from this? What has to happen for me to feel good about the outcome?
Our perception creates our reality. Reflect on what can be done and what you can control to influence and create the outcome you seek. When you are willing to take responsibility, you will be freed.
Practice #5: Challenge your thoughts about failure.
Oftentimes, failure is what stops us from taking action to better our lives, because it has a negative connotation attached to it, which fuels our mind with fearful thoughts.
When you change your beliefs about failure, it can nurture your mind and allow you to take steps to achieve what it is you seek.
Not trying is failure. Exercise your right to live a full and purposeful life.Give yourself the opportunity to create and experience the life you desire.
If you fail, similar to Thomas Edison, you’ve simply learned “10,000 ways that won’t work.” This takes courage and contributes to your learning and growth, which is what feeds our energy and vitality for life.
Practice #6: Embrace your imperfection.
We are not perfect, so stop trying to be. The sooner you are able to accept your imperfections, the sooner you’ll be able to get out of your head, and the sooner you’ll be able to rock your authentic self.
When I travel, I challenge myself to bust out what I know in the local language when meeting people or asking for help. Most people appreciate the effort, and are often more willing to help out and engage in conversation.
In the process, I am improving my language skills little by little, having a good laugh at times, and if I’m lucky, I may experience and meet some really interesting and fun people.
When we seek to be perfect, our mind tends to be on alert to ensure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Our body gets uptight and our mind gets lost in the worry. It gets exhausting and stops us from allowing lightness and joy to come into our lives.
So, if you are trying to be perfect somewhere in your life, ask yourself, am I already doing the best that I can? Am I trying to be someone else’s perfect vision? If you answer yes to the questions, I encourage you to let it go for your peace of mind.
Remember, when you feed your mind with nourishing thoughts, your body also benefits from it. So find and apply what works for you, and see your life shift in the direction you seek with greater clarity, courage, and confidence.
Woman in garden image via Shutterstock