Focusing on one’s personal spirituality, practicing mindfulness and honoring self-care are known for naturally increasing positivity in your life. These three different acts can seem a bit ambiguous to those who are unfamiliar with the terms. This may be due to the fact that they can have many different meanings to different people, which is why they are personal to your own journey.
Spiritual traditions such as prayer, meditation, yoga, and journaling are meant to nourish the soul and allow time for self-reflection. Mindfulness is becoming more consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment. Self-care is intentionally restoring your mind, body, and soul with activities such as disconnecting from the outside world, making yourself a cup of tea or treating yourself with a massage. Whatever act of self-service that helps you to reconnect with yourself with your own being and revive your inner light is good.
Our present-day culture tends to feed into the need to be fast-moving and overly productive. Refocusing your attention to your inner-self has the ability to positively transform your physical body, especially after a day of hard work. Using nothing more than your breath and focus, meditation has shown to greatly reduce stress and stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia. If your work allows for you to escape to focus on your personal wellness, be sure to do so — even for as little as five minutes a day. Also, be sure to take advantage of communicating grievances to your manager. You’ll be surprised at how much more motivated and productive you’ll feel, after being honest.
Much like comparing a smoker to a non-smoker, personal choices and habits have an impact on our physical health and our ability to heal our own bodies. Healthcare-related research studies have found that having a connection with spirituality or religion helps ill patients better cope with stress and improves their quality of life. Giancarlo Lucchetti led a study that found that individuals with a strong spiritual connection have an 18 percent reduction in early mortality. This serves as evidence that establishing a spiritual life now may potentially prolong your life.
The mind and body are inextricably connected. Treating the mind and body as a holistic system will aid in creating an overall positive self-image. When your physical body feels healthy and well, so does your mental health and vice versa. Practicing acts of self-care enable you to reinforce positive self-image by accepting that you deserve the best out of life. Self-care does not have to always look the same each time. Integrating routine exercise into your life’s schedule or simply looking at yourself in the mirror and saying the words “I love you" is as intensely impactful as treating yourself to something nice or going on vacation. By treating yourself with love and kindness you are simultaneously manifesting positivity and welcoming it into your life.
A large percentage of a young person’s time is spent in school receiving their education. Integrating mindfulness practices into a child’s school day has proven to have many positive impacts. Millions of dollars have been invested into studies on the positive effects of mindfulness practices on students with results showing improved sleep, increased retention rates, and lower anxiety levels. Mindfulness practices not only have positive impacts on them at the time of the practice but the effects carry on throughout schooling into higher education. In one study by the University of California Santa Barbara, it was discovered that integrating mindfulness practices reduced mind-wandering, which helped to improve scores on the reading comprehension portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Adapting intentional practices that benefit your mind, body and soul will naturally allow positivity to find you and influence your life. The positive outcomes will spill over onto those who surround you, creating a waterfall effect on all aspects of your life. Welcome and embrace mindfulness, spirituality, and self-care into your everyday routine — at work, school and at home. Every movement, encounter, and thought is an opportunity to intentionally be positive in the present moment.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.
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