Building Healthy Habits with Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being aware and attentive to the present moment. Being engaged, present, and aware of how you are feeling allows you to recognize and manage pain, stress, and other daily energy drainers.
PRACTICE BODY MINDFULNESS
Consider small moments in your day when you can pause to notice your posture and how your body feels. Brushing your teeth, commuting, reading emails, and lying in bed are some great examples to help you get started.
While brushing your teeth in the morning, take a moment to do a full body scan. Starting at the top of your head and working down to your feet, do you feel any areas of soreness or stiffness? Don’t forget to scan your jaw, shoulders, back, and hips. Do you notice any areas that call your attention?
ON YOUR COMMUTE
How mindful are you while driving? Use your daily commute to check your posture, focus on the road, and take deep relaxing breaths.
While checking emails, consider the following: Are your head and shoulders stacked over your hips? Are your feet flat on the floor or foot rest? When was the last time you looked away from your computer, got up for a walk, or stretched?
LAYING IN BED
Consider practicing deep breathing or meditation. As you lie there, pay attention to your breath. When your attention wanders, return to focusing on your breath. Using a guided meditation app like Headspace can be helpful for beginners. Not into meditation? Try
progressive muscle relaxation as you’re drifting off to sleep. Starting from shoulders to feet, gently tense each muscle group in the body and hold for a few moments. Slowly relax and release tension. Repeat in areas that seem to be presenting the most tightness or stress.
MAKE YOUR NEW HABITS STICK
Sustaining habits long-term can be tough. Setbacks and challenges are a normal part of developing a new healthy lifestyle! To stick with your new habits, try the “If-Then” strategy for overcoming obstacles.
First, identify the obstacle or trigger that usually interferes with making a healthier choice. Then, create your “If-Then” plan to help you stick to your goals.
Example of a trigger: Unexpected meetings
Example of a plan: “If I have an unexpected meeting during my stretch break, then I will stretch when I get back to my workstation.”
Fill out the following and share with your Coach:
1. What is the new habit you would like to add to your routine?
2. Where is the best spot in your current routine for this habit?
3. If an obstacle interferes with your original plan, what will you do instead?
If______________________________________________________, Then, I will_______________________________________________.
WNY Life Coaching Center
5500 Main Street, Suite 313
Williamsville, NY 14221