Clearly, something isn’t working. You’re trying your best while attempting to maintain sanity - trying to eat healthier, trying to count your steps to walk a little further each day, and trying to stay connected with friends, but you’re treading water - you feel stuck. Well, perhaps it’s time to try something new.
How about a prescription for restoration?
First off, you may be thinking that you don’t have time for something new, or that your brain can’t handle another obligation. I hear you! BUT, I think you might like this one. Why? Because I’m giving you a prescription to relax, well, actually, to restore.
When you think of relaxing, you may think of plopping down in front of the TV, scanning social media, playing mindless games on your phone, or pouring a glass of your favorite red.
Unfortunately, these deceptively relaxing activities are actually anti-restorative and aren’t promoting health in any way.
So what do you do instead? How do you incorporate restorative activities?
It’s simple. Pick one of your “relaxing” activities, and replace it with another time-honored and science-backed restorative activity - one that makes a difference internally, so it has lasting effects. These restorative activities not only change your state of mind, but they help balance hormone and immune function - true mind/body medicine. Here’s a list of possible activities:
● Self-Care - take a bubble bath, create art or music, cook yourself dinner
● Self-Awareness - learn something new, free write what’s on your mind
● Mindfulness Practices - listen to your body, slowly drink a cup of tea
● Guided Imagery/Visualization - use tapes, podcasts, or phone apps as an aid
● Relaxation Exercises - Tai Ji, Qi Gong, Yoga, Meditation
● Breathing Techniques - alternate nostril breathing, Chaitow Technique
● Napping - 10-20 minutes, when needed
So what happens in your body when you’re partaking in a truly restorative activity?
Physiologically speaking, you’ll experience:
● Decreased heart rate
● Decreased blood pressure
● Lower respiratory rate
● Lower pulse rate
● Decreased oxygen consumption
● Decreased muscle tension
● Reduction of cortisol
● Reduction of noradrenaline
These physiological changes are incredibly effective in relieving stress and inflammation in the body, which is powerful medicine for:
● Anxiety, Depression, & other Mood Disorders
● Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia
● Gastrointestinal Disorders
● Sleep Disturbances
● Stress Disorders
● Heart Disease & High Blood Pressure
I get it, change is hard - if it wasn’t, most of us would be in a much different place. But did you know that your brain isn’t static? It has plasticity, which means that it can change, improve, reframe, and restore (NOTE: To read more about this fascinating topic, check out “Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being” by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD). This is the main reason by we’re able to break old habits and form new ones.
If you’re interested in Creating Healthy Change, That Lasts? Check out my free online course that walks you through the step-by- step process. You can find it here.
Dr. Michelle and the VWS Team