Did you know that practicing mindfulness and self-care not only benefits you but can also positively impact those around you? It’s true!
When we take care of ourselves, it causes a positive ripple effect on those around us. Whether at the workplace surrounded by colleagues or at home with family and close friends, practicing mindfulness and self-care not only helps us feel better and improve our well-being, but it can also positively impact our relationships with others. When we prioritize our health, we become better equipped to help and support those we care about.
By practicing empathy, kindness, and self-compassion, we can create a positive and uplifting environment that benefits everyone around us. So don’t underestimate the power of taking care of yourself – it’s not just good for you but also for those around you!
Recent Health and Wellness Findings
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We often prioritize work, deadlines, and obligations over our own health and well-being. When we neglect to get enough sleep, overindulge in empty-calorie foods, or turn to copious amounts of alcohol to de-stress from a long workday, overtime, the side effects from our actions show up in our lives.
According to an article from the Sleep Foundation, neglecting sleep leads to, “making errors and omissions partially due to increased reaction time” and can make it, “more challenging to maintain focus, attention, and vigilance.” When we consume more empty-calorie foods, it’s clear we’re robbing ourselves of the nutrients of eating whole foods, often leading to feeling sluggish and tired. And when we form an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it can lead to impaired decision-making, weaken our immune system, and even cause severe health declines such as various cancers and diseases.
The good news is that we can avoid many health problems by prioritizing our health and wellness. According to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, studies have found that “The number of American adults who say wellness is a priority for them rose to about 50 percent in 2022 compared to 42 percent in 2020”. With these findings, it’s clear that half of all US adults have taken a proactive approach to their health and wellness since 2020. So what are some simple ways we can practice wellness in our lives?
3 Ways to Make Health and Wellness a Priority
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment. Mindfulness can be practiced in various ways, including meditation, yoga, or simply taking a 30-minute nature walk.
One of the benefits of mindfulness is that it can reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries about the past or future, you can feel more relaxed and grounded. This can help you approach challenges with a clearer and more positive mindset.
Incorporating mindfulness and self-care into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Even just taking a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness or engaging in a hobby you enjoy can make a big difference in your overall well-being!
Diet, Movement, and Rest:
Another important aspect of self-care is taking care of your physical health. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. By prioritizing your physical health, you can increase your energy and reduce the risk of developing health problems later in life.
If you find yourself scrolling through social media in the late hours instead of getting much-needed rest, try setting your morning alarms in the next room to remove the digital distraction. Although it may be easier to swing through a fast-food restaurant on the way to work every day, try meal-prepping on the weekends to have healthier options when you’re busy on the go. And if you struggle with moving your body and getting enough exercise, try walking on the treadmill while catching up on your favorite Netflix show or listening to your favorite podcast while doing a 15-minute HIIT workout.
Remember: the goal isn’t perfection but progress. Small, daily actions build up to create positive results! It’s important to remember that prioritizing our health and wellness is a balance, and it’s not always going to be perfect. There are days when it’s okay to skip the gym or enjoy your favorite dessert every now and then. The goal is to gradually become your strongest, healthiest self, and sometimes that looks different in different seasons. Don’t worry if you don’t get it “right” every time!
Taking Care of You, Taking Care of Others:
Taking care of yourself also means taking care of those around you. When you feel happy and healthy, you are better equipped to help and support others. Practicing empathy and kindness towards others can also boost your own well-being. Studies have shown that acts of kindness, no matter how small, can increase feelings of happiness and reduce stress.
In fact, an article from SSM Health shares that “When we are either thinking about kind acts or witnessing kind acts or engaging in acts of kindness to other people, there are several biochemical changes that happen in our brain,” says Dr. Bhawani Ballamudi, SSM Health child psychiatrist.
“One of the most important things is that it releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter studied extensively for its role in promoting a sense of bonding. Research shows that kindness can be cardioprotective. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone [directly impacting] stress levels. Oxytocin releases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates your blood vessels, [thereby reducing] your blood pressure and improving heart health,” says Dr. Ballamudi.
“There’s also research [on] oxytocin and its effects on reducing inflammation. Reducing inflammation, in some ways, protects you from some chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and that leads to overall better health and overall longevity.”
From the text above, it’s evident that when we do good, we feel good. And not only that, but showing kindness to those around us also creates a chain reaction that causes others to extend kindness. One of the beautiful things about prioritizing health and wellness in various forms is that it encourages others to prioritize their health and wellness as well!
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