Minimalism is a lifestyle trend of living with fewer possessions, and in turn less clutter and distractions. Minialistmadesimple.com shares, "To a minimalist, material things are trivial compared to what they value most which consists of quality time for relationships, time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, and spiritual health."
We enjoy exploring wellness practices with you, so we invite you to try a few minimalist practices. Joshua, from becomingminimalist.com, reminds us, "Not every positive change in our lives needs to be a large one. Sometimes drastic changes are helpful - quitting smoking, becoming minimalist, changing careers. But sometimes, just a simple change has the power to improve our lives and send us down a new path." You can subscribe to Joshua's newsletter too!
Try our curated "10 Mindful Minimalist" list and let us know what you put into practice!
So, that feeling you’re experiencing late Sunday night as you think about your week ahead has a name, and it’s called the Sunday Scaries. It may present in a variety of ways from not being able to focus, dreading your Monday commute, or wanting to go to bed before doing laundry and making lunches. In an article by Mindful (The Transformation Issue), Sunday Scaries is described as “a feeling of anxiety, stress, or dread about the impending work or school week that tends to rise late in the day as the weekend dwindles.”
Sometimes putting a label or a name on a feeling allows us to address it and to identify strategies to engage. When the feeling occurs, you can turn to breath practices to calm your whole being. Explore our Mindfulness page for a variety of breathing practices or try the Mindful.org practice below. The takeaway is to stay in the present moment.
Mindful recommends this three breath approach:
Let’s try a breathing practice this month to take the scare out of Sundays and save the scare for Halloween.
Visit mindful.org for more information and self-care mindfulness practices.
Your posture can convey confidence, comfort, well-being, and much more. Just as we might practice a sport or musical instrument, we can practice good posture until it becomes natural and comfortable. When practicing meditation, the ability to find a comfortable seated position helps us cultivate a pleasantness in the present moment.
In the book, ‘Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change’ the author Pema Chodron examines the ‘Six Points of Good Posture’ for seated meditation by Chogyam Trungpa.
Whether you adhere to all six points isn’t important; what’s important is that you find yourself a comfortable seated position...or in yogi language an “easy seat.” If sitting on the floor is uncomfortable, find a sturdy chair. If sitting isn’t comfortable, explore lying on your back.
Chodron. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. Shambhala. Boston & London, 2013.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. MHAM was first recognized in the United States in 1949.
This month we are amplifying the resources and advocates who work to end the stigma that pervades mental health issues and to provide resources and solidarity with those in need.
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is promoting 2021's Mental Health Awareness by spreading the message that "You Are Not Alone."
Humble Warrior Wellness works to create a community of wellness that supports and encourages mental health. Please reach out, you are not alone.
When you start to laugh, it induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
“Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve heard that all our lives, yet how long has it been since you’ve told a knock-knock joke? How long has it been since you have had a good belly laugh that brought tears to your eyes? Larry Wilde, an author and humorist, started National Humor Month in April 1976. He created this day with the idea to bring public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor.
Research shows us the importance of adding laughter to our lives each day. The Mayo Clinic Staff lists short-term and long-term benefits to laughing:
When you start to laugh, it induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
Laughter is also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:
An international movement called Laughter Yoga has introduced laughter exercises to millions through clubs, workshops and YouTube videos. The program is guided by four elements: clapping, breathing exercises, childlike playfulness, and laughing exercises. This practice strengthens your diaphragm and may lighten your mood. Laughter guru Dr. Madan Kataria says all can benefit from Laughter Yoga.
Let’s all take a big dose of laughter medicine and spread some cheer and lots of big, belly laughs to those around us. I don’t know about you, but I need some more laughter in my life right now. Share some of your favorite funnies with your family, your friends, and with us.
Have you ever experienced stress, pain, or a lack of sleep? I’m guessing you answered “yes” to all three. Incorporating mindfulness practices into your lifestyle can help relieve this. Some other benefits of mindfulness include: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties. Ref: Harvard Health Publishing.
Mindfulness is a very popular topic, and mindfulness practices in healthcare systems, schools, and personal care routines are on the rise. Since mindfulness is commonly used as an umbrella term with broad application, let’s take a look at Oxford’s definition: “Mindfulness is the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
The three characteristics are awareness, present moment, and accepting. Accepting means being non-judgmental, curious, and kind. The opposite of mindfulness is being scattered. We can be mindful in our mental state and in our lives.
If any year deserves a re-start or a slower start, 2021 does! Perhaps you’ve thought about creating a vision board for the New Year but didn’t get around to it. Give yourself some grace and know you can create one this month or any time. Vision boards can represent a year, a specific period of time, or a goal.
A vision board, sometimes called a dream board, is a visual representation of your goals for the year. Joel Barker, a visionary thinker who popularized the concept of paradigm shifts in the corporate world, states, “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with vision is making a positive difference.”
The vision board concept can also be used to focus on gratitude. As an alternative to journaling, this visualization technique can help us focus on our blessings and important moments. In Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, she suggests we “use acrylic magnetic picture frames to create a gratitude collage for your refrigerator… Or create a bulletin board for your Gratitudes, and as the seasons change, take them down and place them in an album.”
Having visual reminders of our blessings, our goals, and what is important to us is a great way to find moments of reflection as well as motivation. Remember where you came from, what you have in your life, and where you want to direct your energy. Use elements that inspire you and bring you joy each time you look at them. The possibilities of a vision board are as endless as your ambitions! Be creative, use what you have, and customize it to your unique life and goals.
How to Create and Use Your Vision Board:
Note: You can skip the cutting, gluing, and potential mess on your rug disaster by creating a digital vision board. There are vision board tools and apps such as Pinterest boards, Canva, Visuapp, and iWish to name a few.
Do you ever want to send a message to your brain to calm down or relax? You can with breathing techniques that bring the mind and body together to focus on the breath. With a single point of focus on your breath, the replaying or looping of negative thoughts, stress, worry, and anxiety may lessen. There is evidence that deep, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing practiced daily has many benefits ranging from a sense of calmness, lower heart rate, better sleep, and relaxation. I liken the effect to taking my busy mind from a 6-lane highway of thought traffic to a 2-lane country road or a quiet goat trail. The noise of the world peels away like layers of an onion. Dr. Andrew Weil, creator of the technique and an advocate of complementary and alternative medicine, describes his 4-7-8 breathing technique as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.” (www.healthline.com; April 20, 2018).
How do I practice The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique?
Step 1: Breathe in for 4 seconds.
Step 2: Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Step 3: Exhale for 8 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat for 4 rounds
November is the month of Thanksgiving. This can be a great time to use our journals to remind us of our many blessings. Try out some or all of these Gratitude Journal Prompts and see how they change your outlook. Can you use them to embody an Attitude of Gratitude?
Gratitude Journal Prompts
1. What moments are you grateful for?
2. Who in your life are you grateful for?
3. What food that you ate yesterday or today are you grateful for?
4. What new skill are you grateful for?
5. What about your body are you grateful for?
6. What new item are you grateful for?
7. What smell are you grateful for?
8. What new connection are you grateful for?
9. What books are you grateful for?
10. What tradition are you grateful for?
11. What colors are you grateful for?
12. What did you overcome recently that you are grateful for? How did you overcome it?
13. What season of the year are you grateful for?
14. What recent challenge are you grateful for?
15. What sounds are you grateful for?
16. What new places did you see and love you are grateful for?
17. What in nature are you grateful for?
18. What invention are you grateful for?
19. What did you learn this year you are grateful for?
20. What role model are you grateful for?
21. What lesson are you grateful for?
22. What attribute of God are you grateful for?
23. What change this year are you grateful for?
24. What part of the day are you grateful for?
25. What was the best moment this year you are grateful for?
26. What voyage are you grateful for?
27. What talent are you grateful for?
28. What unexpected beauty are you grateful for?
29. What in day-to-day life are you grateful for?
30. What blessings are you grateful for?
Here are some websites (we do not get anything for you using these sites) to guide you in finding your perfect word. This is also a great opportunity to journal. Many of the sites recommend journaling! Some of these sites reference 2019 words; simply change the 2019 to 2020 and begin the journey to making 2020 your best year ever!!
▪“How to choose your POWERFUL, FOCUS Word of the Year" Click Here goes into great detail on why to choose a word, how to choose the word, and how to make the word a part of your everyday life.
▪“How to Choose Your Word” Click Here discusses how choosing a word helps us discover self-love. This site has access to a workbook and planner you can purchase and a Facebook page you can join.
▪“20 Questions That Can Help You Reach Your 2020 Goals” Click Here is simply 20 questions to help you choose a word that will help you reach your goals. (This is a great site for journal prompts! Megy even references an article “Carrol and his Bullet Journals.”)
▪“How to Craft an Inspirational Mantra to Use All Year Long" Click Here offers five steps to help you choose a word to guide your actions or what you want to embrace.
▪“Tips for Choosing Your Word of the Year” Click Here goes into more detail with its five steps to guide you in choosing a mantra to guide your daily actions and help you to become a better version of yourself.
▪“# OneWord 365” Click Here allows you to find a tribe to share your word. You can join through Twitter, Facebook, or Email.
▪“word of the year 2019” Click Here offers a Christian-based seven question quiz that will email you your word that corresponds to your answers. They also send additional information on where you can find your word in the Bible.