March is National Nutrition Month and we’re here with a guide to help you excel in your wellness goals. Why? The answer is simple: at SVS we’re passionate about helping you become the healthiest version of yourself. National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to evaluate your wellness goals. When you think of nutrition, you may think about food. But nutrition is so much more than that. Webster Merriam’s dictionary defines nutrition as “the act or process of being nourished.”
Let’s look at a few tips you can use right now to nourish your body, mind, and relationships, along with this helpful mindfulness calendar (also see below) to provide you with daily goals.
Having an attitude of gratitude nourishes your brain. A study by Indiana University found that participants who wrote letters of gratitude once a week for three weeks while receiving counseling reported better mental health over an extended period than participants who attended counseling only.
Writing down things you are grateful for releases neurotransmitters in your brain that can help rewire it over time. This is because the brain is neuroplastic, meaning it can change. Your thoughts become neuropathways that influence your thinking in the future. When you express gratitude regularly, you strengthen healthy neuropathways. Healthy neuropathways mean more joy. Start by journaling three things you are grateful for or writing a thankful card. Consider finding ways for your team to express gratitude together.
Being present can be a real challenge. Phones, emails, and interruptions may demand your time. If you have trouble slowing down, consider this simple exercise: Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Pause for a moment. Feel the hot mug in your hands. Smell the aroma of the beverage. Swish the warm liquid in your mouth.
All these activities could be considered grounding. While grounding is often used as a tool to promote self-regulation, it can be effective for helping your mind and body switch to a new pace. When you take a moment to connect in the present, it interrupts your thoughts from moving to the past or future. Try this technique a few times throughout the day. You may find it is easier to have the mental clarity to solve a problem rather than worry.
The Art of Listening
Effective listening is more than waiting to respond. Practice reflective listening. Reflective listening sounds like repeating what the speaker said and asking if you heard correctly. Take a moment to pause before saying anything back. You may discover something new about the speaker’s intention or thought process.
Breathing deeply has all sorts of benefits. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing sends a signal to your nervous system. The calming effect helps your body know it’s okay to relax. This can reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being. Additionally, deep breathing can even boost your immune system. Before a meeting, stop and take five deep breaths. Count to five on the inhale and five on the exhale. Notice the shift in how you feel. Practice this simple guide and you and your team will slay national nutrition month!
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