Mindfulness Monday

Mindfulness Monday: Create!

How often do you allow yourself to be creative?  Flexing those creative muscles may seem like a luxury, but I invite you to think of it more as a necessity.  In fact, many studies have shown that creative expression is linked with lower rates of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline.  Some have even found a link between creativity and increased immune function!

These findings have often lead me to wonder, if creativity is so good for us, could being creative with a wellness routine double its benefits?  I imagine it doesn’t hurt to try.  If your fitness routine, nutrition, or mindfulness practice is feeling a little dry the following might encourage you to spice things up:

-Experiment with your strength training:  One of my favorite things to do when strength training is to combine different modalities.  This often means infusing weight lifting with a bit of yoga and a touch of dance.  Think about how you like to move outside of the gym.  Do you play a sport or enjoy going for long walks?  Adding some footwork drills into a circuit or walking to and from your gym workout may be just the thing to keep you coming back for more.

-Play with your food: Personally, I have a thing for superfoods.  I like seeing how much nutrition I can pack into a recipe without downgrading on deliciousness.  While this might not be what turns you on, my point here is to think about good nutrition as a process of addition rather than subtracting.   Is there a healthy food you have not yet tried but are curious about?  Pick it up and throw it in a salad.  Have you heard the buzz around spices like turmeric but are not sure if it’s for you?  Pick up a bit to add to a stew or make a latte.

-Mix up your meditation: My favorite way to meditate is in “legs up the wall pose” but the other day a bit of congestion urged me upright.  Although I was irritated at my nasal passages for making me switch, it was actually quite pleasant once I embraced the change.  It’s easy to get attached to meditating in a certain position or place but changing it up can be empowering.  Subscribe to a seated practice?  Try a walking meditation.  Never meditate outside of yoga class?  Give a home practice a go with one of the many apps available.

For more mind expanding ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook or follow on Twitter!

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T, flexing his creative muscles