Updated: Apr 8
Today I am going to share with you the 5 different ways that you can practice mindfulness to help improve your overall health and wellness. Mindfulness can improve mental health conditions, chronic inflammation and so many other chronic health conditions. When I was at the lowest point in my journey with fibromyalgia mindfulness became my go-to “prescription” that helped me achieve fibromyalgia relief and optimal health and wellness.
At my low, my goals for the day included making it out of bed, brushing my teeth, and getting dressed. If I accomplished that it felt like a sigh of relief. As time went on I realized I was getting nowhere fast. I had bigger goals and dreams and the life I had loved was slipping away from me. I felt hopeless, lonely, my family was losing their patience with me, and I felt like such a disappointment to everyone around me.
I began to research and read everything I could. I remember a conversation I had with my nurse practitioner at the urology office while working on bladder training… she had said “you can control anything in your body with your mind”. At the time I brushed it off and was happy that I had finally concurred my urgency issues… but one day a lightbulb 💡 went off in my head and I began to research mindfulness.
WOW! The power of your mind. I began to make goals that seemed so far out of reach (making dinner, doing laundry, grocery shopping) easy and simple tasks for many… but for those with fibro can be unachievable due to chronic pain, fatigue, and a multitude of other symptoms. As I concurred these goals, I made bigger goals…. It was liberating to achieve something and to have the power to feel like a valuable member of my family!
I still use mindfulness today to help me achieve my goals. It has been instrumental in my recovery and remission of my fibromyalgia.
Here’s what I have learned through this process and if you want to become more mindful in your life but aren’t quite sure where to start… use these 5 tips to get you started!
The best way to increase mindfulness in your life is by setting aside time every day to meditate. Meditation creates a space for you to spend quality time with yourself! It allows you to evaluate both your emotions as well as your physical feelings. It can also help relieve stress and induce a calmer demeanor. If you want to become more mindful, you really must spend time in meditation each day.
Meditation has become a daily routine for me. It really helps in so many ways… improves my pain, helps me fall asleep, calms me down… It was hard at first because it felt awkward, but the more I practiced meditation the better I got at it and the better it made me feel!
Spending time outside in the fresh air can do wonders for your mentality. And the best part is, you don’t need any special training to implement this in your life. Start by going for a walk in a park near your house and paying attention to all the scenery around you.
The benefits from being outdoors and smelling the fresh air are plentiful. Not to mention that exercise is so important to your health. Many with fibro believe that exercise is too much… but that’s not the case. Our body needs movement and exercise!
Starting with a daily walk outdoors is a perfect exercise for most and is well tolerated. Go get some fresh air!
2. Start Your Day With A Purpose
Another way to practice mindfulness is by starting all of your days with a clear purpose. This can be done by waking up early and having a morning routine that lets you start the day relaxed and prepared. This morning routine can be meditating when you first wake up, completing breathing exercises, or even going for a nature walk before work. I found that utilizing the Morning Miracle by Hal Alrod gave me inspiration, hope, and a desire to wake up and get out of bed!
I know for many that starting your day with purpose may seem far-fetched and out of reach… but truly this helps even on your worst days.
3. Watch What You Eat
Watching what you eat doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on a diet. Today, meals have become quick periods where you eat as fast as possible. Slow down, take each bite with purpose, notice all the flavors you are consuming. And then pay attention after you finish eating to see how different foods affect your moods and health. You may be surprised by what you discover about your favorite foods.
I started with an elimination diet through this process I found that I had a food sensitivity to both gluten and dairy! Removing these foods was difficult but so extremely rewarding for my health! Not only has my pain, fatigue, and brain fog improved but as an added bonus I no longer suffer from IBS! WOOT WOOT!
4. Take Frequent Evaluation Pauses
Sometimes your life can be so hectic that you don’t spend any time on yourself. No matter what your schedule is like, now is the time to work in frequent pauses. These pauses don’t have to belong, just a few minutes to breathe deeply and evaluate how you feel and what you are thinking. You will find these mindful pauses will do wonders for stress relief.
I really feel that keeping track of your symptoms in a journal that includes what you are eating, your activity, and your stressors is helpful. When you take your time to evaluate your progress and how you are feeling, reviewing your journal can help you pinpoint what’s helping and what isn’t. I also write down things that I am grateful for in my journal, this helps on the bad days while finding your path to fibromyalgia relief!
Overall, leading a more mindful life isn’t that difficult. By simply trying one or a few of the items on this list, you can begin on the road to fibromyalgia relief. Not to mention that you’ll be feeling more mindful in no time at all!
So by adding mindfulness to your treatment you will gain:
Improved stress management techniques
Ability to set goals and achieve them
Ability to evaluate both your emotions as well as your physical feelings
Give clarity and purpose to your days
Insight on your diet and what may be worsening your symptoms
Ability to evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment
If you’re feeling that you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to incorporate it into your treatment plan, you can take it one step further and join my Sunshine Functional Healing Tribe Facebook group for SO much more!