New beginnings – detox your mind

This week we are looking at detoxing your mind and on the yoga blog we will look at     ‘How yoga helps cleanse the mind’ Below are a few ideas to clarify your thoughts, calm your mind and move forward in 2015.

  • Declutter – January is a good time to declutter. Maybe its because we spend more time indoors or feel the urge to have a new start as a new year begins.  Try it and see how decluttering reduces your anxiety levels making you feel more focused. 
  • Practice mindfulness – be totally focused on what you are doing.  This means not eating while you are working on your computer, taking in your surroundings while out walking rather than thinking about what you need to do when you get back etc.  Meditation can help with mindfulness.  Sit comfortably with a straight spine.  Close your eyes and without changing it in any way, simply watch your breath.  If any thoughts pop into your head (and they will!) simply imagine them floating away like clouds.  Continue like this for several minutes.  Practicing mindfulness helps us calm our ‘monkey minds’ as yogis call minds that flit from one thought to another and this helps reduce anxiety. 
  • Practice breathing deeply – when we breathe deeply we activate the parasympathetic nervous system which has a calming effect on the body and mind unlike the sympathetic nervous system which activates the ‘fight or flight’ response.  Try placing your hands on your tummy so that your middle fingers touch at your navel.  Direct your breath to the area under your hands so that as you breathe in your fingers part and as you breathe out your fingers come together. 
  • Exercise releases endorphins which boost mood. 
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar which are stimulants and can lead to an anxious mind.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels stable.  Do not skip meals and include foods that do not cause blood sugar ‘spikes and dips’ such as oats, wholegrains (brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread, quinoa) to help with clarity of mind.
  • Clear your mind with a ‘worry journal’. Write down what is worrying you, close the book and let the worry go.
  • Get organised – make lists of things you need to do and prioritise to help quieten the ‘monkey mind’ (see above)

Be healthy, be happy
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

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