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5 Ways to a Happy & Mindful Winter

16.07.15 Grow, Learn Blog SumoSalad

 “If you want happiness…
 For an hour – take a nap
For a day – go fishing
For a year – get married
For a lifetime – help somebody else”
– Old Chinese Proverb 

Winter is a time of year that can present challenges for many, including loss of motivation, lack of healthy choices and a disconnection to your spritely summer regime. This winter attitude can lead to less fulfillment within and a more chaotic feeling that you may not normally have conflict with. I’d like to invite you to see winter as an opportunity to try new things and tap into the world of mindfulness. The result: a happier you!

When we practice mindfulness we become more aware of everything. Our body speaks to us all the time, it tells us when we are hungry, when we feel good, tired, energized, what foods truly make us feel bad or better. But all too often we don’t listen to our body.

Our thoughts kick in and begin to dictate our actions…blah blah blah! We can think ourselves into and out of almost anything. We can also think our way to sadness and happiness.

Mindfulness teaches us to quiet the noise of the mind, feel and listen.

I understand for some this all may sound a bit unusual, however science is consistently taking on new studies to support the incredible benefits and effects of mindful-living. Humour me, read on, answer the questions and give living mindfully a go, even for 5 days.

Get curious and have fun with this.

5 Tips to create a more mindful, happier you

1. Giving

soup-volunteerIt makes us feel happy, is good for our health, evokes gratitude, improves social connection and is contagious.

Giving is endless and can be as simple as an authentic compliment about someone’s hair, donating to a charity like Vinnies, or sharing your time and skills with others.

When was your last act of giving?

Personally, I have been blessed to always have beautiful neighbours. I recently moved and felt both anxious and curious about what my new neighbours might be like. Not long after moving it was Mother’s Day, and my children were away. My 90 year old neighbor noticed this and later that day brought across a beautiful homemade cake for me to share with the children when they did get home. This gorgeous gesture warmed my heart on a day that I was without all family.

I encourage you to get curious and set the intention of an act of kindness every day for the next 5 days and see how you feel.

2. Choose your foods wisely

eat-well-pumpkin-soup

Food is medicine. The right foods will have you functioning fit, energized and well. The wrong will make you sick, lethargic and may ultimately lead to disease.

During the winter months we all have a tendency to seek out heartier, cheesier or fattier foods. While this is ok from time to time, get present and ask yourself, is this food serving my health now? If the answer is no, it certainly won’t be serving your health in the future.

What are the 5 main foods you eat? You may shock yourself.

3. Get moving

Splashing people

Movement gets the blood flowing and the oxygen pumping around the body.

Take walks, get funky and do push-ups and squats in the lounge room whilst watching your favourite show, take the dog out more often, join the gym, take up a sporting interest, explore yoga.

I like to view what I eat and how I exercise as an investment, each workout and healthy meal is like cash in the bank sitting there accruing interest. If I eat poorly or miss out on my daily dose of movement my account starts to go down.

What you do today shapes how you will be in 1 month, 1 year from now.

When did you last engage in moving your body? Can you get creative and decide now what physical activity you can implement into your week today?

4. Stop and breathe

mindfulness-meditate

We are often so caught up in action and thought we forget to stop, breathe, feel and be present. Check out how gorgeous the blue sky is, or the magnificent wonder of the dark grey clouds, feel the crisp air on your skin, hear the birds, smell the ocean air.

You can transform your state of being by simply taking 5 deep slow breaths.

When was the last time you really noticed the sky?

5. Train your brain

Key and books -804

Our brain, like our muscles, responds to a healthy training regime. Our brain is an incredible tool that deserves and needs love and care.

Exercising our brains by reading books, doing puzzles and learning new things sharpens our mind and expands our knowledge.

Part of this care includes feeding your brain too! Our brains are made up of 60-70% fat. Eating healthy fats like avocado, nuts, coconut oil and fish high in omega 3 keeps our brain healthy. Treat yourself & your brain with my Coconut & Roasted Almond Ice Cream!

Becoming aware – mindful of our environment, the foods we eat, the thoughts we have, the actions we take, the people in our community, the way we connect and the way we present to the world enables us to make conscious healthy choices and give more all leading to a happier you, a happier community and a happier world.

Remember do good, feel good.

POSTED BY: Kerrie Otto de Grancy

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