Health and fitness is not only about what you do in the gym, and what kind of foods you consume. It’s also about being fit mentally and emotionally. In today’s society, there are a lot of things that demand your energy and attention. We are constantly on the go, constantly working towards a promotion, a degree or just trying to get ahead in life. We sometimes forget to stop, take a few deep breathes and slow down.

Being overwhelmed and stressed all the time can absolutely hinder any weight loss goals that you may have, and even physically break your body down and promote sickness. There is a little hormone called cortisol, known as the stress hormone, that is responsible for this. But, we’ll get into the details on that in a later post. For now, here are 5 things you can do right now to cleanse your mind and spirit.

1. Positive Affirmations

An affirmation is sort of like a pep talk that you give yourself everyday. It can be a phrase, or simply words that reflect something you want to achieve. For example, “I am strong, motivated, determined and I WILL lose weight”. Whatever your affirmations are, take a few minutes in the morning before you get your busy day started to internalize this.

2. Surround Yourself With Positive People

I know you’ve heard the various terms, “birds of a feather, flock together”, or “you are the average of the five people you hang with”. There are dozens of other little sayings like this, and they couldn’t be more true. Stop making time for people who are not on the same page as you, or that don’t have the same mindset as you. Remove the people who always negative, have “bad energy”, still with the same mindset and attitude that they had a year ago. These people are toxic, and you’ll find yourself being a part of the complaining, the stagnation and making zero progress in life and your goals.

3. Gratitude

All too often we are in the always wanting more frame of mind which is great, but we must also be grateful. Every morning when you wake up, take about 5 minutes to think about the things that you are truly grateful for. Even the little things like having a glass of water to drink. Don’t take it for granted, and realize how lucky you are to have it.

4. Deep Breathes

Next time that you are around a sleeping baby, take a look at how they breathe (you definitely do not want to be a creeper staring at a strangers baby). Notice how when they breathe, they’re bellies expand first and then their chest. That is actually the proper way to take a deep breathe. Try taking 6 deep breathes when you feel anxious, or stressed and watch how your energy shifts. When you take these deep breathes, think about the anxiety or stress you want to release and visualize it leaving your body as you exhale. Do it now!

5. Journal

I know some of you used write in a diary about your special crush back in middle school, or about the girl/guy you just can’t stand. Well, writing your thoughts and emotions that you experience throughout the day in a journal is actually extremely helpful. At the end of your day, grab a journal and write down some emotionally charged events that happened that day. This allows you to reflect on your reactions and really be able to determine whether they were appropriate and aligned with your true character, or if you could have handled it differently. You’ll be able to detox your brain and bring closure to the day.

So there you have it, 5 things you can do right now to help cleanse your mind and spirit. These are simple, yet extremely effective at helping you channel your energy to the right places. Try at least one of the practices listed, and see how you feel. This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many other techniques that you can employ to help deal with the stresses in life. Leave a comment and let me know what practices or activities you do to help calm your mind and spirit.

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