Mind and Body: How Small Physical Acts Can Change Your Day
Have you heard about the ‘power pose’? According to recent research, standing with your hands on your hips or your arms raised in a ‘Y’ formation for about a minute will elevate your mood and make you feel more confident. This is just one effective mind and body trick of many!
Small physical - and spiritual - acts can change your day.
Here are 10 things you can do to bring more mindfulness and peace to your day:
1. Walking meditation
In the Buddhist tradition, moving meditation is recommended for people with a ‘monkey mind’. You don’t have to walk fast and you don’t have to walk far. The simple act of walking - preferably in fresh air surrounded by nature - is an act of meditation that will lift your mood.
2. The Act of Prayer
This isn’t about religion. Prayer means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but the basic act of going somewhere quiet, closing your eyes and sending positive thoughts and energy into the world is a good thing to do.
3. Standing and stretching
Whether it’s a matter of standing and stretching at your desk, or even switching to a standing desk, standing up and stretching tight muscles will shift stale energy.
Otherwise known as mindfulness, meditation is all about being present in the moment. Whether you download an App like Calm or Insight Timer, or you simply stop and breathe with your eyes closed, while an MV Mineral Mask works its magic! Taking note of the sounds around you, the way the floor or chair feels underneath you, the temperature of the air and way your body feels, it’s an easy way to ground yourself.
The Dalai Lama famously said that the easiest way to meditate is to take a nap. There are plenty of countries around the world that take a siesta so why not add a little Mediterranean or Mexican style to your day and take a nap.
6. The MV 3 Minute Skin Ritual
Just three little minutes of gentle self-care can improve your skin, and your mood each day. Our favorite part? The MV signature step, which is the gentle pressing of a warm, damp muslin cloth to your face after cleansing with our gentle cleanser. To learn more, watch our ritual video here.
7. Use Aromatherapy Oils
Fill a roller ball bottle with an uplifting blend and apply it to your temples, or use an aromatherapy room spray or oil diffuser for a scented mood booster. Consult a chakra balancing chart if you want to find out more about which oils work best for which chakras – a great place to start is with our Rose Plus Booster oil, which is the perfect example for an aromatherapy oil for the heart chakra. Or, you could turn bath or shower time into a relaxing ritual with our Aromatic or Relaxing MV Body Oils – both beautifully scented all-over treatments for all skin types!
Recent research has shown that regular gardening significantly reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves overall health. Why? Because it’s not just a physical practice (even though it is good exercise - hauling around bags of potting mix, digging and carrying plants all get your heart rate up) but the act of taking note of the small changes - a flower blooming, a seedling appearing, a tomato ripening - that occur in a garden lifts your spirits immeasurably.
The power of art to calm our inner world and explore new ideas is sorely undervalued because there’s a pervasive belief that art needs to be good. But like dancing, or yoga, it’s not about the ‘audience’; it’s a practice that is about improving yourself, unlocking your creativity and freeing up your energy so why not get out your paints, pencils and sketchpad and have some fun?
So many of elements of yoga, from chanting, to shivassana, to the physical practice of forming poses that open up your energy centres and relieve physical tension have an element of ‘prayerfulness’ to them. Your hands even form the prayer position during most classes so it’s an easy way to add a little prayer to your day.