I recently came across an episode on one of my favorite podcasts, Lady Lovin', about mindfulness where a meditation expert mentioned, "Your body is the gateway to peace of mind." This simple statement really resonated with me because I'd never thought about how greatly our bodies influence the way we think.
It works like this: your mind asks your body, "Is everything alright?" If your body responds that everything is good, your mind will have peaceful thoughts that reflect a peaceful body. But if your body is unbalanced for any reason, your mind will mirror that and have negative thoughts or be generally unfocused, preventing you from being a peaceful, mindful person. In order to improve your thoughts, you need to focus on how your body is feeling first, correcting any negativity there before you can alter your mind.
Creating balance in your body means something different for everyone, whether it's taking more moments to breath, getting outside, or eating better. Once you've done whatever it is that your body needs, you can then start to change the way you think.
I found this incredibly helpful because so often if I'm feeling negative or distracted, I'll just beat myself up, which never ends up helping. Knowing that there's a connection between my body and the way I think brought to light that I have to put in the work to make myself feel better physically before I can be a more mindful and content person. To me, this means eating healthy food and staying active.
With this in mind, I've made a considerable effort for the past few weeks to eat more nurturing food. Resisting tempting, unhealthy foods has definitely been difficult, but after just the first full day, I noticed that my thoughts were more positive and less cloudy.
Often, the goal of eating healthier is to reach a certain body type. Changing the way you eat to improve your thoughts is a new target that I find much more motivating because I see immediate results in the way I feel instead of waiting for the numbers to change on the scale.
As we begin February and New Year's resolutions start to fade, it's important to remember that taking care of your body leads to a variety of benefits, that don't only include the way you look.
To catch up on my first post in the Mindfulness Series on meditation, head over here.