Rx for the Soul

Credit Source:
* Forbes Magazine
** Heart and Stroke Foundation, a SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. charity partner.
*** Harvard Health Publications
**** Fast Company Magazine
***** Psychology Today
****** US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Just like the mind and the body, the soul needs nurturing. From a young age, we’re taught the fundamentals of caring for our bodies and minds. In order to grow stronger, we’re told to eat our vegetables, stay active and go to bed on-time. In order to get smarter, we’re told to go to school, read and do our homework. However, care for our ever elusive, intangible and ethereal souls is often bypassed. As we get older and our lives get busier, if we’re not careful, we can end up trading passions for careers, hobbies for skills and pleasure for priorities. But nurturing your soul is as integral to your overall health as feeding your body and strengthening your mind. So if you feel like your soul could use a little TLC, now’s the time to learn to shift your focus and get back in touch with what makes you happy.

 

BE MINDFUL

The practice of mindfulness and meditation has been around for thousands of years.* It’s been proven to reduce anxiety, improve concentration, regulate emotions and even treat depression.* It has a direct connection to heart health and can reduce blood pressure, resting heart rate and mortality after cardiac events.****** It allows you to live in the moment and observe your thought processes.** It both feeds and soothes the soul. With these quick and easy tips, you can begin to practice mindfulness whenever you have a minute, wherever you are.

Focus. Aim all of your awareness directly at one physical sensation of your choice. This will help you to return to the present moment. And, you can do this anytime, anywhere, for any duration.****

Breathe. Take just one minute to focus on your breath. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth and let go of your thoughts.*****

Observe. Pick an object, any object. Hold it in your hands and allow your attention to be fully absorbed by the object. This subtle, but powerful form of meditation can be done whenever, wherever.*****

 

LISTEN UP

Throughout history, music has been a fundamental attribute of the human species and its health benefits of music are both widespread and incredible.*** From reducing stress and promoting heart health**, to improving cognitive abilities, mood and range of mobility,*** the correlation between music and overall health is undeniable. Music has even been proven to speed up the healing process.*** So whether you’re looking to heal or just maintain a healthy body, mind and soul, music can help.  

 

Listen at the Gym. Music is proven to physiologically affect heart rate, breathing and pulse rate resulting in physical pleasure.*** When you listen to music you like, your blood vessels actually relax and open up, which can help make exercise easier and more fun.***

Listen at Work. Music lifts mood, reduces anxiety and raises motivation.*** It’s instant fuel for your brain at work.

Listen to Whatever you Like. The benefits of music are amplified if you enjoy what you’re listening to. So whether it’s heavy metal, old school rap or a classical concerto, listen to what you love. There are no rules.

 

DO YOU

Taking time to do things for yourself seems obvious. But oftentimes, life gets in the way and we tend to prioritize the needs of others over our own. This habit can have detrimental effects on our minds, bodies and souls. But fret not, it can be remedied! Dedicating time to yourself gives you the opportunity to cultivate self-awareness, reflect and recharge. Here’s how to do more things for yourself and get our daily dose of soul time.

 

Take Five. Take a break! Set aside 30 to 60 minutes during which you listen to music, watch TV, read a book or do whatever it is you need to do to tune out the world around you.

Get Out There. Restore your soul by getting outside alone. Go for a walk on the beach, go lie under a tree, or go window shopping. Just get out there.

Rest. There are no ifs ands or buts about it, proper sleep is essential to maintaining and achieving overall health.**Make sleep a priority.

 

Finally, always try to remember:

Taking care of others is wonderful.
Taking care of yourself is essential.
Caring for yourself is the first step to caring for others.