By Angie Felt, Contributing blogger (@adventures.of.ang)
Wellness is a journey and that journey is different for every individual. We each have our own set of goals, challenges, and commitment levels. Maybe your wellness journey includes more self-confidence and positive thinking. Or maybe it includes setting fitness goals, achieving them, and watching your growth. Or maybe it includes changing your attitude in a certain area of life. Whatever it looks like for you, incorporating mindfulness and reflection into the wellness journey is pertinent.
Mindfulness and Reflection
To truly grasp the progress you have made throughout your wellness journey you must take the time to sit down and reflect. Look at where you started and compare with where you are now. That is why before and after photos, when are working to get in shape, are so powerful. In the moment, it can feel like you haven’t made much progress at all because you aren’t where you want to be. But stopping to reflect on the journey allows you to recognize that you are moving in the right direction and be proud of the progress.
The risk of not taking the time to pause and reflect on the progress you have made is getting discouraged and frustrated that you are not where you want to be. If the discouragement is powerful enough, it can cause you to get into a negative thought cycle and want to give up on your goals altogether. Fostering mindfulness and reflection in your wellness journey helps to ensure you stay in the game and keep a positive mindset.
One strategy I keep in my mindfulness tool belt, and has helped me reflect on my wellness goals, is recording my progress in my Five-Minute Journal. Some of you might be checking out at the word “journal” here, but stick with me. This journal is for the people who can’t stick to a journal, folks. We have all done it. Started a journal with the intent of recording our hopes, dreams, and life events, only to quit after a couple days with a sore wrist. But The Five-Minute Journal is meant to focus on what you are grateful for, personal affirmations, and reflections of the day, in, you guessed it, just five minutes.
How does it work?
In the morning, right as you wake-up write down three things you are grateful for, three things that would make the day great, and a daily affirmation about yourself. Go on about your day, then, before bed, write down three amazing things that happened during the day and what you could have done to make the day better. That’s it!
A quote from The Five-Minute Journal:
“A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep, reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change.”
Honing in on what you are grateful for and how that affects your wellness journey allows you to look at the process in a positive lens and begin and end your day on a high note. Allowing these positive thoughts and mindful reflection patterns to become part of our routine. Thus, making our minds more likely to stick with it.
I have the journal focused on what I personally want to improve on in my life. It changes over time but that’s the fun part! In some seasons I want to focus on choosing healthier food options. In another season I want to focus in on having a more-positive attitude on a project at work. Over-time, whatever I am making progress on becomes a habit and I get to move onto something new. Having The Five-Minute Journal is a guide to keep me on track and a physical record I can look back on and reflect.
What works for you?
Having each of our journeys with their own unique set of goals, challenges, and commitment levels, the way we approach mindfulness and reflection can be just as unique. What are some strategies that have worked for you on your wellness journey with mindfulness and reflection? Leave a comment below to share with others!
Angela Felt @ http://www.adventuresofang.com/