Dear Friend, we' crafted a 5-day #JoyChallenge to help you and us experience lasting joy. Every day for the next five days, you'll do a new challenge.
It's a perfect way to ease into the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge that we created to help you experience joy as a way of life.
Focus your awareness on the present moment and away from your stressful thoughts.
If you don't understand what mindfulness is, it's merely bringing your awareness to the present moment—including your feelings, thoughts, and sensations without judging yourself.
Are you skeptical because it sounds far too basic? Research shows that mindfulness provides numerous health benefits, including improved immune function, reduced stress, increased happiness, and slower aging.
Mindfulness is especially beneficial because it helps us separate our thoughts, especially stressful ones, from reality. Unless it's missing what it needs to survive, the body is rarely anxious without input from the mind. Stressful thoughts activate the amygdala (our brain's danger sensor), which turns on our fight or flight response even in the absence of physical danger.
Separating our stressful thoughts from the less-dramatic reality of the present moment is a skill that you can master with practice.
Set a stopwatch for five to fifteen minutes. Sit in a comfortable position in a secluded place with your back straight and close your eyes. You can place your hands on your lap, or put one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Pay attention to your breath. Slowly count to five as you inhale, and do the same as you exhale. Do this several times.
Your mind will probably race with thoughts. That's normal. Try your best to notice but not engage in them. Picture each thought turning into a bubble or cloud and floating away. This is the primary practice of mindfulness meditation, and it's an excellent form of exercise for your brain.
You can also do a smaller version of meditation at other times throughout your day. Whether you're washing the dishes, waiting in line, or standing in the shower, pay attention to your bodily sensations and breath.
Honing in on your five senses is a perfect way to bring your awareness to the present moment.
Ultimately, practicing mindfulness can help us feel more empowered and in control of how we experience life.
When you're able to focus on the here and now, everything else fades away, and you experience a deep sense of peace. The challenge is finding a way to do this amidst the fast-paced events of the day and anxious thoughts.
Monday. Practice mindfulness—focus on the present moment and away from stressful thoughts.
Tuesday. Gratitude—appreciate what you have as often as you can, and watch how negativity disappears.
Wednesday. Kindness—being kind to others increases dopamine in the brain, for both the giver and receiver.
Thursday. No Complaining—turn your attention to solutions instead of problems.
Friday. Laughter is the best medicine because it floods your brain and body with mood-boosting serotonin.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team
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