Day Two: The Body Scan
Today’s exercise should help you get in touch with your body and establish the all-important mind/body connection with is essential for a healthy mindset and a happier brain.
In addition to paying attention to what is going on at the surface, you might also want to do an “internal” scan. Sit quietly and consider how you’re feeling “inside”. If we take the time and really focus on the functioning of our digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, we can usually tap into anything that is feeling “not quite right”.
One thing that is often overlooked is our gut health, and it is absolutely essential to our mental health and our view toward life. So while you’re scanning, consider going back and trust any “gut feelings” you have.
Most people have by now heard about the gut microbiome. Living in our gut microbiome are about 1,000 species of bacteria, and every one of them has a different function in our body.
Together, they can weigh between two and five pounds, approximately the weight of our brains. The interesting thing is that all of these little critters function as an extra organ in our body. And just like all the other organs in our body, if they aren’t healthy, neither are you.
If your gut isn’t healthy, that will have a direct relationship to the health of your brain, and that includes emotional health issues like depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling butterflies in your stomach, or other physical symptoms that may trigger some nervousness or anxiety, CHECK OUT THIS BLOG that I wrote specifically on this topic.
Your Health Tip for the Day: Vitamin B12
Did you know that the symptoms of dementia and Vitamin B12 deficiency are basically identical? This can lead to misdiagnoses and unnecessary suffering. But it’s not just cognitive decline that can show up with Vitamin B deficiencies. Anxiety, depression and other emotional issues can also be symptoms of a deficiency.
There are many benefits to ensuring you have enough of all the B vitamins. Stress, anxiety and depression can all be alleviated by taking a niacinamide (B3) supplement, particularly if you are deficient. And niacinamide has also been shown to help insomniacs sleep better, a very important quality if you are anxious or stressed.The other B vitamins – B6, B12 and folate, play a vital role in producing the chemicals like serotonin that affect mood and other brain functions.You have to replenish these vitamins regularly through food, but to get enough to really make a difference if you’re struggling, experts recommend a good quality supplement.
So – it can’t hurt, but can always help to to check your levels with a simple blood test. While you’re at it, check for Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and Omega fatty acid levels as wel.
If you are interested in knowing more about the levels of different nutrients that are most beneficial, check out my Plant Lovers’ Fast-Start Guide.
Your Mindfulness Note of the Day: Non-Judging
The Body Scan is a great way of checking in with your physical body. How do you feel? When you pay attention to the parts of your body, do memories arise?
As you do your body scan, you might be tempted to “judge” either your body or how you are feeling.
So today, let’s consider the attribute of Non Judging.
When we judge ourselves, others or a situation, it causes stress and can make us feel negative about ourselves. And more often than not, we are judging based on some ill-defined preconception we have about reality.
So, just for today (and then you can say this every day…) agree with yourself to suspend judgement, even for just the duration of your body scan. This will give you the opportunity to just be observant, and to more objectively assess how you are feeling, as from a distance.
This can be very freeing and is definitely a powerful way to improve your mindset!
“I am in charge of my thoughts, and I don’t judge myself.”
See you tomorrow!