Changing habits for your well-Being

This week was all about the way how to create new habits that support your well-being and making the link with yoga and mindfulness.

The picture above shows our environment in the digital age. We live more and more in cities and we spend most of our time indoors and sitting. And we are surrounded with growing quantities of:

  • Information
    • coming from newspapers, magazines but more and more from digital devices. We are always connected and we receive as a human in our digital age each 12 hours twice the quantity of information.
  • Food
    • When you walk through a supermarket you see that 80% of the available food is what you do not really need, but what most people like.
  • Sitting people
    • Most of our work is based inside, sitting and often behind a screen. And when you look at people working behind a screen you can notice that they seem in a frozen position.

This causes many really health problems and has a negative impact on our well-being.

However with the constant flow and availability of information most people know this and you could ask yourself why do not we change. You could ask:

Who is controlling your live?

Are these the digital devices but also television, or the food and are we seeking more the comfort zone and live our lives on auto pilot?

Later i come back on this but first this week we looked at the definition of well-being and it is defined as:

“Health or well-being is the ability of people to adapt and to take their own responsibility in the light of the physical, emotional and social challenges of life”

This is a new definition developed by the Louis Bolk institute in the Netherlands and is called Positieve Gezondheid (Positive health). A definition defined by many stakeholders in health including the people in contact with health professionals. The concept of positive health was introduced in 2012. This emphasizes the strength of people and focuses less on the absence of disease. Health is seen in terms of resilience, functioning and participation.

In the course the meaning of well-being was developed form the Greek way (Aristoteles) of looking from a eudaemonic to a hedonic approach. Which look very similar to the above definition. It is more a proces oriented approach then a result oriented approach. Based on self-knowledge and self-regulation. And this is where the yoga comes in as a way to develop both.

The Yoga and mindfulness approach

Many scientific studies related to mindfulness show a positive impact on well-being. Modern brain science discover the value of these long time approaches from the east. This is a good support for people to change their lifestyle for their well-being. For some people however yoga and mindfulness meditation can be difficult to accept, they see it as something soft and for new age people.

For that reason i do yoga and mindfulness meditation as a personal approach and offer this approach as:

Welzijn op groen recept (Well-being on a green recipe)

A combination of Nature & Physical exercise for well- being

Introducing the same physical and mental attitude on more low-threshold forms in the Netherlands:

Physical: Outside walking and/ or running (we call it mindful walking, mindful running), combining the positive effects of being outside (Nature, air, light…) and physical exercise.

Mental: Using the same proces oriented approach as yoga and mindfulness with the same mindset (curious, nonjudgmental and with compassion).

Changing habits for your well-being

In the “of the mat” exercises this week it is all about taking control over your live and in particular your habits regarding the use of digital devices like computer and smartphone.

  1. Noticing your actual habits in real live
  2. Observe your impuls (this shows your habit). But do not react.
  3. Pauze, take 5 mindful breath
  4. Reflect om what is most favorable for you and the beings around you and act like that.

It is explained that during these pauzes your brain is creating new paths to support your new, more on well-being based, habits. This is called neuro-plasticity.

I noticed by writing down the intention to do it and daily reflections what you observed is a good starting point. I know that it takes a rather long time (100 days) to really change the wiring and from time to time you fall back. Most important then is to keep practicing it (in real live). Maybe a good way to do this in a group. And with mindful activities you train exactly this proces.

Indeed pausing is key, and it is very helpful to do something completely different then your first impuls. It can be also a walk outside.

On the same topic i have written a blog in Dutch click here


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