Physically and Environmentally Mindful
The physical environments we live in can help us to get more focused and enable us to practice mindfulness. By using the concept of Feng Shui, leveraging the elements of fire, water, earth, air, color, texture, and sound, we can create sacred interiors. With mindfulness practice we focus on the physical environment, sensations in different body parts, and notice the quality of these sensations. The physical environment has an energetic flow, a feeling to it, created by the placement of furniture, wall hangings, like thoughts, clouds, plants, etc. All things come and go, they pass with awareness and acceptance. Is the physical hot or cold? Our environment is closely connected to our thoughts and emotions. This micro and macro dependency brings the body and mind together as one entity. If you are emotionally upset, your body will show it physically and if unchecked the environment will show it. A disorganized mind, creates a mind that is tense, your body will tense as well and your environment will seem disconnected. When you are stressed or upset, a reaction starts in your body. Your mind perceives the threat and prepares your whole body to either fight, flight, freeze or fawn. Mindfulness is not meant for bypassing of challenging or difficult circumstances to make you relax. It is to make you aware and acknowledge your experience. What are you feeling? What part of your body or physical environment is affected? What is your reaction towards the experience? What are your thoughts? What words can you use? Can you build something from it?
When we are in our internal bodies, fully embodied, aligned with an external environment, there are several benefits:
- We more easily manage inflammation and prevent diseases
- We gain greater clarity for food choices, eating, savoring, all help aid in weight loss
- We gain physical strength and tolerance around pain and overexertion
- We sleep better, feel more comfortable and reduce insomnia
- Greater stimulation also helps us to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- We can hear, see and process information better (sights, sounds, inputs – mental, physical, emotional)
Getting mindful of your physical environment for many of us it is hard to practice mindfulness when we are surrounded by distractions. Noises or a busy visual environment (think multiple big screen televisions) can consistently challenge our focus. What is important to be aware of is our bodies state of mind. It’s a feeling mind and thinking body that we are looking to come into contact with. How are we interacting with the outside world? What is our body telling us? Our physical environment starts in your home (personal environment) and expands out to the global environment. The choices we make affect our well-being and the environment. Being in touch with your physical environment can help us to be more in touch with our internal, personal space.
Personal Environment: Your home is a place to escape the stress and its consequences. Therefore, you need to invest a little more effort in designing your home to make it a refuge. The interior affects your subconscious, perception, emotions, and thoughts. Decorate your home and workspace with mindfulness in mind.
Nature: Have you ever spent time by the ocean? Or took an afternoon walk to the park? If you have, then you understand the importance of nature to your well-being. It promotes connection, positivity, relaxes and refreshes you. It helps us regulate our emotions. You should, therefore, take care of nature and practice mindfulness in it. Avoid cutting down trees, or killing animals. Instead, make them your friends.
Global Environmental Health: This includes water, air, vegetation, animals, and humans. We should pay mindful attention to our habits around the things that we consume and create sustainability. With that in mind, we can make a greener, more mindful world.