Living in Harmony by Michael Hallock

At Fivelements we are dedicated to living with increasing conscious awareness, or mindfulness. In a world that seems to be run by stress, we understand why it is so important to have an antidote that brings physical, mental and emotional calm. Here we present the third of our series of staff recommendations for ensuring that balance, happiness and health, rather than stress, fill our our lives.

Michael Hallock, Wellness Curator

“Three essential keys that help us reduce stress and improve our quality of life are physical relaxation, ease in breathing and simple curiousity.”

Here are Michael’s top recommendations for staying on top of life’s demands:

1 – Meditate – Cultivating the art of relaxation through conscious physical relaxation and free breathing is essential. Though these are innate abilities we all possess, they often have been disrupted by chronic stress. Guidance is helpful in the beginning, so practice meditation or relaxation with a teacher or with guided recordings (you could try my “Ahhh Inspiring Meditation” on Amazon or iTunes).

2 – Practice mindfulness – Choose an activity that you do regularly, whether it is putting on your shoes, sitting down, standing up, entering a room, eating or brushing your teeth, etc. Each time you do that activity, use it a mental cue to yourself: relax, breathe, and be curious – notice what you can. Although this is easy, it takes practice. Start with the physical sensations you can feel. Then pay attention to what you can see. What sounds can you hear?

3 – Reap the benefits – Mindfulness (combining relaxation, free breathing, and curiousity) is a transformative practice. It lessens the hold of thoughts, judgements and resistance, and instead engages us in experience, which immediately improves our quality of life. And as we notice more, we appreciate more. Mindfulness also helps us disengage from unhealthy mental habits and choose actions that lead us towards greater health, harmony, comfort, peace, pleasure and joy. As mindfulness practice gradually becomes more integrated in our lives, it improves our quality of life and benefits our work and all of our relationships.

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