by Dr. Bianka Hardin
When initiating a conversation, it is common for people to comment on how busy they are when I ask them how they are doing. I have to admit, I am guilty of feeling so busy and overwhelmed and telling everyone about it as if I were competing in a competition on who is the most productive and overwhelmed person in the room. For a while now, I have noticed how this pace impacts me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I know personally and intellectually, that we get stressed, overwhelmed, or upset, we hold our breath, tense our body and our sympathetic nervous system gets activated. But also, being in fight or flight mode can lead to long-term negative health problems. When I began to understand the long term negative health consequences of persistent and chronic stress, I began to reflect on my life choices and asked myself, “Is this the way I want to live my life?”
Gradually, I have made changes in my day to day life because I have decided I do not have to live this way. As a result, I have started shifting from multi-tasking to uni-tasking and from speed walking to walking meditation. This has not been an easy task for an over-achiever but one that has resulted in me feeling calmer, happier, and more centered. I am a big believer in incrementalism, in order to be successful, you need to master one little thing at a time.
Consequently, I was thrilled to receive the book “Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time” by Rich Hanson from a dear friend. This book takes a simple and refreshing approach to changing your life. Research has shown practicing small things in your life can change your brain and result in improved mood, reduced stress, and increased resiliency. This book offers simple, down-to-earth strategies that easy to implement and have proven results.
If I told you that you could reduce your stress level and improve your quality of life by doing one little thing a day, would you try something new? Practicing little things like sleeping more, focusing on your breath, cultivating a gratitude practice, being mindful, and being kinder to yourself can change your life! Check out Rick Hansen’s website or book for more ideas and made a commitment to yourself and your health by doing one small thing for yourself.