Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Do you remember when you were a kid, traveling in the car and watching the world around you? Maybe you played the "Eye Spy" game or tried to find various objects in the shapes of the clouds. When is the last time you did that? When is the last time you looked up and truly observed all that was happening around you or even what was happening inside you?
Each week in my APEX Challenge group everyone is given a homework assignment to help them build on their mind-body connection. This week it's all about living in the now and doing a daily mind-body scan. With this task, they were provided a Mind-Body Scan worksheet (if you would like a copy of this, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your very own copy, otherwise check out the questions below) to fill out daily.
With this task, I want you to treat this as a little meditative work to add to your day either first thing in the morning or before bed. I want you to make sure you are by yourself in a quiet place for 5 minutes while doing this, or better yet... try out the HeadSpace app this week, there is a free-trial period that you can do which is absolutely amazing!
Along with this worksheet, throughout the day this week I want you to be PRESENT. What does this mean? Simply put, don't just go through the motions of your every day life. Instead, be conscious and in-the-now of everything that you do. When you eat, don't just scarf down your food. Instead, take a bite, focus on the texture, the taste, the ingredients and how it makes you feel. When you're working out, concentrate on the muscles that you are using. If you're doing a bench step up, concentrate on that glute/quad/hamstring contraction on the way up and down. Concentrate on your breathing... deep belly breath on the way up, long exhalation on the way down. When you're walking... notice what is around you. Notice your posture- are you standing upright with your shoulders back, head high, belly button drawn in... or are you slumped over, staring at your phone with a soft belly? When you get up out of a chair, pay attention to that movement... sit straight up when getting out of the chair- flex that core and those glutes... don't bend over and use an arm rest to get you out.
Why is this important? So many of us go through life not paying attention to the world around us or we are living for the future instead of living in the now! We feel like we always need to be doing something, distracting ourselves in some way instead of just being - feeling - observing what is going on around us and within ourselves. When is the last time you had a meal, waiting in line, attended an event (party, kids game, etc.) or watched TV without picking up your phone?
This week, work on living in the now and being present. Observing not only the world around you, but what is going on within yourself. Bring back your inner-child and watch, explore and question anything and everything! Make it a point to put down your phone more. In fact, if you have an iPhone, turn on your screen time function so you can track just how much time you're spending on your phone. Each day or week try to lower that amount just a little bit more! I love to have people do this, especially those who say they don't have time to meal prep or workout because it puts in to perspective just how much time we waste on our phones that could be spent doing something to better our lives and health!
Are you up for this challenge?
1. Find a quiet place with no distractions. Sit or lie for 5 minutes.
2. Start at the top of your head, and slowly go down to your toes. Notice all your physical sensations. Are you hot/cold, tense, do you have pain anywhere? Observe, don't judge.
What are you feeling, physically?
What are you feeling, emotionally?
What are you thinking?
Based on this scan, what have you learned about yourself?