This is the second part of the list of top 10 wellness activities that I regularly pursue.
6. Reading uplifting books on healing and related topics. One of my constant activities is reading a host of uplifting books on healing, spirituality, wellness, and related topics. There are always wonderful tidbits I pick up, which I either may not have thought about before, or which I've learned about but forgotten. I'm currently reading: If the Buddha Got Stuck: A Handbook for Change on a Spiritual Path by Dr. Charlotte Kasl. I wrote about it a few weeks ago and as I mentioned, the author provides simple yet sound advice.
FYI...I no longer read any books about bipolar disorder or depression. What I learned a long time ago was that most books on the topic (and for years I read everything that was published) are so negative and downbeat that they're not at all helpful. I am now firmly convinced that if I read and think about wellness, I'll be well. But if I dwell on illness, it will make me ill.
7. Keeping a mood chart and journal. I've written about this many times and there is no need to belabor it. But I still keep a daily mood chart and journal. The journal is helpful because it enables me to chronicle my life. And while I no longer need the mood chart to figure out patterns of behavior, and things that trigger depression, I do know that if I ever take a downturn, the mood charts will allow me to figure out why.
8. Eating nutritional food. This is a no brainer. We all know "we are what we eat." I'm blessed because my husband is a wonderful cook and he's the one who markets and cooks. But, we both know we feel better if we eat nutritional food. It's not that I don't occasionally eat junk food, but not on a daily basis. I also know that, for me, drinking water is very important. I carry a water bottle with me (a metal one so I don't contribute to planetary waste by using plastic bottles), and probably drink about eight glasses a day.
9. Praying. Since this is a secular blog, I rarely talk about religion, but I do pray with regularity. I'm so very grateful I'm well and I frequently thank God. One of the best books I ever read about praying was written by Malcolm Boyd, a family friend who's a gay Episcopal priest. In Are You Running with Me, Jesus? he talks about prayer as being conversations with God. You don't have to read a prayer book. You don't have to be in a church or temple. You can just talk to God when you're running, cooking, or doing your daily activities. (While I'm Jewish, I share Malcolm's attitude about the importance of communicating with God in a casual way.)
10. Stress reduction and relaxation techniques. Many of the things I do are somewhat related to stress reduction. If I'm tense, I do breathing exercises or blow my harmonica. If I'm worried about something, I take a walk. If I feel a bit down, I clear my mind, and think about all the things I'm grateful for. If I feel unhappy, I watch an upbeat film or listen to music I like.
Most of all, I concentrate on feeling well. Over time, I have learned that life is too short to dwell on negative things or spend time with negative people. I have always been an optimist by nature, and even when I was ill, I felt hopeful that some day I would be well. Now that I am, I feel so lucky and so grateful that I hesitate to waste a moment of my time with people who don't have a positive outlook on life.