Idle Actions// What to do When You're Doing Nothing (to improve your life).

When I meditated daily, one of the notable side effects of this wonderful habit was an awesome awareness of my body.  On the flip side, when I'm not meditating on a regular basis, my mind consumes my full attention. Or, to distract myself, I direct my attention towards external distractions like consuming content online.

to combat this, I've decided to train myself to reconnect with my body by making good use of idle time. Ideally, I'd like to execute a series of activities that have some really positive benefits. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now and so far it's been paying off.  Here's a short list of activities that I do during spare moments to help improve my mind and body.

The essence of meditating is transferring the focus from our rampant thoughts to our steady breath.  When I meditate consistently, the habit of being "breath focused" carries itself into my everyday activities.  What's the advantage of being breath focused?  It creates a calm mind, alleviates stress, and helps me to stay on task.  When I'm engaged in an activity,  I'm able to proceed without having to deal with a bunch of competin, unproductive thoughts.  It's a freeing experience.

I don't always remember to focus on my breath so I want to incorporate it more in my day.   Bascially, I want to shift to taking small, shallow breaths to full/deeper breaths.  Not only does this increase my focus, it comes with a slew of other benefits.  There are so many health benefits associated with taking deeper breaths. Unfortunately, most of us aren't using correct breathing techniques.  When we're not paying attention, we default to shallow breaths. Shallow breathing starves our body of experiencing optimal oxygen levels.  Ideally, we want to increase circulation and oxygen levels by practicing correct breathing.  Honestly, it's one of the most important things things you can do with your idle time.

Another  activity I like to incorporate when I'm doing nothing is mewing.  I wrote about engaging in proper tongue posture not long ago.  A bunch of people swear by this practice to  help correct imbalances in their facial structure.  So far, I'm enjoying the benefits.  I also use it as a trigger to remember to engage in deep breathing.  Pair habits together is the easiest way to make sure it sticks.

As soon as I start mewing, I'm reminded to place attention to my overall posture.  My natural posture can use a lot of work.  Whenever I'm not paying attention, I'm slouching.  Basically, I have to train my body to stand or sit correctly.  Eventually, I'd like to purchase one of those posture correcting shoulder braces that works for you even when you're not thinking about it.  Basically, I want to train my body to exhibit proper posture even when I'm not thinking about it.

While we're on the topic of proper posture, it's important to remember that our core is an essential piece to our overall posture.  A while back, I wrote a blog post on how to promote a flatter tummy by pulling in the abdominal muscles.  After writing that article, I had a conversation with a friend who told me that she knew someone who always pulled her abs in and got great results.  This motivated me to try it for a while to see what could happen.  Within weeks, I noticed that my waistline appeared smaller, more cinched without a single gym visit.  It's time to bring this habit back!  Even if I don't hold my core in all day, the simple act of doing this multiple times a day will activate the inner abdominals.  Summer is fast approaching...time to bring my tighter waist back.

Speaking of a tighter core, another activity I place high on the list of things to do when you're doing nothing is kegals.  A kegal is a simple move involving pulling in your pelvic walls as a form of exercise.  Technically, your pelvic walls are a part of your core muscles.  Sometimes we tend to forget about them until after childbirth.  But actually, we want to practice the habit of maintaining strong pelvic walls throughout our entire life.  We'll need to have a strong pelvic floor as we age to prevent incontinence.  Your pelvic muscles support your bladder, bowels and your vaginal walls.  You'll often hear that kegals are important to help improve your sexual health.  While this is absolutely true, it's also important to remember that doing kegals regularly will offer you a plethora of wellness benefits especially if you make it a life long habit.

A lot of the idle actions I listed here focus mainly on improving your physical well being.  It's good to create a balance by incorporating idle actions that impact our thoughts.  Examples include mentally reviewing a list of everything you are thankful for (to attract more wonders into your life).  I also like to engage in mini-visualizations that help reflect on how it would feel to experience everything I desire.    Basically, I want to direct my mental powers to help improve my state of being instead of allowing my mind to constantly produce a bunch of limiting thoughts. 

This list may seem like a lot but it's very doable.  Eventually, I'd like to turn these conscious behaviors into subconscious habits that take place even when I'm not paying attention. In order to do this, I must repeat these actions over, over, and over again until they become second nature.

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